I see the writing on the wall with the Kam Chancellor neck injury situation, and it reminds me that all good things must come to an end eventually. A lot of coaches, fans, and even players are craving to see the Enforcer step on the field one more time. Health over football sounds like an easy logical choice, right? WRONG!
It’s not that simple. Especially for a player in the prime of his career, who made a decent living for himself and had the opportunity to retire his mother Ms. Karen for life. It would be a hard decision for me to make as well. The only difference is I’ve never reached the level of success in the NFL as Chancellor has.
I feel like it’s hypocritical of myself and others to tell a grown man what he should do when we’re not assisting the situation, but here’s my prospective:
In high school I attended and played at nationally-ranked powerhouse DeSoto in Texas. Also known as “DeSoto U” for sending 18+ kids to college on scholarships every year. I had a teammate and good friend of mine Corey Borner, who made a routine tackle on a bubble screen that left him paralyzed from the neck down and confined to a wheelchair.
That play changed my Ideology about football and what’s really important in life within six seconds. For the record, “Lil Corey” — that is what we call him — is thriving and has recovered significantly since that moment in 2009. Here’s a quick video and ESPN article.
Chancellor’s case is different, but with having a career-threatening neck injury like that he could be one play away from himself being in a horrible situation like Corey. Should he take a chance? Ask yourself as you’re reading this article, would you? Is playing a “Game” of football worth it? Yes, this game has change many players circumstances financially but ... What about the little things we as people do on the daily that football has nothing to do with?
That also is taken for granted.
Walking our dog, playing with our kids, cooking dinner, fishing, or even praying, if that’s what works for you. A game just isn’t worth it in my opinion. If Chancellor gets cleared and does decide to play, I hope he has his family blessings. I’m almost certain he will.
Hypothetically, if 2017 is the last we’ve seen of Chancellor, I’m going to go out on a limb and say his shoes will be harder to fill than Richard Sherman’s. It’s going to take years to replace his attitude, energy, mannerisms, and versatility. Not saying that Sherman is replaceable, but I think it’s harder to draft or sign great safeties vs great cornerbacks in the NFL. Guys of his nature are once in a lifetime players.
It’s rare that you find a 6’3 225 lb strong safety that has to be accounted for before the ball is even snapped. Kam changed the game.
Chancellor could play in any era, leather helmets and all. Before you read this next sentence make sure your’e not driving or in a crucial story mode play on Madden: I believe we’re watching the greatest strong safety to ever play in the NFL. Thats right I said exactly what you just read. There’s no player body-wise and skillset-wise that you can compare him to other than the late great Sean Taylor, who happens to be the G.O.A.T. in my humble opinion.
If in fact 2017 is the last we’ve seen from the Enforcer, it was like watching a technician at its finest. No more talk, enjoy the breakdown.