In an ending fitting for any John Wayne movie, Carolina Panthers defensive end Jared Allen rode off into the sunset last week finishing his career. As I highlighted in my blog “Top Five Things from the Week”, he literally did this. Allen, most well known for his time as a sack master with the Minnesota Vikings (and also for killing animals), finished his career with 136 sacks and one Super Bowl appearance with the Carolina Panthers this season. Allen was of course traded from the Chicago Bears to the Panthers earlier this season in a move by the Bears to acquire an additional late round draft pick.
Regardless of if you loved or hated Jared Allen, he will be missed by the league. With rumors that Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch is also retiring, along with perhaps career pitchman Peyton Manning, next season will likely lack many of the most amusing or at least head-turning NFL characters we’ve grown to love (or hate). Allen, a once mullet-endorsing, true outdoorsmen, was documented for his love of hunting any animal with any weapon. Seriously, this guy spent his off seasons out on his ranch hiding in a tree ready to bounce on something out in the woods with his hunting knife.
My favorite Jared Allen memory is from his celebrity golf tournament he hosted roughly five years ago. The proceeds of the event went to military veterans, so Mr. Allen incorporated several of these vets into the event by having them out on the golf course either hiding behind trees ready to scare the shit out of golfers or screaming at them in their backswing. There were also some loose rules about allowing contact during play and a Slip N’ Slide on the fairway of the 18th hole as a grand finale. One celebrity athlete lost a tooth and another cracked his ribs and thus, Jared Allen’s golf tournament went the way of The Cowboy Way 2.
Although the league has lost a real cowboy, Jared Allen’s zany antics will always be remembered.