Quitting right at the spot
author: Jacob Nelson | staff writer
That’s it, huh? / Chris J. Nelson Via Wickimedia
Winners never quit, and quitters never win
The sporting world was delivered a memorable sporting retirement on Sept. 16. Bills Cornerback Vontae Davis announced his retirement… at halftime. Yes, the 30-year-old decided that enough was enough and left his teammates and organization only a few weeks into the NFL regular season, citing that the sport was making a huge impact on his health and he wanted to make sure he did what was best for his family.
Leaving the game due to physical and mental health should not come as a surprise to NFL fans. Over the years many players have been forced to leave the game due to injuries. Players like Johnathan Franklin and Ryan Shazier have both been forced to leave the game due to spinal injuries. I mean, there’s a reason the NFL has been tagged the “Not-for-Long” league. The average career in the NFL is only about three years now, and with things like performance-enhancing drugs becoming more and more accessible, the size and speed of players will only grow, and injuries will only become more frequent. But, this isn’t the first time an athlete has up and quit mid-game. So, let’s look at some the other ones.
In 1995 the baseball world saw 3-time all-star selection John Kruk take himself out of the game after hitting a single for the Chicago White Sox, dragging himself to first base, and promptly retire due to chronic knee soreness. In 2014, Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace left his game against the New York Jets just before half time and told then coach Joe Philbin that he didn’t want to play in the game anymore. Even weirder, Wallace didn’t participate in the post-game press conference, and instead had one of his teammates stand in front of him and answer reporters. A more admirable one was when Formula One driver Niki Lauda quit the Japanese Grand Prix, the last race of the year, two laps in due to weather conditions stating, “My life is worth more than a title.” What made this notable was the fact that not too long before, Lauda was involved in a horrific crash that left him with severe burn scars to his head.
However, my number one athlete quitting moment is a tie between Mike Tyson and Patrick Roy. In 2005, Tyson would step into the boxing ring against underdog Kevin McBride. After almost having his arm broken by Tyson, McBride exhausted Tyson to the point where Tyson ended up on the mat by the 6th round. Although the fight had not finished, Tyson left his stool and gave McBride the win, ending Tyson’s boxing career.
Montreal Canadiens goaltender Patrick Roy, however, was a little more dramatic. After letting in 9 goals from the Detroit Red Wings, Roy was pulled from the game. The Canadiens would go on to lose 11-1. After being pulled, Roy went up to Canadiens president Ronald Corey and told him it was Roy’s last game in Montreal; Roy was traded four days later.
Whether its injury or anger, athletes have found plenty of reasons to leave games, and thankfully have made it pretty entertaining for us to watch.