Jason Witten made his return to the NFL on Sunday, catching three passes for fifteen yards and a touchdown. Today, he went on with Dan Patrick to discuss, among other things, his widely panned year in the Monday Night Football booth.
Patrick asked Witten, pointedly, if he would have gone back to playing had the broadcasting experience been better for everyone. Witten’s answer: yes, he would have.
“I think I would be playing, still. And that’s not a knock at that, I just felt like there was a strong desire and fire that I still had to go play. Did I make the right decision, the wrong decision? If I didn’t have the opportunity to play again you could say it was wrong. But I’m better not only as a player but as a person through that experience. You go through some adversity, you get humbled, and you survive that year. I’m grateful of that.”
Witten’s answer is heavily centered on his desire to return to playing:
“I don’t know that you’re ever more alive then when you’re playing the game that you love, if you feel like you can play it to the level you expect to play. It was always kind of pulling on me. We were fortunate enough to call the Chiefs-Rams game that was supposed to be in Mexico City last year, both teams were undefeated, star players galore, young coach vs. the old coach. And it was a shootout, it was the highest-scoring game of the season. And you finish the game, and I didn’t play in the game, I didn’t help the team win. We didn’t screw up the broadcast too bad. (laughs)
I wanted that feeling, I wanted to be a part of a team, I wanted to go out and play and experience where winning and losing matters…I’m appreciative having this opportunity again, and I have a lot of joy knowing I can still play. So, yeah, I think I would have gone back and played, for sure.”
There’s probably no reason to not take Witten at his word. Chasing the highs of competition is so common for recently retired athletes that it’s essentially a cliche at this point, and given how his year in the booth went, it was probably a very easy choice for him.
[Dan Patrick Show]