With Shaquille O'Neal's retirement, his accomplishments and impact on the game have been shoved down our throats ad-nauseum.
O'Neal brought the center position into the 21st century, having had an impact on the game that many players wish to have.
As Shaq closes the curtain on an illustrious career, we turn to the NFL to find five players who have had an impact on football like O'Neal had on basketball.
These players are all close to retirement (or one special exception who recently retired), like Shaq, and have made a big difference.
Note: I figured I couldn't put a running back like LaDanian Tomlinson on here, because the NFL is moving to a two-back system.
It was blatantly obvious that Favre was the exception, as he just recently retired, but the impact he had on the game of football is that of myth and legend.
Favre did win his championship, but he is best remembered for popularizing the gunslinging quarterback in the NFL.
No. 4 was no football genius—his method was not playbook, but rather sandlot football—and it worked for him and Green Bay.
Favre showed us that a professional football player can have the enthusiasm of a pee-wee athlete who just got his pads for the first time.
Ray Lewis has had an undeniable impact on 21st century football, and his way of going about the game has provided a great example for every aspiring middle linebacker.
Lewis made the middle linebacker position into a team-mentoring, father-figure, and his performance on the field backed him up.
The Miami product is up there with all-time greats like Chuck Bednarik and Dick Butkus, and the former Hurricane has given us the definition of what a middle linebacker is.
As he puts the finishing touches on a fantastic career, we can never forget what the Raven did for the game.
Ed Reed is another Raven who makes the list, because when you think of a ball-hawking safety, Reed has to be the first guy to jump into your mind.
Him and Troy Polamalu are constantly compared, but Reed has helped turn the free safety position into a glorified cornerback off of the line of scrimmage.
No. 20 intercepts the football at a prolific rate, and has made the safety position into another playmaker on the defense.
The Raven is a once-in-a-generation talent who has given everything to the game of football, and in the process, has left an indelible mark.
Owens will be remembered for his flamboyant touchdown celebrations, attention-grabbing, off-the-field behavior, and general antics.
The embattled receiver paved the way for many of the prima donna wideouts in the game today, and while it may be a negative one, he has had a huge impact on the game of football.
No. 81 had a dangerous combination of talent and flair, and will probably be a Hall of Famer when the dust settles on his career.
Jeff Saturday is an interesting choice for this list, but between him and Peyton Manning, Saturday's retirement seems a lot closer (a big reason why Manning doesn't make this list...yet).
Saturday made it a regular thing for centers to be just as knowledgeable as the quarterback, as the Colt center would have to know exactly what Peyton Manning was thinking at all times for the offense to run smoothly.
The lineman became a signal-caller in his own right, calling many of his own protection schemes and giving Peyton Manning peace of mind.
Saturday helped bring centers into the 21st century—transforming them from meatheads to intelligent individuals with a passion for the game of football.