One Season Too Many: Superstar Athletes Who Stayed Too Long

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Matthew Andrews teaches American History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His courses use the history of American sports to explore race relations, gender ideals, political protest, and American identity. Professor Andrews was asked by the UNC student body to give the honorific “Last Lecture” to the graduating class of 2015. His students voted him their university’s “Best Professor” three times since 2016.



As Tom Brady experiences week after week of disappointment, he is in fact following the footsteps of many other superstar athletes that played a final season they wish had never happened. Joe Namath, Johnny Unitas, Willie Mays, Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Muhammad Ali, and many more finished with a whimper, rather than a bang.




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Elliot Kist

Outstanding lecture

I found this lecture fascinating. I never realized the many complex layers athletes have to ponder upon their retirement. Thank you!

11 months ago


Fabulous class…great lecture!

11 months ago
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