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Tony Gonzalez: I’ve had a great ride

NFC Championship - San Francisco 49ers v Atlanta Falcons Getty Images

The season ended for tight end Tony Gonzalez and the rest of the Falcons on Sunday afternoon.

Based on everything Gonzalez said over the course of the season, it’s also going to be the end of his career. Gonzalez has maintained a 95 percent answer for the likelihood that this would be his last year and he didn’t waver from that in the wake of the 28-24 loss to the 49ers. Gonzalez, who was clearly emotional on his way off the field, said it was likely his last day in a uniform and that he’d be leaving with a clear mind.

“I’ve had a great ride. It’s been awesome. I have no regrets,” Gonzalez said, via Jay Adams of the team’s website.

Gonzalez caught eight passes for 78 yards and a touchdown on Sunday, continuing a season that offered no hint that he’s retiring before being pushed out the door. It’s also offered few hints that Gonzalez was being swayed to continue playing.

Sunday’s loss seems like the kind of thing that could lead to a change in thoughts on that front, so it might be a while before we write anything in ink when it comes to Gonzalez’s status.

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57 Responses to “Tony Gonzalez: I’ve had a great ride”
  1. grendelg says: Jan 20, 2013 7:33 PM

    Well, the Falcons are where the Niners were last year… one play from the SB. Falcons can be back and in the SB next year, so I hope Gonzalez is swayed to make another run.

  2. fuglyflorio says: Jan 20, 2013 7:33 PM

    Luckily you got to play the Seahawks so you had a playoff win.

  3. FlyFromTheInside says: Jan 20, 2013 7:33 PM

    Easiest 1st ballot HOF vote ever

  4. scoops1 says: Jan 20, 2013 7:34 PM

    Adios Amigo…..

  5. datsaintbrees says: Jan 20, 2013 7:34 PM

    Atlanta Chokers!

  6. vikesfan320 says: Jan 20, 2013 7:34 PM

    Either decision he makes is a great one for him. He can still play, that much is obvious. But you gotta respect a guy who walks away on his own terms.

    Coming back next year just means one more shot at a Super Bowl, and that he’ll be in the Hall of Fame in six years instead of five.

  7. jakec4 says: Jan 20, 2013 7:34 PM

    Flip flopper. He’ll be back but then again with Matt Ryan at QB there might not be any point.

  8. reasonablemindsays says: Jan 20, 2013 7:34 PM

    Wow. How can this guy leave? He was dominant today, so it’s not like he doesn’t have any skills left. Maybe he just wants to spend more time with his family, in which case I support his decision.

  9. hor2012 says: Jan 20, 2013 7:35 PM

    Thanks Tony you’ve been great

  10. ripster65 says: Jan 20, 2013 7:35 PM

    Just saw his post-game interview on NFL Network. Total class…just (smh)…total class. It’ll be a shame if he doesn’t return. The NFL needs more guys like him.

  11. elwaysmilehighdenver says: Jan 20, 2013 7:37 PM

    Congrats Tony on a Hall of Fame career.
    Thanks for the NFL memories. The game will surely miss you.

  12. supremekingz says: Jan 20, 2013 7:37 PM

    One of the best right ends, currently and especially historically. Great guy

    (With a flawless looking wife too, lol)

  13. spearsnva says: Jan 20, 2013 7:37 PM

    Good ride, all things must end. His time is now.

    Enjoy your life post football.

  14. huskersrock1 says: Jan 20, 2013 7:37 PM

    Tony is rich and wants to walk when he is 70.

    Cheers to you Mr Gonzalez

  15. purpblooded says: Jan 20, 2013 7:37 PM

    He should give it another year. Ray Lewis should’ve retired before the National Anthem!

  16. fakefranknunley says: Jan 20, 2013 7:38 PM

    fluke…one and done…game manager…hairbow…inexperienced qb — things that were said about the NFC Champion 49ers!

  17. aceinthehole12 says: Jan 20, 2013 7:40 PM

    I’m a Niners fans so obviously I’m happy they’re advancing. Sad that Gonzalez’s career is coming to an end. Watching him play this year he for real has two good years left. I hope he reconsiders.

  18. bengalsstillsuck says: Jan 20, 2013 7:40 PM

    Great player

  19. 808ninerfan says: Jan 20, 2013 7:42 PM

    Enjoyed watching u play class act and dominant player future hof’er no doubt.

