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Christian Ballard: Football wasn’t fun for me

Christian Ballard AP

The Minnesota Vikings had been counting on Christian Ballard to be a piece of their defensive line rotation this season. That was until Ballard elected to walk away from the team in August.

Ballard suffered a groin injury in the Vikings’ preseason opener against the Houston Texans and was forced to miss practice time with the injury. Soon after, Ballard told head coach Leslie Frazier he would be leaving the team for personal reasons.

According to Tom Pelissero of the USA Today, Ballard just wasn’t having fun playing football anymore and wanted to focus on his personal life.

“I wasn’t really having a good time playing football. It wasn’t fun for me. It wasn’t a blast for me,” Ballard said.

After telling Frazier he was leaving the team, Ballard moved back to Lawrence, Kan., married his girlfriend and vowed to spend more time with his 2-year old son. He enjoyed the money his football career was bringing but wasn’t happy at the time he was losing working in a career that wasn’t fulfilling.

“I couldn’t sit there and lie to myself for another two years, doing something that wasn’t what I want to do,” Ballard said.

Ballard said he hasn’t ruled out a return to the NFL and is staying in shape. If he wants to play again, the Vikings still own his rights. However, Ballard intends to take time away to determine what he wants to do with the rest of his life.

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56 Responses to “Christian Ballard: Football wasn’t fun for me”
  1. rhopperstad says: Sep 18, 2013 2:43 AM

    Good luck to you, I hope your future working in a car wash is much more fulfilling

  2. swaggyy says: Sep 18, 2013 2:52 AM

    Do what makes you happy

  3. mdd913 says: Sep 18, 2013 3:11 AM

    Our society pathologically rejects this sort of thing. I’m sure he hears a lot about how stupid and how flaky he is.

    I applaud him. A man should be responsible for his family. That does not mean he should spend 10 years of his life having his brains beat in and winding up a cast-aside broken shell of a person. Nor should he work two full-time jobs to make ends meet, or spend all his time in a gray cubicle breathing stale moldy air.

    Human beings weren’t meant to live the way Western culture says we have to. I admire the people brave enough to live their lives for themselves instead of becoming a yes-man and living it according to the wishes of another person just because they happen to have more money than you.

    /rant

  4. firerogergoodell says: Sep 18, 2013 3:13 AM

    24 years old…

    He’s definitely gonna regret this.

  5. txbossman says: Sep 18, 2013 3:22 AM

    There’s worse things to do for a living son.

  6. badoglick says: Sep 18, 2013 3:23 AM

    Yeah I wish I could retire during my mid 20s with the excuse of ‘work’s just not fun for me’

  7. famousphil49 says: Sep 18, 2013 4:00 AM

    Good for Christian Ballard, even though many people would dream of playing in the NFL he has shown what many go through , if you’re not happy in what you are doing , then don’t do something that will make you doubt it , be true to yourself and hold your family first.

  8. iamthorny says: Sep 18, 2013 4:03 AM

    Greg Jennings surely commented somewhere “he must be brainwashed…Christian is the type of leader that’ll take us to the SuperBowl and I’m sorry he’ll miss that.” #BeGreat

  9. dumplingsrbrown says: Sep 18, 2013 4:03 AM

    Hopefully he will feel rewarded suggesting “fries with that order”.

  10. krakyahead says: Sep 18, 2013 4:04 AM

    “Ballard said he hasn’t ruled out a return to the NFL and is staying in shape”

    Yes good luck finding another job after quitting on your former team.

  11. joetoronto says: Sep 18, 2013 4:27 AM

    “He enjoyed the money his football career was bringing but wasn’t happy at the time he was losing working in a career that wasn’t fulfilling.”

    It would be a nice addition to the story if we knew how much he made, specifically if there was a signing bonus.

    Who knows, maybe he took the money and ran.

  12. vicnocal says: Sep 18, 2013 4:33 AM

    He’s obviously not likely to find another job that pays him as well, but good luck to him.

  13. britishteeth says: Sep 18, 2013 4:55 AM

    That’s pretty cool, even for a Viking.

  14. floratiotime says: Sep 18, 2013 5:10 AM

    Wait till he finds out how much fun working for a living is.

  15. dougy1970 says: Sep 18, 2013 5:29 AM

    and now for a 95% pay cut.

  16. AD2K5 says: Sep 18, 2013 5:34 AM

    So, it’s not you, it’s me?

