Discussion

How do you cope when it's over?

Updated: May 11, 2012, 6:29 PM ET
By Marty Smith | ESPN.com

I never fully considered the emotional impact retirement has on professional athletes. My reaction was never rooted in empathy. Sure, I saw them cry at the podium and certainly respected that they'd miss their passion.

But these were blessed individuals, compensated handsomely for years, for literally living the dream. They're rich and they're famous, and they achieved both by playing a game. I wasn't apt to feel especially sorry for them when it ended.

But in the wake ...

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