  20. nnagi says: Jan 20, 2013 7:46 PM

    no regrets? c’mon, you’ve never played in a super bowl…you’re still playing at a high level on a team with a lot of pieces in place, you should reconsider…

  21. theysone says: Jan 20, 2013 7:47 PM

    49ers fan here, thrilled that my team is headed to the big game for the first time in nearly 20 years, but Tony Gonzalez had yet another great game. It’s unfortunate he wasn’t able to get to the Superbowl. He’s been a great player, and a consummate professional for his entire career. I hope the “5 percent” overtakes the “95 percent” and he comes back next year.

  22. stevenwilliams2013 says: Jan 20, 2013 7:47 PM

    Thanks Tony for 16 years of wonderful playoff failures. Wish u the best!!!

  23. chiwizlive says: Jan 20, 2013 7:49 PM

    Die Hard Broncos fan here,if this is Tony’s last game it’s been great to watch you play I was rooting for you,your a “Class Act”

  24. thebigtim2012 says: Jan 20, 2013 7:49 PM

    I wish the networks focused on his retirement instead of ray. One was a class act one was involved in the death of a human being

  25. arrowhead816 says: Jan 20, 2013 7:55 PM

    Now he can sign the one day contract and retire as a Chief. Tony G arguably the best TE ever.

  26. theysone says: Jan 20, 2013 7:57 PM

    thebigtim2012 says: Jan 20, 2013 7:49 PM

    I wish the networks focused on his retirement instead of ray. One was a class act one was involved in the death of a human being
    ___________________________________
    Tony, being the classy guy he is, went about it quietly by going to work and putting in great performances throughout the season and into the playoffs.

    Ray, being the self-serving loud-mouth he is has been making a huge scene ever since he announced he’d be retiring.

    You’re right that it would’ve been nice for the networks to focus on Tony’s retirement…since he isn’t the kinda guy to jaw about it. Ray needed zero help from the media.

  27. goldrush36 says: Jan 20, 2013 8:03 PM

    Godspeed Tony. It was amazing to watch you play no matter how much I hated you today lol. Hopefully you change your mind though and decide to give it one more try. Still plays at an elite level

  28. daknight93 says: Jan 20, 2013 8:05 PM

    great career, it’s time to walk away on your own terms and enjoy life after football.

  29. mojosmagic says: Jan 20, 2013 8:08 PM

    Yes you did Tony, your ride was awesome.

  30. 7ftgriff says: Jan 20, 2013 8:08 PM

    Greatest TE of all time, not even close.

    would love to see him come back, he’s good for this league, is the ultimate example of what a football player should be.

  31. ilovefoolsball says: Jan 20, 2013 8:08 PM

    He was one of the best if not the best tight end ever. It’s just too bad he was never on a team that could get him to the Superbowl because he deserved it.

    Hopefully he will come back but just with a team that could contend in the postseason.
    I know people think that the Falcons are where the 49ers were last year but the problem is that Sean Payton won’t be suspended next year.

  32. aaronp2098 says: Jan 20, 2013 8:17 PM

    He was wide open on that 4th down. I’m pretty sure he even said as much when they showed him after the play on the sidelines when he was talking to R White. It seemed a lot of the Atlanta players were upset he threw it into coverage even if N Bowman was holding.

  33. madrid517 says: Jan 20, 2013 8:22 PM

    As a Niners fan, Tony G. is one of those guys you always wished you had on your team and always hated when you played against him. A gentleman and a class act. Good luck in the future Tony!

  34. lovetohate12 says: Jan 20, 2013 8:22 PM

    Look I hate the classless Falcons and their fans but this guy is awesome and I have a lot of respect for him. He is only the guy I feel bad for after todays outcome.

    on a side note, its probably best that the Falcoons didn’t win as I’m sure that bullets instead of eggs would have been used on their busses and fans.

    Hate

  35. coachstram says: Jan 20, 2013 8:23 PM

    Lost in all his stats and achievements, the fact he was a dominant special teams player his first couple years needs to be considered as well.

    I may be wrong, but I think he blocked 2 punts in one of those seasons…….if he is under contract-how can he retire and sign with KC, Atl would have to release him, right?

    Falcons inability to run the ball killed ‘em.

    He who runs, wins.

  36. banky74 says: Jan 20, 2013 8:28 PM

    What a player. Sad to see a great one leave when he’s still got gas in the tank but leaving now probably means he’s going to be able to get out of bed in the morning comfortably when he’s 50.

    Thanks for many great memories, Tony G.

  37. musicman495 says: Jan 20, 2013 8:31 PM

    FlyFromTheInside says: Jan 20, 2013 7:33 PM

    Easiest 1st ballot HOF vote ever
    ———————————–
    You mean as opposed to Jerry Rice or Emmitt Smith, or Dick Butkus, or Jim Brown, or Joe Montana? Tony Gonzales is a great player, but please don’t embarrass yourself.

