When we all heard news that Matt Light may walk away from the game of football right after the Super Bowl, we all assumed that it was a typical case of a football player looking for more time with his family. While that did factor into Light's decision heavily, it turns out that wasn't the only thing. It was his health.
During his ceremony, Light revealed to the Boston media and his teammates and coaches that he's battling Crohn's Disease for almost a decade. Crohn's disease, according to the ADAM, is a form of inflammatory bowel disease that usually affects the the intestines. According to Light, the disease really got to him in the later stages of his career.
"I basically got to the point, over the 3-4 years of being diagnosed with Crohn's, that I couldn't handle the pain anymore," Light said. "The pain became so difficult that in the offseason it just paralyzed me. I'd hit the ground. You can't wake up. You can't sit down. You can't do anything without this becoming a problem."
Being a football player obviously has its consequences. If you don't believe, look at the tragic death of Junior Seau. This game can really help you achieve your financial and personal goals, but it can also hurt you in many ways. For Light, the extra motivation that he gave himself during this difficult process helped him last in the NFL for longer. And with these developments coming out along with his family, it seems appropriate that he leave this game when he feels it's right.
"Staying positive and knowing there were times where I told myself, 'This is just what it is' and you have to push through it, I think that all helped strengthen me to the point I am today. So, in some respect, dealing with that issue maybe kept me in the game longer. It's been a part of my life, for sure."
For more on Matt Light's battle with Crohn's, check out this wonderful piece done by ESPN's Mike Reiss.