Originally posted on Player Perspective  |  Last updated 2/11/12

If there’s one thing the Patriots Super bowl run proved this year is that the team doesn’t mind hurting some feelings. Move over Randy Moss, Chad Ochocinco and Tiquan Underwood, and welcome Kevin Faulk to the Patriots discard bin (though I hear Underwood has been picked up by the Pats for the 4th or 5th time after being released the night before the game). On the day of Super Bowl when I saw that Faulk was designated inactive I felt bad for the guy. I think on most teams, if a guy has been around 14 years and you know full well it’s likely the end of the line for him you dress him for the Super Bowl just because. I just think that that’s what classy organization would do when possible.

Yeah yeah, it’s all about winning. Patriot way. Belichick system. Trust me I get it. That’s why I cringe whenever Vince Wilfork refers to the late Myra Kraft as mom. You’re part of the family, sure…until suddenly you’re not. .

On the bright side(?) the Pats didn’t win anyway and Faulk knows that 14 years in the league is three lifetimes for any player ESPECIALLY a running back. He has a lot to be proud of and a lot to look forward to even if he doesn’t realize it right now.

From his interview with Greg Bedard:

That’s probably one of the hardest decisions I’ve made in a long time – a very long time. It’s what’s been taking care of me and my family for a long time and I have to make a decision based upon what’s best for me and my family. Right now and with the emotions that are going on and with the game that just happened last week, I know everyone was speculating that I was going to make a decision, probably today or what not; it’s kind of early. I don’t want to tie my emotions into exactly what went on Sunday that passed, what went on the course of the season, I just think it’s something that I have to sit down and talk with my family and my agent, teammates, former teammates that I’ve talked to, people that I really trust, for me to base my decision off of,” Faulk said.

During our conversation, which lasted over 20 minutes, there were times when Faulk sounded like a man who has made up his mind – but he stopped short of saying he’s retiring, leaving the door open, however slightly, for a possible return with New England for the 2012 season.

I thought it was interesting that later in the interview Faulk mentions former Patriot Troy Brown who was inactive the final game of his career and Faulk says he draws some inspiration from him. And there’s your “it’s all business” moment for the day. Happy now???

Fittingly, after football season is over we always get a post mortem on the Super Bowl but it’s also the time when guys we love walk away from the game and we start talking about just how hard it is for them. Faulk’s comments were right in line with this ESPN piece that touches on how the decision to walk away from football is a difficult one that not only involves health but finances and emotions.

My favorite line about why it’s so difficult for some guys to walk away was from the Ravens Matt Birk.

It’s the greatest high a person can legally get, Birk said. It builds all week, from meetings to practice to the moment he runs out of the tunnel.

I was complaining the other day about how I HATE how much the end of football season affects me. I feel addicted to the excitement every week. I guess you’d have to multiply that X 100000000 in order to feel the way most players feel. And that is kind of scary.

Speaking of players after the game, I will be returning to LaMar Campbell’s Life After The Game to talk about athletes and love. oo la la

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