  38. mydroopysack says: Jan 20, 2013 8:33 PM

    grendelg says:
    Jan 20, 2013 7:33 PM
    Well, the Falcons are where the Niners were last year… one play from the SB. Falcons can be back and in the SB next year, so I hope Gonzalez is swayed to make another run.

    ————————————

    I’m not in the business of rubbing things in, but it is NOT the same thing. The 49ers (Kyle Williams) made UNFORCED errors. The Niners were in a position to win in regulation before the first fumble and put in a losing position in overtime after the second fumble. The 49ers were winning when Kyle Williams fumbled the ball, leading to a game-tying score. The Falcons on the other handed needed to make a play on fourth down and couldn’t. The defense has something to do with that. They were not winning when they missed the throw.

    Of course, you could say the Falcons “gave it away” when they gave up a 17-point lead, but that is besides the point. The point is the Niners loss last year is not the same as the Falcons loss this year.

  39. west4420 says: Jan 20, 2013 8:36 PM

    Guys that give Tony a thumbs down are failures in their own lives and obviously never played the game.

  40. twfur says: Jan 20, 2013 8:37 PM

    Going to miss TG on my fant. teams, but wish him good luck going forward in life. Can’t say the same for R Lewis, because he already knows his fate..

  41. jrebar88 says: Jan 20, 2013 8:42 PM

    he is a free agent this offseason, bet he comes to Denver because he wants a ring.

  42. slumdog66 says: Jan 20, 2013 8:46 PM

    As a niner fan, this dude needs to play. He has at least 2 more years in him. Football version of teemu selanne.

  43. omegaichiban says: Jan 20, 2013 8:54 PM

    Would you like to win a Super Bowl? Yes Have you won a Super Bowl? No Do you have any regrets? No Tony, you’re lying…come back next year

  44. wealldat says: Jan 20, 2013 8:54 PM

    Congrats Tony you are a class act I would like to see you continue to play!!!!!!! Wish we had more players like you.

  45. thevelvetglove says: Jan 20, 2013 9:08 PM

    Can’t you see Jermichael Finley playing for Atlanta next year?

  46. Max says: Jan 20, 2013 9:45 PM

    Greatest ever!

  47. orivar says: Jan 20, 2013 10:11 PM

    Pretty much knew it was over for him when he didn’t get the ball on the 4th down. His body language and the look on his face just screamed done.

  48. gdeli says: Jan 20, 2013 10:18 PM

    All the best to you Tony, your a stud! ha

  49. riseabovecancer says: Jan 20, 2013 10:20 PM

    Think its time for Tony Gonzalez to head back to the Kansas City Chiefs and play a couple more years…Everybody knows when he was a tight end in Kansas City and time was winding down. You know who the quarterback threw the ball 2..

    Just shows you that Tony Gonzalez was just a fiddle faddle in Atlanta…

    Tony Gonzalez time for you to head home back to Kansas City who made you part of the game.

  50. lennydpocketqb says: Jan 20, 2013 10:26 PM

    Good guy, great career, and had a run in the NFL anyone would want to have… Kudos Tony.

  51. linemanguy74 says: Jan 20, 2013 10:34 PM

    2nd only to John McKay as best tight ever

  52. mbart94 says: Jan 20, 2013 11:50 PM

    Class act. As a football fan, I will miss seeing you play. Way more class than that it’s all about me guy in Baltimore that is going to retire too.

  53. brizz5606 says: Jan 21, 2013 7:15 AM

    I know he has the numbers but its hard for me to accept he’s the best TE ever when he’s did nothing in playoffs

  54. packerbadger says: Jan 21, 2013 9:23 AM

    Would rather see him in Super Bowl than classless ‘niners.

  55. johnclaytonsponytail says: Jan 21, 2013 1:35 PM

    Sorry you wasted your career in KC and ATL.

  56. caseyinkc says: Jan 21, 2013 5:10 PM

    As a chiefs fan I didn’t have much to cheer about this postseason (well except for front office changes). I have been rooting for Tony G though. Lots of people in KC are bitter he left here in search of a ring, but many including myself could never hate him. Sad to see TG, who is arguably the second best receiver EVER (behind Jerry Rice obv.), ending his epic career with one measly postseason win. Tony Gonzalez was not only by far better than anyone else who ever played TE, but he was also one of the most humble guys on the field. If we really have seen his last game in a jersey its truely a sad day in the NFL. Thanks for all the great memories

  57. Frazier28/7 says: Jan 21, 2013 5:34 PM

    Thank you for all the fantasy football points over the years Tony!

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