ARLINGTON, TX – FEBRUARY 06: Antwaan Randle El #82 of the Pittsburgh Steelers reacts during against the Green Bay Packers during the third quarter of Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium on February 6, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Antwaan Randle El will be remembered for his explosive speed, a 43 yard TD pass in Super Bowl XL against Seattle, and being one of the more underrated football players of the last decade. But looking back on his career, he now lives with regret about the career he spent in a game he loved. “I have to come down sideways sometimes, depending on the day,” Randle El, 36, said to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Going up is easier actually than coming down.”

He also revealed that he suffers from memory loss.

“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.”

He was an electric and versatile athlete playing quarterback at Indiana, becoming the first player in the history of Division I to both throw and rush for 40 TDs. He was also drafted in the 14th round of the 1997 MLB Draft by the Chicago Cubs and played for Bob Knight on Indiana’s basketball team, but pursued football instead. But now, he regrets the path and sport he chose.

“If I could go back, I wouldn’t [play football]” he said. “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’s story is sadly not uncommon among retired football players. And even despite the changes made at all levels of the game to make it safer, he has recommendations that even in today’s climate still sound radical, such as eliminating the sport at the high-school level.

“The kids are getting bigger and faster, so the concussions, the severe spinal cord injuries, are only going to get worse. 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.”

He ended his recollection of his career with a statement that many are beginning to echo.

“Right now, I wouldn’t be surprised if football isn’t around in 20, 25 years.”

[Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

About Matt Lichtenstadter

Recent Maryland graduate. I've written for many sites including World Soccer Talk,, Testudo Times, Yahoo's Puck Daddy Blog and more. Houndstooth is still cool, at least to me. Follow me @MattsMusings1 on Twitter, e-mail me about life and potential jobs at matthewaaron9 at Yahoo dot com.