It is with great sadness that I am reporting what I learned today. Casey Fitzsimmons, Tight End for the Detroit Lions made it official. At 29 years old he announced his retirement from the NFL due to several concussions, including one in December that is still causing him ill effects. “This has been a very difficult decision,” Fitzsimmons said in a statement released by his agent. (Photo above, Getty: Otto Greule Jr.)
“I feel like 2009 was one of the best seasons of my career, because I was so consistent and was able to contribute in a variety of ways. If it wasn’t for the concussions, I would not be retiring.”
“It’s frustrating because the rest of my body is still capable of playing at a high level in the NFL,” he said. “However, given the seriousness of the risk associated with continuing to play, I have to listen to the advice the team has given me.” Of course when I called Casey today he didn’t pick up his cell. ha ha. . .
Fitzsimmons has sustained several concussions during his seven-year career, including one on Dec. 6 against the Cincinnati Bengals that caused him to end the 2009 season on the injured reserve list. Following an evaluation by team doctors, Fitzsimmons was advised by the Lions to retire.
I talked to Casey a few weeks ago and know it was a tough decision. He and his wife Allison just had a new baby in February and watching her grow up is the most important thing.
I rode my bike to Casey’s house many times over the years. I was so beat by the time I got there he would have to drive me and my bike back home in his truck. I will miss him, his family, and his dogs Bear and Louie.
If you remember 2 years ago I was taking care of his Golden retriever Bear and she saw a rabbit in my back yard and beelined after it right through the screen door! Bear was also the dog that got me in trouble from the Travelers Building (the old home of 99.5 WYCD) when I snuck her into the studio. I told Building security she was a “seeing eye hunting dog.”
I hope you come back to visit and see some concerts back in the “D” Casey! I know [lastfm]Kid Rock[/lastfm] and [lastfm]Zac Brown[/lastfm] would love a repeat session of last year! (If you happen to make it here for the 2010 Hoedown!) If not, maybe I will have to make a trek to your ranch in Montana this summer!