Living in the NY area there has been a lot of talk about Tiki Barber retiring and how he is actually "quitting" on his teammates. Here is a marquee player in the prime of his career throwing in the towel. Not being a huge football fan I really didn't think much of it, I mean Barry Sanders did the same thing and he is arguably one of the greatest running backs ever. I heard one ex player say in an interview that he cant believe Tiki would do this to his teammates (his family) and the fans of the NY Giants. This same player has had 60 surgeries (48 just to his knees!) and is now suffering severe arthritis in his neck and feet limiting his mobility and hampering his quality of life.
Who are we to criticize someone for making a life's decision? This is his future and his REAL family he is thinking about. How are we to know how banged up he really is? What if he has problems playing with his children because of being hit so many times in the shoulders. Imagine someone coming up to you after you decided you didn't want to do something anymore and telling you you were a quitter and you are letting millions of people down.
So I bring you these questions...when is enough? When do you end it? When are all the aches and pains not worth it anymore? When does your love and passion for the game interfere with your quality of life and your lively-hood? Obviously we are not getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars or even millions like some of these pro athletes, but we play with the same heart and passion as them, if not more. We play for the love of the game, for the competition and the camaraderie, for the locker-room banter after a game, for the road trips, the memories, for the chance to say "I played against that guy, he was sick", to play a chippy, obnoxious game only to have a few beers in the parking lot after the game with the guy you slashed in the face and who speared you in the groin...and laugh about it.
When I was 25 I thought I could play forever now I know I can't. I still love the game more than ever but I know my days are numbered.
So let me hear what you guys think, when is it time to draw the line and say its over?