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Former Minnesota Vikings player Christian Ballard quit the team during training camp this season. Now, a month later, the defensive tackle opens up to his reasons for walking out on the team.
"I wasn't really having a good time playing football. It wasn't fun for me. It wasn't a blast for me," he told USA Today.
Ballard claims that he is perfectly healthy and not in any kind of trouble – this decision was made for him alone.
Will he miss the money? Apparently not so much – the player said, "Making that much money – that was fun. But money is still a material thing. You can always make money. You can't make that time that you lose with your friends and your loved ones. Time is something that you can never get back."
In his time off, Ballard has some work to do on the rest of his life. Last week Thursday he and his wife were arrested for domestic battery. Although he was released right away, the incident got him thinking. "I can always treat my wife better, treat my son better, be a better brother, be a better son," he said. And without having to worry about plays and winning games, Ballard will have the time to work on his issues. "But I know right now from being out of the NFL that it's a lot easier to focus on those things because I have time. I'm not wrapped up in this whole other lifestyle.
Although he claims that he may return to the NFL after awhile, right now he is focusing on his new marriage and his relationship with his 3-year-old son, as well as going back to church and working on his undergrad and graduate degrees. "I'm not sitting here saying I'm done forever. I've just got to reevaluate what I really want to do with my life and go from there."
According to Yahoo Sports, played every game for the Vikings for the last two seasons, contributing 16 tackles in 2012 alone.
But it just wasn't enough for him. "I couldn't sit there and lie to myself for another two years, doing something that wasn't what I want to do," the defensive tackle said.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons