Chris Conte: ‘I’d Rather Die 10, 15 Years Earlier Than Not Be Able To Play In The NFL’

Christian Datoc Senior White House Correspondent
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After getting trounced by New Orleans on Monday Night Football, the Chicago Bears fell into last place in the NFC north.

For folks in the Windy City, it’s officially time to panic.

Still, one of the worst seasons in franchise history isn’t stopping Bears safety Chris Conte from speaking his mind on one of the league’s most pressing issues. Conte told ESPN on Wednesday that playing in the NFL has been his lifelong dream, and he won’t let a silly thing like a drastically reduced life expectancy rain on his parade.

“Ever since I was a little kid, it’s what I’ve wanted to do. In college, I didn’t even graduate school because my senior year, I honestly let school be a casualty to that because I knew I had one opportunity to make it to the NFL, and I put everything into that. And I felt school’s something I could figure out later.”

“As far as after football, who knows. My life will revolve around football to some point, but I’d rather have the experience of playing and, who knows, die 10, 15 years earlier than not be able to play in the NFL and live a long life. It’s something I’ve wanted to do with my life and I wanted to accomplish. And I pretty much set my whole life up to accomplish that goal. So I don’t really look toward my life after football because I’ll figure things out when I get there and see how I am.”

“As long as I outlive my parents, then we’ll be all right.”

Conte expresses a rather controversial viewpoint. Player safety is a huge concern for Roger Goodell and the rest of the NFL brass, and most of the rule changes implemented in recent years aim to safeguard players from possible injuries, especially concussions.

Football is dangerous, but at the end of the day it’s still a game, and I agree with Conte’s sentiments. If someone wanted to pay me millions of dollars to play a game that I love but told me I might die a little earlier because of it, I’d take that chance 100 times out of 100.

No brainer.