“What do you want your legacy to be?”
People have asked me this question and my answer is always the same. Playing nine years in the NFL and taking home two Super Bowl rings has been great, but at the end of the day, there will always be another season in the NFL, another player stepping into the league next year, and another team to win a championship — while my rings are going to be sitting in a box collecting dust.
But as far as my legacy goes, I want to be remembered for the impact I made on the hearts and minds of those I came in contact with. Lives live on. The men in the locker rooms I’ve been able to influence are able to pass on that influence to the next generation of players, their communities and others within their circles. That is an opportunity for me, and my legacy, to live on. I only hope I’m able to be a positive voice.
I hope that one day, in 20 years or so, my boys would be able to turn on some old films of their dad playing in the NFL and be so proud of the name on the back of that jersey. I want them to be able to see that their dad played this game as hard, as fast and as aggressive as anyone can play it — he played as if every snap was his last. I want them to see that I am a man of integrity, never cutting corners.
Yes, the last nine years in the NFL have put a lot of difficulties and stress on me, my wife, my family and friends. The last six months of surgeries and recovery has especially been rough. But as a result, my family and I have only grown stronger in our relationships with each other and with God. And for that, I’m truly grateful.
Of course I’ll miss my teammates; I’ll miss the opportunity to build into guys and establish strong relationship bonds that can only come about through sports. There’s nothing that brings you closer to another person or group of people than being on a team with them.
I’ll miss the process of the game, of putting in what it takes to be great at the game of football. I really enjoyed practicing and the difficulty of training. I loved finding every little advantage I could gain to perfect and tweak my craft. I’m going to miss that a lot, though I know I’ll transfer this energy to other things.
I’ve had so many coaches and teammates who have impacted me. I’ve been in a number of different positions as an athlete which have really prepared me and shaped me to be the man I am today. I love sports, what they represent, and what can come about as a result of them. I love the glory God can gain when we honor Him through our craft.
I only hope as I move from being an athlete to something else that I can continue to impact people for the glory of God.
— Chris Maragos, former NFL safety
Chris Maragos is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions. Check out Chris’ Increase profile here: http://theincrease.com/author/chris-maragos/
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