25 Great Careers Marred by Injury

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25 Great Careers Marred by Injury
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

The allure of sport is in the hypothetical.

What if this? I predict that.

Mock drafts, scouting reports, preseason picks: these are the binding agents of fanhood, the currency with which we construct meaning out of childhood games.

Buried in this perpetual state of projection there lies a darker question: What could have been?

For these athletes, that somber refrain defines their legacy. Brilliant athletes all of them, but none quicker, or stronger, or more agile than the cruel fate of bodily torment.

I’m purposefully excluding players that died during their careers, instead focusing on those who played through injury. The former already have our attention—bronzed busts, charity tributes, and sentimental magazine features.

As Neil Young says: “It’s better to burn out than to fade away.”

In that case, the faders deserve a little love. Here’s my tribute.

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