View Full Version : RAND: Will to keep going sometimes wavers

04-05-2005, 02:09 PM
RAND: Will to keep going sometimes wavers
Apr 05, 2005, 3:54:03 AM by Jonathan Rand

You might wonder why somebody like Chiefs guard Will Shields would even think twice about whether he wants to play another season in the NFL.

Heís the best in the business at his position, enjoys the fame and fortune of the NFL and, at 33, isnít old for an offensive lineman. So, you might ask, how could he feel the need to ponder his future as the Chiefs get into their off-season conditioning program?

Yes, it would come as a surprise if Shields, a 10-time Pro Bowl pick, decides to retire. But the fact that heís considering the possibility shouldnít come as a surprise at all.

After being involved in a collision on virtually every offensive snap of every game for 12 years, a player would be nuts if he didnít reevaluate his desire to stay in the collision business for a 13th season. No other major professional sport takes as much of a toll on the body as does pro football. Hockey comes closest but the ex-hockey player is more likely to be identified by a smashed nose or scarred cheek than by a pronounced limp.

While the old-time football player is stereotyped as the gladiator who plays with reckless abandon and no regard for his body, most players today are smarter than that. They see ex-players, including some of their own assistant coaches, limping or needing artificial joints. Thereís something to be said for staying healthy enough to play with the grandchildren some day.

A player is entitled to wonder if he wants to spend another season hurting all over every Sunday morning. Most players find that early in their careers, they can discard their soreness early in the week. But as the years go by, they learn to live with being sore nearly all the time.

Players talented enough to stay in the league a decade or so usually become less and less enthusiastic about training camp. So you can imagine how they may feel about jumping into off-season conditioning, three months before the start of training camp.

You wonít find many professional athletes who ever get tired of the games. But the year-around conditioning and week-to-week preparation during the season become chores sooner or later. Even quarterback Joe Montana, the all-time competitor, locker room prankster and football rat, eventually lost his desire to continue the film study, meetings, practices and conditioning needed to get ready for the fun on Sunday.

Weíve seen more and more players feel that way after just a few years in the NFL. After four or five intense seasons in a major college football program, then a few years in the NFL, the glamour of pro football can wear off in a hurry. Among the hundreds of marginal NFL players, the willingness to persevere through year-around preparation is a key factor in separating those who stay in the league from those who donít.

Ricky Williams stunned the Miami Dolphins before training camp last summer by retiring after only five seasons, in which he established himself as one of the leagueís best backs. Though heís offered conflicting reasons for his early exit, he seemed partly burned out by his heavy workload and consequent punishment.

Fans who grew up dreaming of playing in the NFL, understandably, donít want to hear about the hardships of playing pro football. In their mind, itís just one long glamorous and glorious ride and any player who wants to get off is just plain spoiled.

Fact is, though, that every endeavor, no matter how rewarding, sooner or later becomes a job, with its up side and down side and the lure of retirement.

Even pro football. And, for the 30-something set, especially pro football.

04-05-2005, 02:22 PM
I thought Gretz wrote this article a couple days ago.

04-05-2005, 02:23 PM
The ****ing headlines are HORRENDOUS...

04-05-2005, 02:27 PM
The ****ing headlines are HORRENDOUS...

I kinda like how they use the word "Will" in the headline to mean "motivation" but also because it's "Will" Shields' first name, and the articles are about him. Pretty clever.

keg in kc
04-05-2005, 02:30 PM
The only question left is Will they run out of cheesy headlines before he makes up his mind.

04-05-2005, 02:37 PM
So do Gretz and Rand sit in the same room thinking of new ways to say the same EXACT thing over and over again? Hacks!

04-05-2005, 02:44 PM
Other than JoPo the Star is just incest and 2nd day news...

04-05-2005, 02:47 PM
So do Gretz and Rand sit in the same room thinking of new ways to say the same EXACT thing over and over again? Hacks!

Yes, as do most professional journalists and the posters around here.

04-05-2005, 02:50 PM
I'll bet he plays one more season than calls it quits.

Think we're pissed off that Carl can't win a freaking post-season game (note: Montana exception) and lost faith in the FO imagine how guys like Shields must feel.

Mr. Laz
04-05-2005, 04:18 PM
if the chiefs want shield to play the best thing they can do is have great offseason and get shields excited about having a REAL chance to win a super bowl.

they haven't done enough so far :shake:

04-05-2005, 04:29 PM
The ****ing headlines are HORRENDOUS...

:thumb: Pathetic!

04-05-2005, 05:00 PM
And you can bet when he says he's staying, or when he's made it known he's retiring....

"KC's O line WILL be back..." or some other retarded crap.