Chris Kluwe takes a look at the NFL retirement program, and provides some blistering commentary on what happens to athletes when they leave the game.
An intense drive to be the best, no matter the cost, now unsure what to strive for. A willingness to ignore risks, both physical and mental, now adrift in a vast ocean of temptation. You couldn’t get drunk every day of the week before, because that would’ve affected your play on the field, but now? What’s to stop you, especially with the pain in your joints? There’s no coach to warn you about stepping out of line, that your focus is slipping. There’s no locker room filled with teammates you can bullshit with about the small problems before they turn into big problems. It’s just you and probably your partner, who’s trying to adjust to the change as well.
— Chris Kluwe, Broken Men and Their Broken System
It’s hard to believe that players go from the heights of success to such terrible straights so quickly, but the numbers show that it happens all the time.