“it’s more important to me and my family to walk away healthy than to willfully embrace the warrior mentality and limp away too late.”……….Vontae Davis, Former Cornerback Buffalo Bills
If you’re a fan that follows the game closely I think its important to put perspective back into the game. We kind lose sight of doing that partly because we’re watching so intensely and partly because we have so many deep feelings wrapped up in it all.
Vontae Davis was a former first round pick. He was a two time Pro Bowler and played for 10 seasons and just signed a contract for 5 million dollars. Last Sunday he walked away from football at halftime. Not after the game. Not in mid-season. Not after the season. But at halftime.
Now I know there’s some misguided people out there who think they could endure getting hit like a football player for 5 million dollars. Just like there are people out there who think they could go into the same ring with Mike Tyson for 20 million.
There’s also a certain warrior mentality that everybody likes to think they have. But there is nothing so warrior than a person who every day is putting their life on the line. I know the need for money makes people think they would do almost anything for it. But there’s also a more overwhelming desire to be alive.
Players are starting to recognize this and leaving the game earlier than they used to. When you factor how hard it must be for someone who’s grown up in difficult surroundings with little money to be tempted by NFL dollars and endorsement money—-it’s crazy. How can it not make you lose some perspective?
I think it helps the game too if fans can understand these guys are putting so much on the line.
I know part of what makes a player great is the sacrifice he makes for himself and for his team and teammates. It’s a great honor to do that, to give it everything you have, be it in football or any walk of life.
I don’t think Vontae Davis let his teammates down and I think he’s the only one, more than all the doctors and all of the teammates in all the leagues in all the worlds who knows his body and mind and soul better than everybody combined.
Plus a team doesn’t want a guy who doesn’t try his hardest. It doesn’t matter if he’s at 50%, 80%, 90% if he’s not able to try his hardest he’s going to be a liability. An army doesn’t want this kind of soldier and neither does a football team.
I think its disrespectful if he doesn’t leave. Even though I’m only a fan I’ve seen players who stayed long after they lost that killer instinct.
The only critical thing I have to say about it is that maybe he could’ve told a coach privately that he was done and take his uniform and pads off and watch the rest of the game on the sideline in civilian clothes, cheering on his teammates.
But even that doesn’t tell us how badly he felt it was time to get out.
It’s a paradox I know. I’m still working on it. It’s a violent sport and I love the violence but I also hate to see people lose their minds.
Two weeks I criticized Kyle Fuller for not being able to catch a ball thrown right to him with 2 minutes left to go in the game and didn’t really take into account his mental state at the time and how hyper-vigilant he has to be with 2 minutes left to go in the game.
Not to mention how tough Fuller is and how hard he hits like a safety.
They’re all out on island.
In more ways than one.