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Antwaan Randle El regrets ever playing football—report

Citing memory loss and other injuries, former NFL star Antwaan Randle El says he wishes he had played baseball. | Getty Images

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The state of Illinois has seen few athletes as good as Antwaan Randle El.

The Thornton High School graduate starred in three sports—football, basketball and baseball. Despite being drafted by the Cubs in the 14th round of the 1997 MLB Draft, Randle El opted to attend Indiana, where played quarterback and also found time to play basketball for Bob Knight.

Randle El went on to play nine seasons in the NFL as a wide receiver, making the all-pro team in 2005 and winning a Super Bowl ring that season.

Now, Randle El, 36, wishes he had called an audible on his football career.

He told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette he has trouble walking and that he suffers from memory loss:

“I ask my wife things over and over again, and she’s like, ‘I just told you that,’ I’ll ask her three times the night before and get up in the morning and forget. Stuff like that. I try to chalk it up as I’m busy, I’m doing a lot, but I have to be on my knees praying about it, asking God to allow me to not have these issues and live a long life. I want to see my kids raised up. I want to see my grandkids.”

Randel El, who is still the only wide receiver to throw for a touchdown in Super Bowl history, wishes he had taken his great arm to baseball.

Randle El is still the only wide receiver to have thrown a Super Bowl TD pass. | AP

“If I could go back, I wouldn’t play football. I would play baseball. I got drafted by the Cubs in the 14th round, but I didn’t play baseball because of my parents. They made me go to school. Don’t get me wrong, I love the game of football. But right now, I could still be playing baseball.”

Despite the injuries, Randle El professed his love for football but warned:

“Right now. I wouldn’t be surprised if football isn’t around in 20, 25 years.”