Friday, August 10, 2012

Athletes need to know when to walk away

The recent trade of Peyton Manning from the Indianapolis Colts to the Denver Broncos is not something that gets my heart pumping.  Peyton has had a wonderful career and I think he should have hung it up before even considering playing for another team.  With the Colts, he was highly paid, memorable, and a super bowl champion.  He had a loyal fan base and was very popular.  What he is doing now reminds me of what Brett Farve did late in his career.

Brett Farve also was highly paid, memorable, and a super bowl champion.  It wasn't enough though.  In his late 30's, his career was coming to an end but he couldn't let it go.  The Green Bay Packers wanted him to step away so that new talent could emerge.  Yet Brett looked west and traded to the Minnesota Vikings, a division arch rival.  All the loyalty that the Packer fans showed Brett over the years meant nothing to him.  Personally, I thought it was very low class.  He should have ended his career with the Packers and stepped away from playing for the NFL.

I don't understand these two and their lack of respect for the people who have built them up.  What they have done shows no respect for their original teams.

On the other hand, I like that Michael Phelps has said that he doesn't want to be the guy in his late 30's competing against guys in their early 20's.  This summer will be his last olympics.  To him, it just doesn't seem right to continue.  And he is right.  At some point, athletes need to let it go.  They have worked hard, they have had their moments in the sun, they have gotten the fame, and they have pulled down the big bucks.  Now, walk away and do it with respect for those who have helped you go so far. That is my advice.  Go into broadcasting or coaching.  Start teaching or become a spokesman.  Move into some respectable profession and use your years in athletics as a platform to keep your career going.  But walk away for crying out loud instead of always wanting more.

Do you think athletes need to walk away at some point?

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