Last Friday, former Minnesota Vikings center Matt Birk announced he was quitting the NFL. After 15 long seasons playing the game he loved, the 36-year-old football player left his current teammates in the middle of his contract, after reaching and winning a Super Bowl, and leaving the cornerstone of their offensive line in the hands of a fourth found pick out of the University of Delaware called Gino Gradkowski.
At a press conference at an elementary school where Matt Birk where a shirt that ironically read "Finish Everything," the former Vikings of 11 years decided he was finished trying to finish and just decided to quit on his own terms.
Which of course raises the question … Is Matt Birk a quitter?
The evidence that Matt Birk is a quitter is compelling. We look at it in highlighted notes and will let the reader decide:
– While in high school, Matt Birk quit on his GPA to focus on lettering in football. Instead of applying himself like he easily could have, he finished his high school career with a paltry 3.8 GPA, deciding instead to focus on all-state honors in football and basketball.
– Matt Birk quit on basketball, too. He choose football over his other loved sport. He would claim there was only time to apply himself to one sport while attending school at Harvard, but facts are facts … He quit playing basketball at an early age.
– Coming out of college for the NFL draft, Matt Birk quit on his pre-drat predictions, being coined early on as a "nice developmental type pick" for an NFL team. However, he progressed much quicker than anticipated, and was starting by his 3rd year in the league at the age of 24. He "quit" being a development and became a football player.
– Matt Birk quit on one of the most talented receivers to ever play the game, Randy Moss, in 2004 when he attempted to discipline Randy for walking off the field like Randy was one of his own children. In essence, Birk was quit on Moss, who was clearly upset because he wanted to win more than Birk did, and then subsequently chased Moss out of town.
– Don't forget Birk also quit on the Vikings during the last four games of the season in 2004 and all of 2005 because of sports hernia and hip injuries. Remember, Moss was a bad guy because he played (and beat) Green Bay in a playoff game on a broken femur (probably), but Birk was excused and not called a quitter because he sat out of football for a year and a half.
– Four years later, Matt decided he'd had enough of the Minnesota Vikings as well, and quit on them. Instead of offering a "home town" discount to re-sign with them, he quit on his team, hometown city and state, and moved towards the East Coast Bias as he signed with the Baltimore Ravens.
– In 2011 Matt Birk won the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. It took him 12 months before he quit on that too, and decided not to win it in back-to-back years in 2012.
– Matt Birk quit on gay people when he publicly came out and announced in an op-ed piece that he didn't think gays had the right to get married. At least he didn't quit on marriage!
– In early 2013, Matt Birk quit on his own brain, when he announced that when he eventually quits on life, he would quit on his brain and give his brain to science so doctors could better understand the affects of concussions on NFL players.
– After signing a new, three year contract with the Ravens and helping lead them to a Super Bowl victory in 2012, Matt Birk quite on his agreed upon contract after only one year and decided to quit playing in the NFL. After reaching such highs with his teammates, Matt Birk quit on them, the franchise of the Ravens, the city of Baltimore, the state of Maryland, and every fan that wanted to see him win 14 more Super Bowls.
So, is Matt Birk a quitter? You be the judge.