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Is Playing In The NFL Really Worth 10 To 15 Years Of Extra Life As One Player Just Suggested?

Submitted by on December 16, 2014 – 2:29 pmNo Comment

It must be pretty amazing to play in the NFL. Every year, there are millions of young players who try to do it. But only a select few get to take the field on Sundays (and Mondays…and Thursdays…and sometimes Saturdays) to play professional football at the highest level. So we get why a guy like Chicago Bears safety Chris Conte loves playing the NFL so much.

But playing pro football is both a gift and a curse. It’s a gift because it affords guys the opportunity to play a sport that they love in exchange for lots and lots of money. But it’s also a curse because football puts every single player’s health at risk and often takes years off of their lives. So it was a little bit surprising to hear Conte talk about how he believes playing in the NFL is worth 10 to 15 years of extra life during a pre-game radio interview prior to the Bears/Saints game last night.

“I’d rather have the experience of playing in the NFL and die 10 to 15 years earlier than not play in the NFL and have a long life,” he said. “I don’t really look forward to my life after football. I’ll figure things out when I get there. As long as I outlive my parents.”

It’s a troubling statement and something that should make NFL fans and NFL executives sit up and take note. Because while playing pro football is great and all, it’s a little disturbing—er, make that very disturbing—to hear a guy say that he’d essentially trade years of his life away to play football. And it’s even more disturbing when you consider that Conte has suffered a number of concussions in recent years. Those concussions could literally cost him years of his life and make it difficult for him to function once he retires from the game of football for good.

At this point, the NFL is doing everything it can to make the game of football as safe as possible. But the league needs to continue to preach safety and speak with guys like Conte about valuing their health more. Otherwise, the league might be in a world of trouble in a few years. Because after hearing what Conte just had to say, what parent in their right mind would ever let their kid start playing football in 2014?

What do you think about Chris Conte’s thoughts on playing in the NFL? Do you applaud him for being honest or do you think he should be more careful about what he says about pro football as it pertains to safety?

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