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Thread: Trevor Pryce writes an open letter to Rex.

  1. #1
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    Trevor Pryce writes an open letter to Rex.

    In Comfortable Retirement, and Getting Tired of It

    By TREVOR PRYCE

    Published: April 21, 2012 NY TIMES.

    During my 14 years in the N.F.L., my favorite day was Monday. As long as I wasnít preparing for surgery or being released, Mondays were special. They signified that I had made it through another week and was ready for another opponent. Even the soreness was oh, so sweet.

    How I miss those days.

    Now my Mondays go something like this: Work on my tennis serve; take a conference call with a Hollywood executive; get my three children to school; browse my favorite Web sites, none of them involving football; check my Words With Friends; and take the dog to day care.

    By then, itís only 10:30 a.m.

    Welcome to the life of the secure and utterly bored former professional athlete.

    The last thing I need is anybody feeling sorry for me. Iím retired at 36. Iím still in shape, I still run fast and Iím injury free.

    So how did I arrive at this place, where the days run together, where sleep is so abundant that I canít remember the last time I felt tired?

    The Steelers. Thatís how.

    A few hours after the heartbreaking loss to Pittsburgh in the A.F.C. championship game that I played with the Jets in January 2011, I was standing by the bus and saying to myself: ďThis is it. Iím done!Ē

    Then Coach Rex Ryan walked up to me and asked what I was thinking about the next season. I told him that I was emotionally and physically spent and that the last thing I wanted to do was deal with football again.

    Iím a man of my word. Fourteen years on the defensive line was long enough. I lasted about 13 more than I thought I would, so I was content. Was I sad? A little. Was I elated and relieved? A lot.

    But now I have a question: Rex, do you need a pass rusher next season?

    Having retired way before my time, I have started to lose focus and drive. Iím retired from the game I loved. Iím retired from the perks, like getting a table instantly at my favorite restaurant. And Iím retired from the N.F.L. brotherhood. Passed by. At times, I feel ostracized.

    The N.F.L. isnít a street gang. Weíre mercenaries willing to work for the highest bidder and willing to get along with whomever we need to in order to keep working. I know why I havenít heard from any of my former teammates. But itís not as if Iím looking for them, either. What would we talk about? What do we have in common now? Not much. Once youíre out of the circle, youíre out. So besides my family and a couple of my high school buddies, I donít have many friends.

    ďEarly retirementĒ sounds wonderful. It certainly did that cold night in Pittsburgh. I was going to use my time to conquer the world.

    Boy, was I wrong. Now I find myself in music chat rooms arguing the validity of Frank Zappa versus the Mars Volta. (If the others only knew Walkingpnumonia was the screen name for a former All-Pro football player and not some Oberlin College student trying to find his place in the world.) I wrote a book. I set sail on the picturesque and calming waters of Bodymore, Murdaland. And when Iím in dire straits, I do what any 8-year-old does; I kick a soccer ball against the garage hoping somebody feels sorry and says, ďHey, want to play?Ē

    With millions of Americans out of work or doing work for which they are overqualified, I consider myself lucky. But starting from scratch can be unsettling. If youíre not prepared for it, retirement can become a form of self-imposed exile from the fulfillment and the exhilaration of knowing you did a good job.

    Many people retire around 65. I will turn 37 this summer, yet like all former N.F.L. players, I face greater health risks, both physical and psychological, that compound my fears.

    I donít know why Iím surprised by any of this. Iíve been preparing for retirement since the Denver Broncos drafted me in the first round in 1997. I was part of the inaugural rookie symposium the N.F.L. conducts to help college players make the transition to professional football. Three days of meetings pretty much consisted of the same two messages: use a condom and save your money.

    The players who are drafted this week will hear the same warnings. The N.F.L. stands for Not for Long, and if you donít heed that advice, you will be another statistic. To avoid that fate, I started thinking about the end before my career even started.

    The N.F.L. helps active and retired players with off-season programs that teach ways to conquer the music business or the film business, or to work for ESPN. Those programs werenít around when I started to accept that my career wasnít going to last forever, so each off-season, I embarked on postfootball endeavors.

    During the six-month off-seasons, I pretty much educated myself, dabbling in music, Hollywood, journalism, real estate and everything in between, with varying degrees of success. I was able to do a lot in so little time. Now that I have all the time in the world, itís amazing how little I accomplish every day. Sometimes, thatís a good thing. Most times not.

    Nothing truly prepared me for retirement. It hit me across the face like a Deacon Jones head slap. Suddenly, Iím sitting around at 10:30 a.m. looking for something good on television ó which is impossible.

    Donít cry for me, though. Iím getting used to it slowly and will be content with my new life. That is, until Rex calls.

  2. #2
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    I say sign him and see what he can do....

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    Wow! Interesting! Many people here don't agree, but as a rotational player in '11 he contributed. Bring him in for a look...Nothing wrong with Wilk and Ellis watching/learning from Pryce..

  4. #4
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    Rex should at least give him an opportunity to make the team. If he can still play as a situational pass rusher why not?

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    Bring him in...always demanded double teams

  6. #6
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    Bring him back and see if he has anything to offer. Nice that he thought to contact Rex first

    Sent from my SGH-T679 using Tapatalk 2

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    If he's in playing shape why not? Nothing wrong with depth.

  8. #8
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    [QUOTE=C Mart;4441369]Wow! Interesting! Many people here don't agree, but as a rotational player in '11 he contributed. Bring him in for a look...Nothing wrong with Wilk and Ellis watching/learning from Pryce..[/QUOTE]

    And if it doesn't work out, maybe he can make it as an inspirational coach. No rule that all our leaders have to be players.