  17. felcus says: Sep 18, 2013 5:46 AM

    Get paid. Quit. Stay classy, Ballard.

  18. mattyjimmy says: Sep 18, 2013 5:52 AM

    Good for him.

  19. iluvbears says: Sep 18, 2013 6:03 AM

    At the time he was drafted in the 4th round of the 2011 NFL draft, it was said that Ballard, whom Mel Kiper Jr. rated as a 1st round talent, had slipped because he tested positive for weed. I wonder if he also slipped because some teams knew of his lack of commitment to the game? Too bad the Vikings took that chance. He never played like a 1st round talent & now they have nothing at all to show for that 4th round pick.

  20. cowpiesnotcowboys says: Sep 18, 2013 6:31 AM

    What a shame it is that being paid to play a game was no longer a blast for him. That almost makes it sound like a job.

  21. NJ49er says: Sep 18, 2013 6:39 AM

    To thine own self be true.
    Beats listening to the JaMarcus comeback that came and went when he won his dispute with the Raiders.

    Got paid, again.
    No more news about the JaMarcus comeback.

    Going. Going..Gone…..

  22. jjb0811 says: Sep 18, 2013 6:41 AM

    Good for him. Everyone has tough decisions in life but placing family 1st is what i like to hear.

  23. 1historian says: Sep 18, 2013 6:48 AM

    best of luck to him

  24. raiderufan says: Sep 18, 2013 7:10 AM

    Good for him. We make this whole thing feel like it’s of the utmost importance but it’s really just a child’s game with a lot of money involved.

    Be with your family. I’ll never knock that.

  25. fdugrad says: Sep 18, 2013 7:11 AM

    It’s fortunate for this young man and his future, that every other occupation in the REAL world IS “FUN” and WILL be something he wants to do for the rest of his life.

  26. freshnsoclean says: Sep 18, 2013 7:21 AM

    Pretty much everyone reading this, including myself wish we had the balls to walk away from the comfortable good paying job to pursue something we actually love.

    I don’t know how he can’t love football but he has earned my respect for doing something I’ve yet to have the balls to do myself.

  27. germanstingray says: Sep 18, 2013 7:40 AM

    Wouldn’t it be nice if we all could just walk away from our jobs because it’s not “fun” anymore. I guess a few million in the bank from a part time job leaves you with many options.

  28. thegonz13 says: Sep 18, 2013 7:42 AM

    Kudos to someone who wants to get his priorities straight. Not many young men that age are able to make such a mature decision.

    Good luck to you Christian, although I maintain that if you had stayed on the team, you would have been the better of the two Christians!

  29. conormacleod says: Sep 18, 2013 7:43 AM

    You know what’s less fun? Trying to support a family while unemployed. Go to therapy and get back to your job you idiot.

  30. up2highhell says: Sep 18, 2013 7:49 AM

    If everyone just did what makes them happy we would all be a lot wiser.

  31. wearethesteelers says: Sep 18, 2013 7:49 AM

    The Viking Way.

  32. twilson962 says: Sep 18, 2013 8:11 AM

    You didn’t enjoy your job? It wasn’t fun for you? Really?!?! Welcome to the real world. Of course work sucks. That’s why they have to pay you to be there.

  33. fwippel says: Sep 18, 2013 8:11 AM

    I wish the young man the best. He has a promising career ahead of him if he decides that’s what he wants.

  34. mn1288 says: Sep 18, 2013 8:25 AM

    Don’t blame him….look who he was playing for.

  35. pxeeks says: Sep 18, 2013 8:47 AM

    Unhappy making millions. You’re young. You have your late 20′s on to find happiness while lounging in your yacht. Tuff life.

  36. joetoronto says: Sep 18, 2013 8:51 AM

    Ah, he got paid around 2.5 million and proceeded to quit.

    I wouldn’t praise someone like that, no way.

  37. tokyosandblaster says: Sep 18, 2013 9:10 AM

    Too easy.

  38. zzr600guy says: Sep 18, 2013 9:40 AM

    For normal ppl its hard to fathom why someone would give up the nfl and all that money. I admire this guys honesty and dedication to his family. I hope he saved $ and has a plan. Best of luck.

  39. iheartharvin says: Sep 18, 2013 9:43 AM

    Dude will be back in 2 years. It’s obvious he doesn’t want to be a Viking. Underwood 2.0. My favorite team is a goddamn joke. Perhaps when we get out of the Metrodome our fortunes will change. Doubt it.

