Rashard Mendenhall Retired. Quietly.

March 9, 2014 at 7:12p    by Ramzy Nasrallah    
I-L-L
Photo: Dynasty Football Warehouse
55 Comments

Former Illinois pain-in-the-ass Rashard Mendenhall has retired from the NFL. He didn't hold a press conference because, in his words, he "didn't want to have to say things that were cliché."

Mendenhall wrote about his decision, which is both reasonable and poignant. For starters, he seems to have a refreshing lack of vanity:

The fact that I was done playing would've been clear once some time had passed...maybe people would've thought I couldn't get another job. Either way, I was okay with the idea of fading to black, and my legacy becoming "What ever happened to that dude Rashard Mendenhall?"

Second, he's accomplished everything he's wanted to professionally. At this point he's just building more of an NFL pension he may or may not need (Mendenhall made about $15MM in just salary since leaving Illinois in 2008). What's he missing?

I've been to two Super Bowls; made a bunch of money; had a lot of success; traveled all over the country and overseas; met some really cool people; made lasting relationships; had the opportunity to give back to causes close to my heart; and have been able to share my experiences and wisdom with friends, family and people all over the world.

Save for the Super Bowls, most people don't get that in their entire careers let alone by age 26. Finally, it is clear that Mendenhall is a bit of a throwback where the business of sports entertainment is concerned:

 When I came up, teammates fought together for wins and got respect for the fight. The player who gave the ball to the referee after a touchdown was commended; the one who played through injury was tough; the role of the blocking tight end was acknowledged; running backs who picked up blitzing linebackers showed heart; and the story of the game was told through the tape, and not the stats alone. That was my model of football.

Today, game-day cameras follow the most popular players on teams; games are analyzed and brought to fans without any use of coaches tape; practice non-participants are reported throughout the week for predicted fantasy value; and success and failure for skill players is measured solely in stats and fantasy points.

My older brother coaches football at the high-school and youth level. "These kids don't want to work hard. All they wanna do is look cool, celebrate after plays, and get more followers on Instagram!"

Mendenhall walks away from an NFL contract that would likely pay him $2-3MM this season. Literally, walks - which he'll appreciate a lot more after another 26 years.


55 Comments

Comments

JollyFatMan's picture

Good man. 

How firm thy friendship..

+3 HS
bucked up's picture

hes an idiot. He once compared playing in the NFL to slavery. He also said some idiotic things after Bin Laden was killed
 

+5 HS
Johnny-Shane_Utah-Falco's picture

LOL at anybody who would downvote this comment.

Bucked Up is 100% correct. 

Mendenhall voiced support for bin Laden. That's all you need to know about this wackjob.

TheBadOwl's picture

Those are some controversial viewpoints, but regardless, I think walking away from the NFL as a 26-year-old after making $15 million and keeping your health is a pretty great decision.

When I walked in this morning and saw the flag was at half mast I thought, "Alright, another bureaucrat ate it." but then I saw it was Li'l Sebastian. Half mast is too high. Show some damn respect.

+8 HS
IH8UOFM's picture

I totally forgot that was him until reading this post.

+1 HS
gumtape's picture

A complicated man. Can't fault him for walking away though.

just another psycho, irrational, delusional Ohio St fan

+3 HS
Chief B1G Dump's picture

Cant knock him for that. Sometimes people burn out and/or dont care as much as the fans do...
Best of luck Rashard.

+1 HS
Johnny-Shane_Utah-Falco's picture

Interesting fellow...hope he doesn't join al Queda though

+4 HS
Crumb's picture

Yeah I've hated him ever since he started with the whole 9/11 was a hoax crap.

"The only good thing about it is winning the d*** thing" - Urban Meyer on The Game The War

+7 HS
route4buckeye's picture

Remember when downvoting wasn't supposed to be for posts you simply don't agree with.

-2 HS
CC's picture

No, but I remember calling my best friend as he was yelling "I'm running to central park, I'm running to central park, I'll call you later"

GFY

-1 HS
Denny's picture

Remember when downvoting wasn't supposed to be for posts you simply don't agree with.

