Chris Johnson and Lendale White's Advice to Young Running Backs: Don't Be a Running Back
Real Talk. I actually appreciate this. We all see the glitz and glamour involved with being a professional athlete, but we don't realize all that goes into it. Someone will always have it better than you. Whether you're working on Wall Street or making your living from playing a sport. There will always be someone that you would trade lives with.
What strikes me about this is that it wasn't them bitching and complaining about their career choice. Far too often athletes will come out and say some shit that just gives you the impression they are completely detached from reality. Off the top of my head, the Latrell Sprewell 'I've got my family to feed' quote, while he was making 14 million a year, comes to mind. Your average middle class family, who actually does have to respect money to keep food on the table, doesn't want to hear those outrageous proclamations.
Chris Johnson used to be an absolute monster. Had otherworldly talent. Was at the top of his craft for a good 3-4 years. Now he's 29 years old and basically an after thought on the Jets roster. The age of 30 is a death sentence for running backs. The physical toll that it takes on the body, and the requirements it entails, are like no other position in football. Do you know when men reach their physical peak? The answer is late 20's. Chris Johnson should be in his prime right now. The only reason he isn't is because of the wear and tear he has taken from the running back position. If he had become a corner at a young age there is no doubt a person with Johnson's abilities would still be a high quality cornerback in the NFL.
Lendale White's answer is equally as grounded. NFL athletes have to maintain top physical condition or they will soon become an afterthought. Prince Fielder has never met a donut he wouldn't have oral sex with and he's in the middle of a 9 year, 200 million dollar contract. Generally speaking, the body of a baseball player takes nowhere near the beating an NFL player does. The most important factor? Guaranteed contracts. Baseball players make astronomical amounts of money and it is all guaranteed. As an NFL player you can be a productive player with a nice contract and be out of the league a year later. Lendale White would know. The guy basically disappeared off the face of the planet in 2009. It's good to see he's still alive. Especially since he's been knocking on diabetes' door since his days at USC.
Basically I just liked how the two of them carried themselves in answering this question. The life of a running back isn't all touchdowns and end zone dances. It was nice to see them portray that while still maintaining that they love (loved in White's case) their jobs.
Off topic: Lendale White used to be known as 'bitch titties' in my college house. Can you blame us?
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