This morning, Matt Light finally delivered the message that we've been expecting all spring
As they say, he's walking away from the game while he still can, and leaves behind an undeniable legacy. He was Tom Brady's Blind Side. A cornerstone of the Patriots dynasty.
And while it's obviously a little sad to see Light hang them up, you can't help but be happy for the guy. Some players struggle with this kind of decision, but Light is very clearly at peace. He's really looking forward to his life after football.
If you didn't read his farewell message in this week's Monday Morning Quarterback, I highly recommend doing it now. (It's about halfway down the page).
Here's a quick excerpt:
"I didn't grow up wanting to play football. Never thought a college would pay for me to join their team. The draft was just a reason to throw a party and I'd never seen a pro football game in person until I played in one. Yet, this unbelievable journey has provided my family and I with more than we could ever ask for and the ability to help those around us. That is the biggest victory of my career and why I will forever be grateful to the Patriots organization and the NFL."
First of all, I think I know why it took so long for Light to announce his retirement he was writing this letter. (Or maybe I'm just saying that to compensate for insecurities about a professional football player being a gooder writer than I am). Second, just an unbelievably message from Light. Honest. Genuine. I feel like I understand him better at this moment, than I do any athlete in this city. Light completely reveals himself here (in a non-trench coat kind of way), and somehow comes across even more likable than he already was.
However, there's one slightly weird and unfortunate consequence to Light's retirement.
Tom Brady's now the only player left from Super Bowl XXXVI.
I know, I know. Kevin Faulk's still around. But he has as good a chance to make the team as you do. It's only a matter of time until he holds a press conference of his own.
Which leaves Brady as the lone wolf from that original ring, and as one of only four players to win any kind of ring in New England. (Other 3: Dan Koppen, Vince Wilfork and Deion Branch, who's no guarantee to make the team either).
In a way, it makes sense that there are so few champions left at Gillette. It's been seven years since the Pats won it all, and the length of the average NFL career is about 15 minutes. And at the same time, it's only fitting that Brady and Belichick are the only two dominant figures that remain from the night the Pats shocked the world in New Orleans.
Still, it's just crazy to think back on all that's happened and ultimately changed in the 10 years since. It makes me feel very old.
Not as old as Matt Light feels after 11 years of playing left tackle in the NFL, but here's to getting out before it's too late.
On that note, I'd like to announce my retirement from CSNNE.com.
Press conference coming tomorrow.