Better yet, I remember when the commentariat here didn't talk about bullshit 9/11 hoaxes and then cry foul because they rightly get down voted, but that's just me showing my e-age.

Taquitos.

+5 HS
route4buckeye's picture

Do you have any proof that it wasn't a hoax? If not, then your opinion is bullshit as well.

-10 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Do you have any proof that it wasn't a hoax? If not, then your opinion is bullshit as well.

I was coming off a mid-watch when the NSA was evacuated & volunteered to stay on with the skeleton crew who remained in the building. After I was finally relieved I drove to the Pentagon to pick up a Marine I had served with.

He was stranded because his car was blocked by emergency vehicles. He had spent his morning helping evacuate the injured & pulling out dead bodies before the fire reached them. He had arrived to work late that morning after taking his wife to a doctor's appointment and was walking across the lot when the plane impacted the building.

He watched it as it came across the highway.

So please understand that I am being quite sincere when I say that you are shamefully ignorant and have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

+5 HS
route4buckeye's picture

Thanks for the story. But I'll keep my opinion that is was a hoax and you can keep yours that it wasn't. Upvote for you.
 

-8 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Oh I wasn't expecting to change your mind. I understand that your beliefs aren't based on logical thought and regardless of what evidence you're presented with you'll just mold it fit your preconceived world view. Just don't fool yourself into believing that all 'opinions' have equal value.

+3 HS
TheBadOwl's picture

Lutefisk, I believe your story, and I'm not one who believes that 9/11 was a hoax in any way. Even so, kinda tough to get mad at a guy like Route4Buckeye who takes anecdotal evidence from a stranger on the internet with a grain of salt.

When I walked in this morning and saw the flag was at half mast I thought, "Alright, another bureaucrat ate it." but then I saw it was Li'l Sebastian. Half mast is too high. Show some damn respect.

+1 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

+1 Bad Owl. You are of course absolutely right. My first hand experiences with the events of that day aside, I have a very low tolerance for people who believe nonsense. It doesn't matter if it's 9/11 truthers, the anti-vaccination crowd, moon landing deniers, young earthers or someone who believes that a Jamaican snake oil salesman cured Magic Johnson of AIDS...I treat them all the same.

We have moved into an era where people are being continuously with information & large amounts of it are either incorrect or intentionally deceptive. Unfortunately during that same time period critical thinking skills & the ability to differentiate between good and bad sources of information have atrophied. That's a dangerous combination.

People read a blog or see a single study quoted in an article & suddenly believe it's fact without ever taking the time to fact check or read studies that produce differing results. We've become a society of the ill informed who at the same time view themselves as 'experts'.

All that being said..I freely admit I am particularly sensitive to the disinformation spread regarding the events 11 September 01. Having been personally involved with the lines of communication and witnessing first hand a portion of the actual destruction and pain it caused I tend to find those who try to deceive the gullible to be particularly repugnant, and no I have no pity for the willfully gullible....especially those who have the audacity to ask others to prove a negative when the burden of proof is upon them as the ones making outrageous claims.

BTW remember that first hand observation is an actual data point. My friend was far from the only witness of the aircraft hitting the Pentagon. There are dozens of witnesses whose stories corroborate his experiences. There are even more like myself who saw the aircraft debris in and around the crash site. The number who saw the physical damage to the building in the days after likely runs in the tens of thousands. That is just for one of the crash sites. The witnesses in New York were innumerable.

+1 HS
Johnny-Shane_Utah-Falco's picture

Denny is right.

Route4 --- explain to us how it was a hoax, please.

+1 HS
Denny's picture

Denny is right.

Well, of course.

Taquitos.

+2 HS
AndyVance's picture

Better yet, I remember when the commentariat here didn't talk about bullshit 9/11 hoaxes and then cry foul because they rightly get down voted, but that's just me showing my e-age.

