Before I say anything else, Rest In Peace Rob Bironas. You had an excellent first name and I'm sure you contributed to my fantasy team once or twice the last few years. Going strictly off my, sometimes flawed, memory I remember you being a very good kicker. You don't last 8 years with one team by accident. I think the take away here is that is sucks to be an ex-NFL kicker. Especially an ex-NFL kicker that got cut just a year and change removed from signing a 2 year deal worth roughly 3.3 million a season. For those that don't know, that's insane money for a kicker.
I am pretty sure the picture above perfectly encapsulates the look that Bironas had had on his face since he was cut, subsequently costing him millions of dollars. He was a millionaire football player that was counted on 2, maybe 3 times a game and had got to spend a majority of his life hanging around the best athletes in the world. Granted, I would imagine kickers don't usually garner much respect, but he probably had carved his niche into that locker given his 8 year run as a Titan. That sounds like a sick life. Kicker that makes way too much money, and has the least physically exerting job in sports. He probably thought he could be a kicker well into his 40's.
My feeling on this is Rob was not a happy man since the day he got cut. My assumption would be every little thing annoyed him and we was battling some inner demons. The reports of him being 'drunk or on drugs' support that, as well his wife reporting him missing that night. The crash happened a Saturday night. I don't think it was a coincidence that the next day was a football Sunday. It is well know that ex professional athletes sometime have a tough time adapting to the 'real world' after retirement. Sure, the millions of dollars ease the pain, but nothing can replace that thrill of having to kick with the game on the line.
I guess the take away here is that I feel bad for him and his family. It's easy to say he had an easy life. He had plenty of money and had a hell of a career. However, going from having some amount of fame and a fun workplace to jobless and unknown is a big change. Also, never get behind the wheel when your demons will be driving the car.
We won't forget Rob….