On Wednesday, Kordell Stewart, best known as a Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback referred to as “Slash” and is considered the harbinger of the modern NFL hybrid quarterback that can not only do the traditional things expected of an NFL QB but is a threat to run as well (and in Stewart’s case, catch the ball as well), officially announced his retirement from the National Football League.
What made Stewart’s sudden announcement so peculiar is that he hasn’t played a down in the NFL since 2005. That’s a mighty long time some may argue.
But Stewart had never made it official, so he signed a one-day contract with the Steelers so he could retire as a member of the black and gold, despite stints with the Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens after leaving Pittsburgh.
Stewart rationalized his decision to not only retire but to retire as a Steeler as follows: ”This where it all started, this where all my success was. This was the closure I wanted to have and needed to have with my career.”
Yes. Closure. Something every person needs from time to time. To turn the page, to move on, to start anew another exciting and enriching chapter in one’s life.
Stewart’s bold decision is not only praiseworthy in my eyes; it has also inspired me to reconcile myself to this sobering realization: my NFL career prospects have dried up and come to an end as well.
So, with that in mind, with a heavy heart while stealing a page from Kordell Stewart’s playbook, I too would like to officially announce my retirement from the National Football League.
Sure, some of you out there might be thinking, “You haven’t even played a down, nor made a roster of an NFL team, how is it possible for you to retire?” And to that, I respond: over the past six NFL seasons, my stats more than measure up with those that Mr. Stewart racked up, giving me just as much right to announce my retirement at this point in time.
By no means is this an attempt to take attention away from Kordell Stewart, nor is it in any way an effort to denigrate his on-field accomplishments in what was a moderately successful NFL career. It’s just that my time is up as well. Ever since I starred on the B-squad of my middle school’s football teams in 7th and 8th grade I have dreamed of one day realizing my goal of becoming an NFL running back. But it was not to be. As is often the case with a lot of us, other things came up: other activities, a girlfriend or two, high school, working my way through college, family commitments, having and raising kids, bills, you name it, things such as these always stood in the way at one time or another, dashing my dreams before they could come true. Oh, and laziness and lack of size, speed and skill. Those were all components of it, too, but I digress.
So, before you all, I sadly admit that I too am officially retiring from the NFL. It has been a good run. Now, if someone could direct me to where I can get my hands on that official form that players have to fill out and file with the league office to officially retire that would be great. And if some team wants to sign me to a one-day contract so I can enjoy the closure enjoyed by Mr. Stewart, which would be nice as well. I’m looking at you, hometown Minnesota Vikings.
And to the NFL, let me add, think of it this way: allow me to retire as an NFL player and you can count on me to not eventually sue the league, unlike many former players who are filing lawsuits seemingly every day now. Not now, nor anytime in the future will I hold you responsible for the consequences caused by my NFL career. And if you ask me, that’s something the league can hang its hat on.
Best of luck to Kordell Stewart in any and all of his future endeavors.