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Caputo & Fithian

Three Biggest Examples Of Truly Great Athletes Who Stuck Around Too Long

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HOUSTON, UNITED STATES: The Washington Wizards Michael Jordan runs the court for the first time since being sidelined with knee problems, in Thursday's game against the Houston Rockets in Houston, Texas, at the Compaq Center 06 December 2001. AFP PHOTO/James NIELSEN (Photo credit should read JAMES NIELSEN/AFP/Getty Images)

HOUSTON, UNITED STATES: The Washington Wizards Michael Jordan runs the court for the first time since being sidelined with knee problems, in Thursday’s game against the Houston Rockets in Houston, Texas, at the Compaq Center 06 December 2001. AFP PHOTO/James NIELSEN (Photo credit should read JAMES NIELSEN/AFP/Getty Images)

patcaputo i) Pat Caputo
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By: Pat Caputo

Roger Clemens, steroids controversy aside, was the greatest pitcher I have seen. Now he’s decided to pitch again at the age of 50 with an independent minor league team near Houston. This has led to speculation he may attempt a comeback to the major leagues next season. Here are three biggest examples of truly great athletes who hung on for too long or should have stayed retired.

1. Muhammad Ali – For all the highlights of his brilliant career, and his charismatic, difference-making personality, if we could only turn back time and urge Ali to retire from boxing sooner. It was not only sad watching the Larry Holmes fight late in his career, but we can only imagine the damage done to Ali physically while taking such beatings late in his career.

2. Michael Jordan – Anybody remember Jordan’s last NBA game? Anybody ever envision him as a member of the Washington Wizards. By then, “Air” Jordan was “Ground” Jordan.

3. Brett Favre – Just think how much different Favre’s legacy would be if he just stayed retired? He was considered one of football’s all-time stand up players, the ultimate competitor. Then, his stints in New York and Minnesota brought out a side of Favre that has left him being viewed as a goofy caricature.

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