Two NFL offensive greats hang up the cleats


By Ryan Moliniexecutive sports editor

Seahawks' Marshall Lynch (age 30) recently tweeted his plans to retire from the NFL. Photo courtesy of WikiCommons.
Seahawks’ Marshall Lynch (age 30) recently tweeted his plans to retire from the NFL. Photo courtesy of WikiCommons.

Last Sunday was the biggest day of the year for the NFL. Not only did the Superbowl occur, but Marshawn Lynch tweeted a picture with one emoji that went viral.
The picture was the second of two of the largest offensive threats in the NFL to retire in the last two weeks at what some to consider at a fairly young age. Wide receiver Calvin Johnson (age 30) of the Detroit Lions and Marshawn Lynch of the Seattle Seahawks (age 29) both decided to call it quits. Considering I remember watching Johnson play at Georgia Tech in 2006, his career coming to an end now seems like it is just too soon. The decisions from these two may disappoint fans, but critics, analysts, doctors and some fans, including myself, understand their decision.
When one of the greatest linebackers in NFL history, Junior Seau, committed suicide in 2013, doctors had a suspicion it had something to do with his chronic brain damage from the hits he had absorbed over the years playing football.
“I think it’s important for everyone to know that Junior did indeed suffer from CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy),” his daughter Gina Seau said in an ESPN interview. “It’s important that we take steps to help these players. We certainly don’t want to see anything like this happen again to any of our athletes.”
Football is a dying sport on all levels. Yeah, it’s a money maker — and a big one too. Around $13 billion to be accurate.
At the high school level, with concussion awareness at an all time high, precautions are more frequent than ever. High school football practices in the state of Illinois require an athletic trainer to be present during all contact practices. The protocol for concussion has intensified into a five day process that begins the day after symptoms cease.
According to Prospect athletic trainer Katie Cottin, the concussion is the most common serious injury at Prospect.
“We’ve had quite a few concussions this year,” Cottin said. “And if they’re not handled properly they could lead to something very serious.”
With the retirement of Johnson and Lynch, only a fan can assume that these two are concerned with their own health interests. Especially considering the two combined have made over $100 million in their careers. Lynch has even saved over $60 million of his earnings for the rest of his life.
So who was the real MVP of Super Bowl Sunday? If you ask the NFL, Von Miller was the MVP. If you ask me, it was Marshawn Lynch. Even though his brain may have suffered quite a few hits in his “Beast Mode” career, he is still smart enough to love Skittles and not go bankrupt, something that has proven difficult for the majority of NFL players.