Devin Hester announced his retirement Tuesday morning, officially ending the career of the best return man the NFL has seen — and you can’t argue that.
Hester tweeted out a statement announcing his retirement, thanking Bears fans:
CURTAINS ✌ Appreciate all of the love for all these years!!! Y’all made the ride incredible!!! pic.twitter.com/jkcVrRLcNI— Devin Hester (@D_Hest23) December 12, 2017
There are not many players in the history of the NFL or sports in general who can claim a rule change was made for them. The ones who can typically don’t call it like they see it either, but Hester did.
“Commissioner Goodell, you can put the kickoff back at the 30,” he wrote.
Hester was the first player to ever return the opening kickoff of a Super Bowl back for a touchdown. It’s something former Colts head coach Tony Dungy swore he was going to avoid and then got brave.
"We had decided all week that we were not going to kick the ball to Devin Hester," Dungy said on the show. "That night after the meeting, I thought that was playing scared. So, the next morning as we're going to the game, I told the team I hope we lose the toss because if we do, we're going to kick it right down the middle to Hester. We're going to pound him. Then, they know we've taken their best threat. They're going to be finished.
"Thirteen seconds later he was in the end zone," Dungy continued. "Everybody is looking at me saying, who's that? I went back and said to them, I told you we'd have a storm."
It was the Bears’ biggest moment in that Super Bowl:
Hester had three seasons with at least three punt returns for touchdowns. He also had five total kickoff returns for touchdowns over the span of his career.
There’s always players who spark broadcasters to give a warning, that this one could be taken back for a touchdown. Whatever player it is, he’s a real threat!
But Hester is the only player in NFL history who you could honestly believe that any football he was able to field had a chance to go the distance. His 19 combined kick and punt returns is six more than Brian Mitchell at second place.
One of the more impressive parts about it was he made special teams a must-watch event. Whether that was because you wanted to see him be great or you wanted your team to avoid disaster, you couldn’t get up and take your bathroom break from viewing — it was too risky.
That element combined with his unmatched stats make him a Hall of Famer.