Alexander Shun | @alexpshun
Digital Content Manager | KFAN.com
It was announced yesterday, and today, the retirement of now former Minnesota Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway was made official as Greenway took to the podium to part ways with the game he has spent the last 11 years playing and loves with all his heart.
"There are a lot of different ways to retire - we all saw Jared Allen ride off into the sunset last year, we've seen the different ways to do it - I just thought it would be so fitting for me," Greenway began, noting how a retirement press conference was something he requested.
There are few players that can say they played with one team, one organization for the entirety of their career; Chad Greenway is one of them.
Coming from Mount Vernon, South Dakota, Greenway recalled how he was just a kid in a small town working on a ranch with a dream of playing in the NFL. When the Vikings drafted him back in 2006 with the 17th overall selection, that dream came true.
"It took a lot of work, it has taken a lot of effort and a lot of good luck," Greenway said. "You realize that growing up in that environment, growing up on the farm and in that community, was the reason that I've not only been able to have success at Iowa, but also to have 11 years of success here. It was because of not only who I am but what made me who I am and that's my parents, my background, my farming background and that community.
"I'm so proud of the fact that I played in this organization for 11 years" Greenway continued. "I'm so proud of the fact that I'm from South Dakota, I went to Iowa and played in Minnesota and I'm from this tri-state area. I'm so proud to be a part of this community."
The press conference was held Tuesday so that Greenway could thank everyone who helped him to have such a long and illustrious career. Much like his career, his list of thank you's was long as well.
From the coaching staffs ranging from high school to the NFL and all of his teammates along the way, to the trainers, staff members and his family, Greenway made sure to thank them all and noted specifically the role each played in his career. The former Vikings linebacker made it through most of his press conference fine but got emotional when discussing his father who passed away in 2014.
"Seeing him battle through the cancer for two years and having him watch my career and now I know he's looking down on me," a visibly emotional Greenway said. "He's the most amazing in the world, hands down. I'm so proud to carry the name that he gave me and hold it to a high standard. I'm so proud to be his son. It was hard losing him but at the same time it's fun to be able to carry on his name and his legacy with my own kids."
Greenway spoke about his kids and how excited he was to be a bigger part of their lives and enjoy more moments with them now that his career as a linebacker has come to a close, saying that he'll continue coaching his daughter's sports teams and is looking forward to having an August not playing football.
He also gave a huge thank you to his wife Jenny who he said allowed him to live out his out dreams while she put hers on the back-burner and noted that it's her turn now while calling her "the most talented person I know."
The former first-round pick fittingly saved his thank you to Vikings fans for last, adding how great they have been over the years and how important of a role they have played in his career.
"South Dakota fans, Iowa Hawkeye fans, obviously, and the millions of Minnesota Vikings fans, thank you," Greenway said. "Thank you for everything. I've been so proud to be your linebacker for the last 11 years, so thank you."