It is not every Sunday that we witness true greatness on the football field. Especially when those attributes that define such greatness is expanded over a period of 18 years. I can easily recall the days of watching Charles Woodson play for the University of Michigan in 1997 with my father. Witnessing what was to become just the beginning of what no one expected to be achieved with the limitless boundaries that were soon to be established. After winning the Heisman Trophy as a junior, Charles Woodson was drafted No. 4 overall by the Oakland Raiders in 1998. From that moment, I became an Oakland Raiders fan as I was going to witness the unimaginable.
Watching Charles Woodson continue to grow into a remarkable athlete is a whirlwind of mixed emotions for me as it demonstrates the power of time. Time does not only stand still, but as that time passes, extraordinary things can be achieved. As Woodson began his career in Oakland where he stayed for eight years before headed to Green Bay in 2006 only to return to Oakland where he truly belonged in 2013, but not before being a part of a Super Bowl win at the end of the 2010 season.
As the 2015 season quickly comes to an end, it’s impressive to realize that Charles Woodson is the only NFL Player who has achieved more than 50 career picks and 20 career sacks. Just this season alone, he has achieved 5 interceptions which currently ties him for 6th in the league which only adds to his already achieved 60 interceptions. In addition to this, he has produced the following remarkable accomplishments during the 2015 season: 52 solo tackles, 13 assisted tackles, and 3 fumble recoveries. Charles Woodson proves that age is only a number and is far from being considered incapable of continuing to achieve such goals. So why not stay for another season?
It is honestly a bittersweet moment. Woodson’s retirement truly ends an era of greatness. Personally, I feel that it ends my inner childhood as 18 years have, what I feel have quickly come and gone. These years can never be replaced, but they will also not be forgotten. As I watched a college athlete with aspirations and dreams of bigger things than playing at the Big House in Ann Arbor, Michigan come true; it provides hope that the impossible can become the probable and that the heart of a dreamer with the mindset of determination can create endless opportunities and possibilities. My only personal regret is that I never got the chance to witness him on the field in action and in person. Nevertheless, watching those Michigan football games next to my father are absolutely priceless and I cannot form the exact words of true appreciation and admiration towards Charles Woodson. I can only hope that my son will be inspired by such an athlete during his childhood so that he can truly understand the impact that Charles Woodson had on me. In my eyes, he has already earned his spot in the NFL Hall of Fame.
Information Courtesy of ESPN