  9. #9
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    would be great if he can still play, leadership would be good for the younger guys

  10. #10
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    If he can still pass rush, you gotta give him a look. He may have restored his hunger by having last year off.

  11. #11
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    Wow, that was awesome, Trevor. Give the guy some sort of job..

  12. #12
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    [QUOTE=Gangrene;4441363]In Comfortable Retirement, and Getting Tired of It

    By TREVOR PRYCE

    Published: April 21, 2012 NY TIMES.

    During my 14 years in the N.F.L., my favorite day was Monday. As long as I wasnít preparing for surgery or being released, Mondays were special. They signified that I had made it through another week and was ready for another opponent. Even the soreness was oh, so sweet.

    How I miss those days.

    Now my Mondays go something like this: Work on my tennis serve; take a conference call with a Hollywood executive; get my three children to school; browse my favorite Web sites, none of them involving football; check my Words With Friends; and take the dog to day care.

    By then, itís only 10:30 a.m.

    Welcome to the life of the secure and utterly bored former professional athlete.

    The last thing I need is anybody feeling sorry for me. Iím retired at 36. Iím still in shape, I still run fast and Iím injury free.

    So how did I arrive at this place, where the days run together, where sleep is so abundant that I canít remember the last time I felt tired?

    The Steelers. Thatís how.

    A few hours after the heartbreaking loss to Pittsburgh in the A.F.C. championship game that I played with the Jets in January 2011, I was standing by the bus and saying to myself: ďThis is it. Iím done!Ē

    Then Coach Rex Ryan walked up to me and asked what I was thinking about the next season. I told him that I was emotionally and physically spent and that the last thing I wanted to do was deal with football again.

    Iím a man of my word. Fourteen years on the defensive line was long enough. I lasted about 13 more than I thought I would, so I was content. Was I sad? A little. Was I elated and relieved? A lot.

    But now I have a question: Rex, do you need a pass rusher next season?

    Having retired way before my time, I have started to lose focus and drive. Iím retired from the game I loved. Iím retired from the perks, like getting a table instantly at my favorite restaurant. And Iím retired from the N.F.L. brotherhood. Passed by. At times, I feel ostracized.

    The N.F.L. isnít a street gang. Weíre mercenaries willing to work for the highest bidder and willing to get along with whomever we need to in order to keep working. I know why I havenít heard from any of my former teammates. But itís not as if Iím looking for them, either. What would we talk about? What do we have in common now? Not much. Once youíre out of the circle, youíre out. So besides my family and a couple of my high school buddies, I donít have many friends.

    ďEarly retirementĒ sounds wonderful. It certainly did that cold night in Pittsburgh. I was going to use my time to conquer the world.

    Boy, was I wrong. Now I find myself in music chat rooms arguing the validity of Frank Zappa versus the Mars Volta. (If the others only knew Walkingpnumonia was the screen name for a former All-Pro football player and not some Oberlin College student trying to find his place in the world.) I wrote a book. I set sail on the picturesque and calming waters of Bodymore, Murdaland. And when Iím in dire straits, I do what any 8-year-old does; I kick a soccer ball against the garage hoping somebody feels sorry and says, ďHey, want to play?Ē

    With millions of Americans out of work or doing work for which they are overqualified, I consider myself lucky. But starting from scratch can be unsettling. If youíre not prepared for it, retirement can become a form of self-imposed exile from the fulfillment and the exhilaration of knowing you did a good job.

    Many people retire around 65. I will turn 37 this summer, yet like all former N.F.L. players, I face greater health risks, both physical and psychological, that compound my fears.

    I donít know why Iím surprised by any of this. Iíve been preparing for retirement since the Denver Broncos drafted me in the first round in 1997. I was part of the inaugural rookie symposium the N.F.L. conducts to help college players make the transition to professional football. Three days of meetings pretty much consisted of the same two messages: use a condom and save your money.

    The players who are drafted this week will hear the same warnings. The N.F.L. stands for Not for Long, and if you donít heed that advice, you will be another statistic. To avoid that fate, I started thinking about the end before my career even started.

    The N.F.L. helps active and retired players with off-season programs that teach ways to conquer the music business or the film business, or to work for ESPN. Those programs werenít around when I started to accept that my career wasnít going to last forever, so each off-season, I embarked on postfootball endeavors.

    During the six-month off-seasons, I pretty much educated myself, dabbling in music, Hollywood, journalism, real estate and everything in between, with varying degrees of success. I was able to do a lot in so little time. Now that I have all the time in the world, itís amazing how little I accomplish every day. Sometimes, thatís a good thing. Most times not.

    Nothing truly prepared me for retirement. It hit me across the face like a Deacon Jones head slap. Suddenly, Iím sitting around at 10:30 a.m. looking for something good on television ó which is impossible.

    Donít cry for me, though. Iím getting used to it slowly and will be content with my new life. That is, until Rex calls.[/QUOTE]

    This is a masterwork of grace and class!! Good job, Trevor!! I hope they give you a shot!

  13. #13
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    couldn't hurt... we could have used him when devito went down last year

  14. #14
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    Trevor for Mod!

  15. #15
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    No more old players.

  16. #16
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    1) leadership in the locker room
    2) shows passion and desire
    3) rotational DL is good, we have a young group of guys
    4) never hurts to take a good look

  17. #17
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    ... my quote and i were both missing you trevor! :iwon: ...








    l_j_r

  18. #18
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    Any word on Damian Woody?

  19. #19
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    shhhh

  20. #20
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    So well written. Solid guy all around. Pass though.

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