  40. rikker12 says: Sep 18, 2013 10:40 AM

    “I wasn’t really having a good time playing football. It wasn’t fun for me. It wasn’t a blast for me,” Ballard said…………………
    Lots of Viking players are saying the same thing right about now!!

  41. rcali says: Sep 18, 2013 11:27 AM

    I’m not sure quitting your job at age 24 with no back up plan is really a good “family” decision. Hopefully he paid attention in school and got his degree in something useful because even those that did are still having trouble finding work.

  42. dumplingsrbrown says: Sep 18, 2013 11:31 AM

    What’s all this talk about family first? Is it really the best way to support your family and provide for them by quitting your job because it isn’t fun anymore? Personally, I admire people who sacrifice to support the household. He will regret this decision.

  43. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Sep 18, 2013 12:04 PM

    Hmmm…can’t say I’m having a blast at work since I’m posting comments on PFT. I’d love to be with my family but they wouldn’t be able to eat if I didn’t go to work every day. I think a lot of young people have a problem understanding that life isn’t always about having fun.

  44. theytukrjobs says: Sep 18, 2013 12:29 PM

    CAn’t the gf live with you and your kid? NFL only requires you to work full time around the clock for less than half of the year. The other half you can spend all the time in the world with your kids.

    I wish I had the type of free time an NFL player has.

  45. seals1 says: Sep 18, 2013 12:54 PM

    Understanding his history with smoking and selling weed when he played for the Iowa Hawks I can’t help but wonder if the urine tests have something to do with “It’s not fun anymore”.

    And why couldn’t GF bring the kid a few hours North during the football season and they could still spend half the year in Lawrence.

    Oh well, Ballard had a chance but he plays the same spot as Kevin and Shariff. Vikings need a fat guy not Ballard.

    Where are all the fat guys at??

  46. purpleguy says: Sep 18, 2013 12:54 PM

    He was just arrested for domestic assault — glad to hear he’s using all this extra time for family wisely. Sheesh.

  47. tlow97 says: Sep 18, 2013 12:59 PM

    Football’s not fun, eh?

    Neither is working behind a desk doing data entry.

    Neither is valet parking cars.

    Neither is delivering pizzas.

    Neither is tapping away at a cash register for eight hours straight.

    These jobs may not be fun, but you do them because you need to provide either for yourself or for your family, and give them the most optimal chance in life possible. Hopefully he’s got a degree that will make more money than the norm.

  48. PFT=crap says: Sep 18, 2013 1:15 PM

    If jobs were fun, they wouldn’t have to pay you to do them.

  49. fnsquirrel says: Sep 18, 2013 1:24 PM

    If only the other Christian would follow suit…

  50. FlashPatterson says: Sep 18, 2013 3:03 PM

    Basically I have enough money to retire so I quit. Not a bad way to go for a guy who isn’t that good anyway.

  51. deltaoracle says: Sep 18, 2013 3:45 PM

    PFT should save the story; a year from now they can run it again and just substitute “Greg Jennings” for “Christian Ballard.”

  52. codiablo says: Sep 18, 2013 3:54 PM

    Christian Ballard, work hard now and enjoy the next 15 years with your kid…once that money runs out, you’ll be like every other work a day jerk (me included) that only gets to see your kids on weekend….well unless you become a 9-5 work a day jerk & in that case you’ll prob only see the kids on the weekend b/c your girl will LEAVE YOU!

  53. filthymcnasty1 says: Sep 18, 2013 9:28 PM

    Nobody wants to play for the Vikings. Their players plug their noses and do it for the cash.

  54. johnnytarr says: Sep 18, 2013 10:40 PM

    His child is not from his wife. Still need more info on this story. He could be a great guy leaving behind a job he has no passion for it (would you want him as a team mate if that was the case?) or other hidden reasons.

  55. vikesfansteve says: Sep 19, 2013 3:05 PM

    Not nearly as fun as fighting with my wife of 4 weeks so loud as to have a police report filed.

  56. teamnorsecore says: Sep 20, 2013 8:58 AM

    filthymcnasty1 says:
    Sep 18, 2013 9:28 PM
    Nobody wants to play for the Vikings. Their players plug their noses and do it for the cash.
    …………..
    Kind of like no one wanting to live in Wisconsin, they just do it because of the lenient inter-family marriage laws?

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