June 19, 2024

When well-known athletes and coaches retire from competition, the public usually learns of their choice well in advance. Occasionally, though, these declarations take the public, press, and occasionally even their colleagues and peers off guard. Take a look at some of the most unexpected outcomes for coaches and players—even though, in some cases, it wasn’t *the* end.

Saints' celebrating Taysom Hill's historic versatility and ever-evolving  role | AP News

The fact that Belichick and the Patriots decided to part ways after the 2023 season isn’t very shocking. After the team’s poorest season in Belichick’s 24 years as manager (4-13), disintegration had been building for a few years. Even more startling was the fact that Belichick was passed over for the head coach position in the next round of hiring, partly because of his age and his apparent insistence on having total personnel control. It’s unclear what Belichick will do next, but it doesn’t seem likely that he will coach in the NFL once more at this point.

The 26-year-old Swedish star was at a press conference for a tournament in Bangkok, Thailand, answering a seemingly innocuous question, when he dropped a bombshell: He was retiring from competitive tennis. Borg cited a lack of desire to continue with a grueling playing schedule, and left the door open only for exhibition play. He did attempt a comeback in the early 1990s, but that was short-lived.

When All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis abruptly retired after the 2014 season due in part to a nagging toe injury, it seemed the team had his ready-made replacement already in-house. Borland, a 2014 third-round pick from Wisconsin, shined as a rookie, including a game where he filled in for an injured Willis and recorded 18 tackles. However, after just one season, he retired, citing concerns about head trauma and its effect later in life.

The late Browns great retired after the 1965 season, when he was just 30 years old, and presumably with years of good football left in front of him. He was the NFL’s all-time leading rusher when he hung up his spikes. Brown had already started an acting career, and when he was threatened by owner Art Modell with fines if he missed training camp, he decided to retire. It’s fair to wonder just how eye-popping his numbers would have been had he played a few more years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *