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Our Expectations as Former Players

Jan. 1, 1970

Dear Fellow Former Players & Friends,

For me one of the most gratifying feelings of all time is making my way home on Friday during rush hour. As a commuter, it always comes with a sense of adventure.

I can’t help but look around and think wow! Look at all this excitement and energy. People going from here to there. Some moving slow, even more moving fast. I’m in this whirlwind and I love all the commotion. I like the sense of targeted focus this time of week brings. I love how everyone seems to have someplace to be, a sense of purpose and urgency. It seems deliberate, most likely part of a regular routine. Racing against the clock, racing against yesterday’s pathway home or today’s performance on the job.

As a former player, I’m drawn in and focused on the bustle. Whether you’re on foot or in a car, it symbolizes the chase of an accomplishment for the week. A job well done and a step closer to Friday night. It’s progress and getting to Friday is measurable.

You are accustomed to practices being filmed and judged. That daily judgement or grade has created something in us that expects an accolade, critique or progress.

We carry that expectation into the workplace. Today, we critique and judge our own performance on the job, every meeting, encounter and response. We want to know if we did a good job. Honestly, I wonder if most working people think the way we do.

I cherish the end of the week, not because I hate work, but because I get satisfaction in knowing I got through a week filled with challenges. It’s that moment when we get to the last play on the script at practice and reach for a cold Gatorade before hitting the showers.

And with Father’s Day right around the corner, I’m thinking about all of you. The effort you’re putting in during your transition is remarkable. Keep believing in yourself. Look up and notice the energy around you, especially when you hit the end of the workweek.

The streets are beautifully filled with people, with opportunity. Dive into Father’s Day. You deserve it, but next month I need to see you out there on the grind, working to accomplish and progress each week because developing the Next Generation of You requires action!

Andre Collins


Executive Director
Professional Athletes Foundation
NFL Player 1990-1999

Gene Upshaw Player Assistance Trust Fund

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