Shutdown Corner - NFL

Rick Reilly's most recent column at ESPN.com is about Kurt Warner(notes), whether or not he'll retire, and how he's making that decision. The headline? "The end is near."

So yeah, that rips away any suspense the column may have held. But really, Kurt's been hammering away at that suspense himself for a long time now. He's been sounding like a guy who wants to retire, and judging from the following quote, he's a guy who really wants to retire:

Brenda Warner -- the most quotable wife in the NFL -- has said the decision is between "Kurt and God." What does that mean, exactly?

"It means I pray that God takes away the desire in me to play this game," he says. "I've loved it for so long. I need Him to take that away from me, so that I can be comfortable with this decision."

Now, I'm not Kurt Warner's spiritual advisor -- he's asked me to be on several occasions, but I've repeatedly turned him down -- but if I were, here's what I'd tell him: The fact that you're praying to God to make you not want to play football anymore is probably, in and of itself, a pretty good indication that you don't want to play football anymore.

The guy loves playing football, and that's great. But that love is sort of the double-edged sword of being a great athlete. On one hand, the love and passion for playing are what makes him great at it. On the other hand, the love and passion are also what makes it so hard to walk away. For an example, see any great athlete who has retired, ever. It's not easy for anyone.

I might be wrong, but I don't think the day is coming when Kurt Warner wakes up and just doesn't love football anymore. That doesn't happen. He's just got to weigh that love against the costs, and make the right decision for himself.

I agree with Rick Reilly. It seems pretty clear which way he's leaning.

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