Former Steeler Randle-el regrets playing football.
My heart goes out to the guy.
Antwaan Randle El regrets football over issues
4:01 PM ET
ESPN.com news services
Antwaan Randle El says he regrets playing football, in part because the 36-year-old now has difficulty walking down the stairs.
"I have to come down sideways sometimes, depending on the day," Randle El said in a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story on former Steelers Super Bowl winners. "Going up is easier actually than coming down."
Randle El was a hybrid player before it was made popular by the Tim Tebows of the world. He was an elite quarterback at Indiana before being drafted as a wide receiver by the Steelers in 2002. He was an All-Pro in 2005 and became the only wideout to throw a TD pass in a Super Bowl in 2006.
Antwaan Randle El throws a touchdown in Super Bowl XL. Allen Kee/NFLPhotoLibrary
Despite that success, he wishes he wouldn't have chosen football.
"If I could go back, I wouldn't," he said to the Post-Gazette. "I would play baseball. I got drafted by the Cubs in the 14th round, but I didn't play baseball because of my parents. They made me go to school. Don't get me wrong, I love the game of football. But right now, I could still be playing baseball."
Randle El says he has mental limitations to go with his physical issues.
"I ask my wife things over and over again, and she's like, 'I just told you that,'" Randle El said to the newspaper. "I'll ask her three times the night before and get up in the morning and forget. Stuff like that. I try to chalk it up as I'm busy, I'm doing a lot, but I have to be on my knees praying about it, asking God to allow me to not have these issues and live a long life. I want to see my kids raised up. I want to see my grandkids."
Since his retirement in 2012, Randle El has started a Christian high school in Virginia. At first the school had football, but funding issues forced it to cut the program. Families complained, and although Randle El understood where they were coming from, ultimately he was glad it worked out the way it did.
"The kids are getting bigger and faster, so the concussions, the severe spinal cord injuries, are only going to get worse," he said to the newspaper. "It's a tough pill to swallow because I love the game of football. But I tell parents, you can have the right helmet, the perfect pads on, and still end up with a paraplegic kid.
"There's no correcting it. There's no helmet that's going to correct it. There's no teaching that's going to correct it. It just comes down to it's a physically violent game. Football players are in a car wreck every week."
Prince, in you I found a kindred spirit...Rest In Paradise.