Matt Light will be perfectly content in retirement

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Some people play football because they have such a passion for the game that they can’t imagine doing anything else, and they struggle in retirement because they can’t fill the void the absence of playing left in their lives. Others play football because they were big, strong kids who were encouraged to play at a young age and later realized they were good enough to get a scholarship and make a lot of money playing professionally, and when they decide to quit they can leave without missing it.

Matt Light is in the latter group.

Light, who announced his retirement from the Patriots this month, told Colin Cowherd on ESPN Radio today that although he has always enjoyed football, being a football player never defined who he was as a kid (one year he didn’t play youth football because it would have conflicted with his paper route), and it certainly doesn’t define him as an adult, either. That’s why, Light said, he’s going to be perfectly content in retirement.

“I’ve gotten to a point in my life where I was like, be happy, don’t try to bite off more than you can chew, and look forward to the next great challenge,” Light said.

As an example of what kind of extremely casual football fan Light was, he mentioned that he never watched a single Super Bowl in his life until the Patriots played in the Super Bowl at the end of his rookie year.

“The first one I saw was one I was in,” Light said.

Light said that playing his NFL career with Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and playing his college career with Drew Brees at Purdue, he got to see up close a couple of fellow players who have a passion for the game and insatiable hunger to compete, to the point that they won’t quit playing until they simply can’t play anymore. Light could keep playing, but he’s now choosing to quit.

14 responses to “Matt Light will be perfectly content in retirement

  1. Now it is time for the NFL to step up and help him get his Masters and PhD for whatever career he chooses, because that would be the right thing to do.

  2. Matt Light would make a GREAT commentator for NFL broadcasts ( not the in-studio fluff stuff )

    Hopefully – one of the networks gives him a shot .

  3. Matt Light’s a smart man, and he was great fun to watch as a player. He’ll be a contributor to good things in our society from here on out, too. Bravo to him for understanding the importance of having balance in your life. Wish him all the best.

  4. The underlying premise of this article is very important. There are two types of players; Matt Light and Jr Seau are polar opposites in their passion for the game.

    It’s a great place to begin to craft an exit stratigy for today’s players. There needs to be an understanding that the exit plan of a Matt Light will not be the same as the needs of a Junior Seau. That understanding alone could be the beginning of something significant.

  5. .

    Light had multiple playoff appearances, 5 super bowls, several pro bowls, and was relatively durable, all while getting the most out of his somewhat limited ability.


  6. 3 rings and 5 Super Bowl appearances should make anyone enjoy retirement. Now he gets to enjoy the simple things in life like being a father. Good luck to him in the future.

  7. Amazing, the first Super Bowl he ever saw he was playing in.
    He would be terrific on NFL broadcasts; both smart and funny.

  8. Unlike with a large amount of careers, football is usually played professionally by those who have a lot of passion for the game. Light’s attitude is probably like a lot of ours..we didn’t really “pick” our careers, we are good at a certain thing or things so we do them. And when we retire, we’ll be happy not sad. I can’t help but be happy for those people who truly love what they do though.

  9. Maybe perfectly content in retirement…but will always have to lug around the deep-rooted guilt for being on a team that had to cheat to win titles.

  10. why would he be a good commentator? he doesn’t like football
    why should NFL help him get his Masters? he can’t afford it? how is that the right thing for the NFL?

  11. “Light could keep playing, but he’s now choosing to quit.”

    Wrong, Light realizes that he can’t keep playing because he’s finding it tougher to overcome his lack of passion of the game for $$$$.

  12. Great guy. A professional athelete that did not take the NFL or himself too seriously. But, when he needed to be serious, whether during a game or in the locker room acting as a team spokesman (e.g., the player tribute to Myra Kraft) he stepped up.

    Brady is going to miss the levity that Light brought to the team. Tom is wound a little tight at times, and certainly is a celebrity. Light, the anti-celebrity, made sure Tom was just one of the guys.

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