Rolando McClain Makes The Right Choice

Rolando McClain with son
Rolando McClain helps his son, Ma'Kai brush his teeth as he gets ready for school. Rolando McClain has retired from the NFL and a $700,000 salary at the age of 24, to get his life together. CREDIT: Deanne Fitzmaurice

So Rolando McClain is unleashing upon the world his inner Brett Favre while singing along to the chorus of The Clash’s Should I Stay or Should I Go.

Simple answer Rolando – GO!

That said, let’s not start chastising McClain or Ozzie Newsome for the twice-failed comeback attempt. It was a worthy one and for all of the know-it-alls in the cyber world or on sports talk radio, take a moment and a step back to look at the man in the mirror.

See any flaws?

Let’s give McClain credit for bailing on football to take care of something more important – his life. It’s not easy for anyone to admit their failures as a human being but at the age of 23 McClain, awakened by the senseless trouble he often found himself in, opted to clean up his act, become a better man and an even better father.

If successful he could then focus upon being a better football player.

Apparently the football chapter won’t be written.

According to several sources McClain showed up at the Under Armour performance last week not exactly in the best shape and flunked the team’s conditioning test. The test is fine-tuned by position and requires 6 sets of a series of aerobic activities.

McClain finished three sets and then went Roberto Duran on the strength and conditioning coaches, his body language screaming, “No Mas!”

A few days later he made “No Mas!” official when he shared with ESPN The Magazine’s Seth Wickersham, “I gotta follow my heart. It ain’t football. If football made me complete I would play. But whenever I think of it my heart pulls me away from whatever reason. … This means I’m done.”

And then there’s that newly found soft spot for his children.

So if a man is at peace with himself, rekindles a love affair with his kids, has the means to care for them (according to Forbes he’s worth $16.7M), why shouldn’t he walk away if he wants?

Why should anyone criticize him for doing something many of us would like to do?

Who wouldn’t want to retire at 24 with the means to do so?

From the Ravens perspective, they had nothing to lose by playing out the McClain drama. There was no downside, only potential upside.

It didn’t work out but at the very least the Ravens sent a message that they are willing to work with reclamation projects who are trying to mend their ways. That open-mindedness could pave the way to the next Cris Carter.

And it sends a message to the world to give someone another chance.

Just because McClain’s comeback didn’t work out, by no means does it mean the effort was a failure.

Both sides can claim victory.

And now it’s time to move on.

Obla-di, Obla-da.


This entry was posted in Blog View, Featured, Lombardi's Way by Tony Lombardi. Bookmark the permalink.

About Tony Lombardi

Tony Lombardi
Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of and His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan. A diehard Fab Four fan, Tony is a frustrated musician who thinks beating on the steering wheel is akin...more

8 Raves on “Rolando McClain Makes The Right Choice

  1. Horace Mann Byrd on said:

    Great story. I guess all of us can read this story an ask “is my priorities order”. Go for him. Me Im back to work!

  2. Cheri on said:

    Tony thank you for a well written article and putting better then I could. Both the player and the team needed to see if this was going to work or not and to have piece of mind which I am sure both have now.
    It is a little confusing because Rolando was saying he wanted to do it for his son, so it leads me to think he did not give this thing a 100 percent for his son like he said. I also feel in life when you do something sometimes you need to want it more for yourself then even for your spouse or children want you to do it for them for.That is when you know you are truly giving it a 100 percent if you are doing for your spouse or child you may only give it who knows 80 percent or 90 percent or what not.
    I agree to that at least it happen early enough to where you can honestly say nothing nothing gain nothing lost. Except forpoor T. Cody who really went out on a limb the other day for the guy in the newspaper.

    • cheri on said:

      I meant peace of mind not piece among other errors in my comments
      Sorry Tony I type fast but I have a bad habit of hitting send before proof reading what I write.

  3. Cheri on said:

    Talk radio in this town is just bad it really is.My apologies to those who do it but it is unpleasant that is why I just love my sirius XM

  4. JerryB on said:

    Great story, Tony! A “no foul, no harm” situation for the Ravens and a responsible, mature decision for McClain. Let’s hope the young man keeps his priorities in order and makes something of his life!

  5. Filo Beto on said:

    Obviously his heart wasn’t into football anymore, but the idea that he needs to retire to get his priorities straight is ridiculous. In what way would football (a very structured environment) be a bad thing for someone who clearly needs that structure? Something tells me if his net worth was closer to mine he’d be playing this year.

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