Following in the footsteps of 49ers’ linebacker Chris Borland who retired after a single season in the pros last year, the Buffalo Bills’ A.J. Tarpley is hanging up his spikes and skipping out on millions so he can do things like: live to hoist his grandchildren, not request his brain get studied then shoot himself in the chest after a round of golf…and keeping a fuse long enough to not feel the need to rip his car stereo out of the dash—with his hands—when it comes on too loud.
The last play of Buffalo Bills linebacker A.J. Tarpley’s career was a game-clinching interception of New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in the final game of the season.
Tarpley announced Wednesday he’s retiring after only one year in the NFL because of concussions.
Here’s a taste of the announcement’s incredibleness—with the actual Insta post below:
- He retired on Instagram.
- He decided to put that Stanford degree to use…
- …Instead of having to have someone with a Stanford degree dissect his brain.
- He used the word ‘contemplation’ in his retirement statement. That’s the first time that word and the NFL have ever been associated.
- One retirement statement, no fragments.
- ‘I am walking away from the game I love to preserve my future health.’ — PUT IT ON A FUCKING T-shirt.
- ^ That means you NFLPA
- Thanked coaches.
- Thanked teammates.
- Didn’t thank God.
- Special love for the #BillsMafia
- Took the high road with the #BillsMafia and mentioned nothing of the season’s real highlights.
- Those being: Fan setting himself on fire in the parking lot.
- Fan body slamming Santa in the parking lot.
- And…fans fucking each other sort of behind a car, also in the parking lot.
- Come to think of it A.J.’s probably smart enough to know that all the #BillsAction goes on in said parking lot.
- OK, I take it back—he did thank God.
- …But he did it with an emoji. So that doesn’t count, right? ?
- Said he did his own research when it came to his health. Can you imagine such a thing?
- ‘Never took a second for granted’ — T-shirt no. 2.
- For the Future.*
The only thing comforting about not knowing this play would be the last of my career, is knowing that I never took a second for granted. After months of introspection, I am retiring from football. I suffered the 3rd and 4th concussions of my career this past season and I am walking away from the game I love to preserve my future health. This decision is the hardest I've made yet but after much research and contemplation I believe it's what is best for me going forward. I'd like to extend my gratitude to everyone that helped me along the way. Thank you to my coaches at Wayzata and Stanford, and to lifelong friends that I was blessed to call teammates. You all molded me into the man I am today. To my family, I'll never be able to repay your unwavering support and love, I just hope that I can continue to show how gracious I am and make you proud. I also want to thank the Buffalo Bills organization, coaches, and teammates for helping me fulfill my lifelong dream in the NFL. Last but not least, I'm proud to be a part of #BillsMafia and playing in front of the best fans in the league is something I won't forget. Thank you God for all that you have blessed me 🙏. I'm excited for my future.
*Hopefully the future in this case means catching up to the present by binge-watching seasons 2-4 of Girls.