Oct 14, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (88) walks around the field before the game against the Oakland Raiders at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Josh D. Weiss-USA TODAY Sports

As Ray Lewis Gets All The Attention, No One Is Talking About Tony Gonzalez


This postseason, it seems the biggest story has been the impending retirement of Ray Lewis once it ends for the Ravens, which just so happens to be after Super Bowl XLVII.

Jan 20, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (88) reacts after losing the NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers at the Georgia Dome. The 49ers won 28-24. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

But people have seemingly forgot about a player, one of the greatest players of all time, hanging up the pads after the Atlanta Falcons lost to San Francisco on Sunday afternoon.

Tony Gonzalez,  the greatest tight end in the history of the NFL, said that he is 95% retired after his team’s 28-24 loss in the NFC Championship game. He previously stated, at the beginning of the season, that the 2012 season was going to be his last year in the NFL.

Sure it was mentioned when he first said it, but not a peep has really been uttered about it since. However, the second Lewis announced that the 2013 playoff was going to be his “last ride”, he became the talk of the sports world.

Everyone, everywhere was reflecting on the career of “one of the greatest linebackers to ever play.”  Constant highlight packages and sound clips were played of Lewis’ greatest moment. People marveled in the greatness of the man who, at one time, was one of the biggest villains in the NFL due to his alleged involvement in a January 2000 murder in Atlanta.

And while all this was going on, as usual, not a single mention of Gonzalez was uttered.

Gonzalez was the consummate professional throughout his career. He has never been in trouble with his team or the law. He has never complained about contracts or playing situations. He just went out, did his job, and did it the best possible.

Hell, Gonzalez is not only a first-ballot Hall of Famer, he’s a bonafide life saver.

Gonzalez never wanted or grabbed the attention of the media. He just did what he had to do to help his team win. Sure, he may have only won one playoff game in his 16-year career, but look at some of the teams he played on. Some were down-right brutal, yet he still didn’t complain about it.

Gonzalez never had to put on a show for the media to get attention. He didn’t care where the cameras were because none of that mattered to him. He went out, did his job, went to the locker room, and began preparing for the next game.

Now, it’s the day after his playing career came to an apparent end – won’t say definitive end due to people having the right to change their mind – and hardly any of the focus is on him leaving the game.

Gonzalez ends with the most games played (254), most receptions (1,242), most receiving yards (14,268), and touchdowns (103) in NFL history for a tight end.

Still, no one seems to notice.

Maybe that’s the way he wants it, but as fans and followers of the National Football League we at least owe it to him to talk about not only the greatest tight end in the history of the game, but one of the greatest players of all time.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Atlanta Falcons Baltimore Ravens Ray Lewis Tony Gonzalez

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=706166911 Raja Govindarajan

    I truly believe that the Falcons are just a couple of defensive players away from a Superbowl. The offense is fine as it is. Let us not discount the fact that the Falcons blew both the Seahawks and Niners (the top two defensive teams) out of the game in the first half. It is just that the defense collapsed – leaving the tight ends open – in the second half.