How Old Is Too Old In Professional Sports?
Posted by Nancy on January 31, 2012
Some of the activities that dominate the sporting world lend themselves to younger participants, those whose bodies are strong and agile. Sports such as hockey, football and rugby require a great deal of physicality and playing these sports aggressively can lead to some major wear and tear on the body. While an individual can presumably continue golfing or skiing into their later years, it seems less likely that one could put on a football jersey or basketball uniform and be able to perform to the level necessary to adequately compete. It is understandable that those who have been successful at their athletic pursuits have a hard time giving it up but to continue beating one’s body when it is no longer in it’s prime can lead to debilitating injury. We see that a reluctance to give it up can be especially true of those who have enjoyed fame and lucrative compensation as a result of their abilities. Many famous athletes retire only to return to their sport again and again before finally throwing in the towel for good. Muhammed Ali
gave up the sport of boxing several times before he finally hung up the boxing gloves for good at the age of 39. Michael Jordan, one of the most famous athletes to ever put on a professional basketball uniform found retirement to be difficult as did Brett Favre in the sport of football. Most people would probably agree that while it can be thrilling to watch people perform during their prime, it can be almost painful to watch them try to hang on when they are dealing with increasingly diminished skills. Like the Kenny Rogers song, The Gambler, states, “you’ve got to know when to hold them and know when to fold them”.