Former Denver Bronco Trevor Pryce has a piece in the New York Times today discussing his retirement. In short, he is bored, terribly bored.
Now my Mondays go something like this: Work on my tennis serve; take a conference call with a Hollywood executive; get my three children to school; browse my favorite Web sites, none of them involving football; check my Words With Friends; and take the dog to day care.
By then, it’s only 10:30 a.m.
Welcome to the life of the secure and utterly bored former professional athlete.
The last thing I need is anybody feeling sorry for me. I’m retired at 36. I’m still in shape, I still run fast and I’m injury free.
So how did I arrive at this place, where the days run together, where sleep is so abundant that I can’t remember the last time I felt tired?
These days, the Retired NFL Player beat is mostly lawsuits and Tau proteins, Pryce's almost whimsical ennui is an odd change of pace. It's not all sleeping in and Words with Friends, though.
Now I find myself in music chat rooms arguing the validity of Frank Zappa versus the Mars Volta. (If the others only knew Walkingpnumonia was the screen name for a former All-Pro football player and not some Oberlin College student trying to find his place in the world.) I wrote a book. I set sail on the picturesque and calming waters of Bodymore, Murdaland. And when I’m in dire straits, I do what any 8-year-old does; I kick a soccer ball against the garage hoping somebody feels sorry and says, "Hey, want to play?"
I think Pryce is underselling this. I don't mean to make light of the challenges NFL players face in retirement, but arguing on the internet is terribly unproductive on the best of days. Arguing about the Mars Volta is a depth I'm not sure he's fully considered. I hope that now that he's exposed himself in the media, some well-meaning moderator some where bans him, for his own sake, leaving him to consider the expanse of time in front of him and the existential tumbleweeds of wealth and good health.