The Life After Football

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NFL football players have spent thousands of hours in their life to practice the game they love.  When the game becomes too much for the players is when the real damage begins.  Players face the harsh reality of not having the benefits that the NFL has given them.  Adjusting to real life is harder for a large percent of retired football players.  Football is a violent sport that has led to many body, emotional and financial struggles.  A survey of 763 former NFL players conducted by Newsday in conjunction with the NFL Players Association’s former players division showed 61 percent said they found it difficult to adjust to daily life after their career, while 85 percent said they did not believe the NFL prepared them for the transition.

A player by the name of Wesley Walker, who was a receiver in the league for 13 years discussed the difficulties that football has put upon him physically and financially.  Walker had two surgeries, one was on his left shoulder to fix a torn labrum and rotator cuff.  He had spinal fusion surgery during which doctors inserted 10 screws and a rod to help stabilize the spine.  He also suffered an ACL tear while taking an awkward step at an autograph signing.  Walker is 59 years old, but he said it feels like I am 90 years old when I get out of a chair.  All of these are suspected to be a result from football and the ruthless contact that Walker received.

With all of the injuries that players suffer during their time in the league and after their time playing a majority of players say they would do it all again.  Athletes work day in and day out to perfect their craft.  When your hard work is rewarded by the chance to play at the highest level possible, I would do it over and over again even if I knew the consequences.

Citation: The Life After Football, Mark LaMonica

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4 thoughts on “The Life After Football”

  1. I read an article a while back that spoke of similar problems that football players were experiencing after retirement, but I didn’t realize the percentage of players who are having these issues. Maybe to ease this transition, the NFL should start a program to help these athletes readjust to normal life since it seems that the transition is having bad effects on their bodies. Also, maybe the NFL should restrict players who have had so many injuries for a longer period in order to make sure they have fully healed before they hit the field again.

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  2. It is understanding that it is tough for players, who have been beat up their whole lives, to struggle once they finally retire from football. Also, the NFL is a business, so I would not expect retired players to say that the NFL prepared them for life after the NFL. The players who are in the NFL may have it tough physically, emotionally, and financially once they are finished with the game, but they worked their whole lives to get to the highest stage in football, so I feel like they know what they are getting themselves into. It is hard to have sympathy for these players who have issues once they retire, especially if they claim they would do the process over again. I guess this is a prime example that you have to look to think past the moment when you do something. If you are living for the moment, you are going to be blind-sided by what comes up in the future.

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  3. Wow! This post was extremely informative. I am used to hearing about the injuries & pain that one may inquire for the love of the game. However, I never looked at it from a much more detailed perspective. I think the NFL should offer programs in regards to money management as well as how to maintain a healthy lifestyle after retirement.

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