Ah Denny, those were the days - halcyon days of our youth, really.

+1 HS
Denny's picture

All I want to do is talk to Johnny about eating horse meat on this here sportsball webiste and instead I see people talking about 9/11 hoaxes wtf

Taquitos.

+1 HS
AndyVance's picture

You radical idealist you.

+1 HS
Patriot4098's picture

The 911 hoax stuff isn't pro AQ, it's anti - government. I don't think you will see his face on any 'wanted' postings. And no, I'm not a believer of the hoax.

With that said, I am glad to see him bow out.

"Evil shenanigans!"     - Mac

+7 HS
TheBadOwl's picture

Honestly, I'm pretty sure that everyone holds at least one extremely unpopular opinion.

When I walked in this morning and saw the flag was at half mast I thought, "Alright, another bureaucrat ate it." but then I saw it was Li'l Sebastian. Half mast is too high. Show some damn respect.

+3 HS
Buckeyevstheworld's picture

at least one extremely unpopular opinion.

I'm not a fan of bacon, and I think Seinfeld is overrated. Do I win?

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

+1 HS
Whoa Nellie's picture

You Bastard!

“Don’t fear criticism. The stands are full of critics. They play no ball. They fight no fights. They make no mistakes because they attempt nothing. Down on the field are the doers, they make mistakes because they attempt many things.”

Knarcisi's picture

Might have been my anti-Steeler sentiment, but never thought he ran hard in the NFL. 

+1 HS
Johnny-Shane_Utah-Falco's picture

I remember Ray Lewis broke Mendenhall's collarbone on MNF, in Mendenhall's rookie season. 

That was crazy.

I highly dislike both the Ravens and the Steelers, but that's a great rivalry.

Colerain 2004 G.O.A.T.'s picture

Im sure his kids and grand children will all appreciate him just walking away 20 years down the line when his family name is scrapping and clawing just to make ends meet. They will be so thankful of him to just turn that  3mill a year down and take a curtsy. Maybe my love for my children is too great that it blinds me to some decisions.Like Eddie and Charlie Murphy once said "The NFL should have never gave the Mendenhalls money"

I speak the truth but I guess that's a foreign language to yall.~~Lil Wayne

-4 HS
rdubs's picture

If his kids are scraping by 20 years from now I have to wonder why they are still mooching off their parents at 20+ years old.  Also if he has anything saved from the millions he has already earned, he should be fine.  And lastly, he is 26, likely has a college degree with a bunch of high power connections.  If he works hard at all, he should have no problem making decent money.  What an ignorant post.

+10 HS
osu_chris's picture

I don't know about you, but the gratitude I have for my parents and grandparents has nothing to do with how much money they have to give me.

+7 HS
alust2013's picture

Yes, it's great when people have money to give to their kids and grandkids, and as long as he doesn't just do nothing and waste the money he has, he will. That said, he doesn't owe anyone anything.

...and Michigan still sucks.

+2 HS
Denny's picture

Im sure his kids and grand children will all appreciate him just walking away 20 years down the line when his family name is scrapping and clawing just to make ends meet.

If he's alive to spend time with them rather than dead from brain injury, I bet they will. 

JK/LOL family is only about inheritance

Taquitos.

+3 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

If he's alive to spend time with them rather than dead from brain injury, I bet they will.

My thoughts as well. I'm sure Junior Seau's kids are much happier that their dad brought home those extra 15 years of NFL money than they would be if he had retired early and were still alive.

BuckeyeDale's picture

I'm glad he's gone.  But I doubt anyone will ask, ' cause who the HEKK cares what happens to him?

 
BuckeyeDale
GO BUCKS!!

AndyVance's picture

Wow, this thread is the perfect example of "haters gonna hate." I'd forgotten the 9/11 stuff, and yeah, that was the height of dumb/aggravating. But as for the rest of it, sounds like the dude bowed out with a little bit of class, and actually made some pretty great observations about the state of the game and its "highlight reel" culture today.

