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There's 'More To Life Than Sports': Lineman On Leaving NFL

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Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

John Moffitt started playing football when he was 8 years old, and made it all the way to the top of the game. He played offensive lineman for the Seattle Seahawks for two seasons, then got traded to another powerhouse team, the Denver Broncos.

Incidentally, those two teams are playing in Super Bowl XLVIII, but Moffitt won't be on the field; he quit midway through this season.

Playing for an NFL team means working long weeks — hard practices on Wednesdays and Thursdays, a slower practice on Fridays, Saturday walk-throughs, Sunday game days, and meeting on Mondays to go over Sunday's win or loss.

"I would just almost hate every day of the week, except for like Tuesday and Saturday," Moffitt tells NPR's Rachel Martin. "I think it's drudgery, honestly, and I was so bored with it."

When Moffitt decided to quit, he called John Elway, legendary Bronco and head of football operations for the team, for guidance. "He was really great about it," Moffitt says. "He respected my decision. The whole organization did."

But his friends and family were shocked. "At first it was tough for them to hear, and at first the support wasn't really there." But eventually, they realized Moffitt was quitting for the right reasons.

Moffitt thinks that maybe things would have been different if he'd been a big star, starting every game. "If I was out there playing, and maybe [had] that adrenaline, maybe I would have stayed."

But he's happy not playing in the NFL, even though it would mean he could be playing in the Super Bowl. "I honestly feel like the craze of the NFL and the obsession nationwide is the biggest distraction and some of the worst television at times, and just, like, a waste of time," he says. "There's so much more to life than sports."

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