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Chargers guard Kris Dielman will retire today; wants to focus on “quality of life”

  • Tad Johnson

In a league that has been focusing recently on being aware of concussions and their effects on players, a four-time Pro-Bowler has ended his career early in an extremely eye opening and brave move. Kris Dielman, who has been a part of the San Diego Chargers starting offensive line since 2005, has decided to retire after a concussion ended his season. The reasons that he gave were probably surprising, though touching at the same time.In a tearful press conference, Dielman announced his retirement today. After being sidelined for the season after a concussion in the October 23rd game against the Jets, the Pro-Bowler decided to leave the game that he loved to “focus on my quality of life and my family”. In an era of players having little to no commitment to children or wives (I’m looking at you Antonio Cromartie), a man that gives up the game he loves for a family that he loves more is something that should be admired and respected.

After his concussion and a subsequent seizure on the team’s flight back to San Diego, Dielman was placed on IR and his season ended prematurely. Dielman was a player that was admired by coaches and fellow players. Chargers president Dean Spanos was quoted as saying:

“He’s a throwback. An old-school player. All he cares about is his family and playing football. Today he’s making family his top priority, as it should be, and I respect him tremendously for that.”

Dielman in a game against the in-state/division rival Oakland Raiders

Dielman was a four time Pro-bowler and a member of the San Diego Charger’s 50th anniversary all-time team. After being picked up as undrafted free agent by the Chargers in 2003, he became a starter in 2005. He played 97 of his first 100 games, only missing three due to injury before the concussion.

Unfortunately, players like Kris Dielman aren’t reported on as much as they should be. In his place are headlines about players being convicted of felonies, players getting suspended for PED’s, and players demanding more money in return for their skills.  It’s sad when you think about it. In an era where concussions are a big issue and the NFL is trying their best to raise awareness, this man walked away under his own power. The NFL should be praising this man for saying, “I love football, but my health is more important.”

Dielman cried while he announced his retirement, and personally watching such a large man get emotional was very moving. He released a statement saying:

“I love this game. I’ve given it everything I have. It’s time for me to focus on my future and my quality of life. I want to thank the Spanos family and the Chargers for giving me the opportunity in the NFL. Because they believed in me, I was able to realize a dream and for that I will be forever grateful.”

I’d just like to take a moment and say thank you to Kris Dielman for putting things in perspective today. If you take anything out of this article, it’s that you should love your family above all else, no matter what.

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Tad Johnson

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