+7 HS
BucksFan2000's picture

As a Steelers fan, I wish he had retired before fumbling against Green Bay in the Super Bowl, when they were driving for the lead.

I can't judge him personally, but one of the worst draft decisions by the current Steelers regime, in a draft that has to rank as one of the worst in their history.

+2 HS
Johnny-Shane_Utah-Falco's picture

Well, I gotta say -- Cam Heyward is looking like a beast for your team.

Wish the Bengals would have drafted him.

 

+1 HS
BucksFan2000's picture

I'd say the coaching staff took things a little too slowly with him, but he's finally a starter and producing in a big way.  You're right, he is a beast right now.  The defense has gotten old, but he's a bright spot.

DJ Byrnes's picture

How old was Mendenhall when he said that stuff? 22? 23? Sheesh, you guys are pretty vindictive about stuff a guy tweeted years ago as a young man. He's walking away from millions of dollars at age 26 to maintain his health. He's obviously no idiot.

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

Johnny-Shane_Utah-Falco's picture

I usually like what DJ has to say, but I wish I could downvote this. No +1, this deserves a - 1.

It wasn't like he was 15 or 16. He was like 24! A grown-ass man.

And, that's not all the stupid things he's said ... there's been more.

And, lastly but most importantly --- it wasn't like he said something foolish like "ice cream is terrible, i hate ice cream". No, he f-ng defended BIN LADEN!

Come on, big difference in saying something a little controversial...and just bat-shit crazy. It's BIN LADEN & al QUEDA! Sorry, but that's something you can't forget or easily forgive.

-1 HS
Johnny-Shane_Utah-Falco's picture

I think it was only less than 3 years ago.

+1 HS
BucksFan2000's picture

If you had scrolled through his Twitter timeline at the time, you'd have seen dozens of examples of things you'd have been surprised by.  The AQ stuff got the attention because it was so controversial, but as a Steelers fan he said plenty of things that I felt were embarrassing/shameful.  Maybe those tweets are still there, I'm not going to bother to check.

As I've said - I don't know the guy personally, but all the evidence I've seen has the needle pointing a lot closer to "idiot" than "not an idiot".

I think I can speak for all Steelers fans when I say I'm glad we have Bell now.

+2 HS
Mortc15's picture

As a steeler fan, I was not in any way upset when they let this dude walk. He never seemed to fully be into football and didn't seem to play with heart and passion much. I have to think most high level execs shared this feeling because very few teams went after him in free agency, with his former OC being the one to sign him in Zona.

 

Buck-I4Life

+2 HS
lamplighter's picture

I  just hope the Stillers don't get Carlos

Johnny-Shane_Utah-Falco's picture

unlikely because they took Bell from MSU last year as a high draft pick...but, man, could you imagine Bell & Hyde as a 1-2 punch in the NFL ... Hyde yo kids!

+2 HS
danbrown7665's picture

no way he would have made 2-3 million dollars. he would have made his Minimum salary or been like Beanie Wells and not drawn any interest especially considering the market of veterans like Chris Johnson, Darren Sproles, Darren McFadden, Ben Tate, Michael Bush, etc.

"limitations, like fears are often just illusions"
-Michael Jordan, the greatest athlete of all time
 

+1 HS
okiebuck's picture

The smartest and best ever retirement from the NFL was none other Buckeye great; John Frank. He won the Super Bowl and walked away; returned to TOSU and went to medical school and today is a great suregon at TOSU Medical Center.

"Fate has cards that it don't want to show"

+2 HS
Kennywayne34's picture

Fantasy Football is ruining the NFL for me personally . Stats, stats, stats, everyone is a football expert now.Guys who couldnt even sit the bench on a team on any level knows more than everyone now( so they think.) Vomit. Not sure about any 911 comments or do I care.But these comments on retiring are more than refreshing to me. Plus I'm partial to #34's. Sweetness, Guap, etc

route4buckeye's picture

Murica. I hate them conspiracy theorists. God forbid someone have a differing opinion than you.

-2 HS