Longtime New England Patriots left tackle Matt Light announced his retirement during a Monday press conference at the Patriots facility. Light is one of five players who have been to five Super Bowls, and he goes down as one of the most memorable Patriots.
If you didn't already like Light, then this story by Mike Reiss may change your mind. Light revealed to Reiss for the first time that he battles Crohn's disease, which nearly killed him following the Patriots' 2004 Super Bowl season. Light had surgery that, if everything went according to plan, would have removed 13 inches of his intestines. Except the surgery didn't go as planned, Reiss reports.
Instead, there were post-surgery complications. Light didn't eat for a month. His weight dropped from 315 pounds to 260, as his under-the-radar battle with Crohn's disease -- a bowel disease that causes inflammation of the lining of the digestive system -- was attacking him with force.
Light used the words "near-death experience" describing the situation.
"That happened in June, and I made it to training camp in the third week [of August], but not without having literally a near-death experience where I had another blockage post-surgery that I wasn't aware of -- all these complications. It's not to tell the story as 'woe is me' -- I could care less about that -- but when you go through something like that and it's that wild of a time ... I always wanted to finish the game of football and go out on my terms and the way I wanted to do it."
It's amazing that the left tackle of a Super Bowl team could go through something like this, and nobody outside of the team knew.