John McDonnell/Washington Post
The writing is always on the wall in professional sports, particularly in the no-guaranteed-contract National Football League. Indeed, long before he fought back tears and his voice quivered at his farewell news conference, Chris Cooley knew how the NFL worked.
One day, you’re a rumbling mass of humanity, seeing the ball into your large, soft hands, cradling that leather and mowing over smaller, weaker men, who clutch at your heels after being felled by essentially a beer truck with a broken parking brake. Back then, the Pro Bowl life beckoned, and middle-aged couples from places such as Hagerstown and Leesburg and Bowie wore matching