Powerful story! Thanks for sharing.
In this day and age, it's deeply refreshing to read about people who have
their priorities straight. I'm not saying that other Mormons playing
professional sports don't have their priorities straight. The Lord makes
the rules, and the Lord makes the exceptions. I'm merely saying that this
example of rejecting a long-sought dream and possible fame and fortune because
it didn't feel like it was the right choice from a spiritual standpoint can
give courage to others who find themselves having to decide between something
they want and something that they know is right. Those decisions can be tough,
but they can be life-changing decisions, for the better or for the worse.
This is one young man who has his head screwed on straight and has his
priorities right.He is a hero his wife can always look up to.
"At BYU, the freshmen came in and I would try to help them learn the
position and the defense,; Rich said. (In the NFL) it was dog-eat-dog. Guys
didn't openly reject me, but they weren't saying, Hey, let me teach
you how to do this. I felt alone out there.".I had a 10 year NFL
vet explain to me the realities of what Andrew Rich learned first hand.At its most raw level, the rookies, especially free-agents, are seen as people
who will take a job away from someone who already has a job.The vets
will give the rookies a bone or two, but that's all.There are
many NFL teams. The story told to me only represents the experience
of one player on one team.However, the message I received, is
probably not unique.Best wishes to the Rich Family.
I had the great pleasure of Coaching Andrew both in football and Basketball in
jr high school, he was one of the best athletes I had ever coached and on top of
that he is one of the most fine and incredible person I have ever coached.
Andrew love you, Coach Jones
Umm, did anyone else notice that his wife is extremely hot?
I have a great deal of respect for this young man. He obviously knows that his
family and his service to The Lord are what is most important in life. It is
great that he made the right decision and that he has not regretted it. Good for
him! However, I would respect him even more than I already do if he had just
said something like: "I was just sick to death of football and it was time
to move on to something else". Being a good father, husband, and Christian
are not mutually exclusive to a career in football. Many fields are very
demanding, yet priorities can, and are, maintained by the fine men and women in
those fields -- including the many LDS athletes who have made their careers in
"I felt like I was kind of missing the picture," Rich said. "I
realized it doesn't matter if I play football. What matters is that I serve
my Heavenly Father, and that needs to be the root of every decision."Wow. Well said. Root of every decision, indeed.Chris B -
spoken like a real putz.
"Max":I don't think that was his point. His point was that
it didn't feel right *for him*. It's like the choice to play
professional sports--if that choice is available--if it also means playing on
Sundays. I have a son who potentially will be good enough to make that
choice--and I don't care if anyone laughs, since they don't know me or
my son--in another sport, and he doesn't know yet what choice he will make
if that is available. We already are dealing with trying to avoid Sunday play
while playing for the arguably the best coach around as long as we can before
amicably parting ways. For my son, if he feels he can have a
potential impact as an example to others along the lines of Jabari Parker in
basketball, he will probably make the choice to go the professional route. If
not, he will probably choose something else. And that is the other
important things that is so often overlooked by top athletes, and something
Jabari gets: You play a sport, but that sport doesn't define you. You must
have other aptitudes as well.
re: Chris BThe Utes never stop demonstrating their low class
commentary.I think you kind of missed the point of the story. He
chose not to play in the NFL.
Chris B. seems to glory in taking the low road. Society should hope it is not
typical of all ute fans. Andrew Rich is at the other end of the character
spectrum and it would be expected that Chris not understand.
I believe Rich wasn't getting quite the acknowledgement he expected in the
NFL and that played a big part in his decision. I realize the article mentions
some praise he received but I sense he needed more in his situation. I wonder if Austin Collie will read this. I really like watching Austin play
(he had such a great rookie season) but I'm concerned it is taking a heavy
toll on his physical health.
Wise decision from Andrew Rich. With all the injury data now starting to come
out, he probably added decades to his life by not playing in the NFL. Not that
I begrudge anyone the chance to play in the NFL, but you have to know it's
basically a death sentence.Chris B, normally at this point I would
chastise you about making us Utah fans look bad, but then I decided to save my
breath because I know you'll be back at it tomorrow regardless of what I
Cougar Passion: I agree with you completely. It wasn't the
right thing for him. I acknowledged and congratulated him for making the right
decision. It is great that he doesn't look back and regret it (further
evidence that it was the right decision)
Sir Robin,You've said plenty of things against byu that are
more crass than my relatively simple dig above. Calm down. Save the self
righteousness for your sunday school classes. Normally I agree with
your comments, but you're getting a little holier than thou on this one.
Stop acting like a byu fan.
Brave Sir RobinNormally, I disagree with many of your comments, but
in Chris B's case, you're spot on spot on - he's an embarrassment
to most Utah fans.
@ Chris B.Your comments are usually intended to offend BYU fans and
the LDS people. I have no idea whey they publish your comments.
Great Article. This reminds me of the story of another BYU Football player who
despite being drafted turned down an NFL career to teach high school math. That
players name was Eli Herring. Eli said he didn't want to play on Sunday
and he was ridiculed for it. There are many LDS athletes who play on Sunday and
that is their choice. Andrew Rich walked away from a promising career and Eli
Herring walked away and neither of them regret their decision. To those LDS
players who play on the Sabbath I respect your decision. To those who chose not
to I respect your decision. Your success in life isn't defined by how well
you play football, basketball or any other sport. Rather, it is defined by if
you can be successful at whatever profession you chose and you enjoy doing it.
Dear friends, Andrew was never going to play in the NFL. Each year, teams sign
50+ kids to "free agent" contracts and invite them to try-out. Those
same 50 kids don't make it, save a few. He was never going to play in the
NFL and acting like he was on that route is pretentious. I can't believe
they publish this stuff. As if he decided that his family was more important
than NFL. Well of course, I know Erid Weddle feels that way so does John Beck
etc. etc. If he was going to make 400k/year and be able to do something he loved
it's obvious he would have. He wasn't going to make it and decided to
stop the grind and stop pursuing it. He was a nice college player but never NFL
caliber. There are TONS Of players better than him in college who don't
make it. Let's think about it for a second.
Congratulations, Andrew. You have our head on straight. Football isn't the
most important thing in the world though some people think it is. I know a man
(he's a football coach) who held his own son back in school so he would be
bigger for the football team! Talk about screwed up values. I'd far rather
my son was a good debater than a good football player even if debate
doesn't make you popular with the girls and you don't get your name in
the paper. Debate indicates brains; football indicates something else. Stay with
your decision, Andrew. You'll never regret it.
Had a hard time swallowing this story. Especially the part where he looks
around, sees the guys on the field and says he had nothing left to prove and
dropped a few names. It was a great accomplishment to make it to an NFL camp,
but he did nothing with the opportunity. Comparing him to Eli
Herring bugs me too. Herring walked away from guaranteed millions as a first
round draft pick. Instead he chose one of the least glamorous professions but
has the opportunity to literally change the world one student at a time. Rich
never made the team because he walked away and is now a salesman for a social
media company. Not the most flattering of comparisons for Rich.
Good for Andrew Rich. This story is inspiring. BTW, my sister had the very
first operation of the same kind that Andrew Rich's son had many, many
years ago. Hopefully, her experience back in 1965 helped out the Rich's
son with his operations. My sister was the guinea pig so to speak.