We broke all the rules.
You're not supposed to get too attached to your city and state. We did.
You're not supposed to buy a house. We did.
You're not supposed to trust coaches and personnel. We did.
You're not supposed to let football become your family. We did.
And guess what? We would do it all over again.
These "rules" have been passed down from former football families who have already been through it all. And they're there for good reason. They're there because they're all accurate. They're in place to protect ourselves-- so we don't get more hurt than we already have to, so we don't get offended, so we stay strong, so we stay guarded. Because if you follow these then you'll be in the best scenario you can place yourself in. But you know what? You also won't get to fully live this crazy, amazing, wonderful, scary, messed up, fabulous, lucky life we've been chosen to live.
Can you trust the owner, GM, coaches, and front office? No.
Is it smart to rent because you never have real stability? Yes.
Are the only people you can truly count on your family? Yes.
But, despite knowing these facts, despite feeling like we've been through it all in the NFL in six years, despite being hurt, despite being screwed over countless times, despite injuries, despite the politics of the NFL... we would do it all again.
Football may not be your family, but your friends in football are your family. Your teammates are your family. You spend countless holidays together like family. You are there for each other through thick and thin like family. You "just get each other" like family. And I could NOT be more grateful to my football family, that I don't even call my football family anymore -- they're simply family.
I'm here to say yes, all of the rules that are in place that have been passed down for generations are all 100% there for a reason. And if you haven't learned them for yourself yet, you unfortunately will at one point in your career. I'm also here to say break them. Because when it all aligns for that limited amount of time, whether it's for a year or a few years-- it's magical, priceless, and a time you would never take back.