Boy that is...that is something. I'm sure it's hyperbole to some extent, but also, we can't go around acting like this isn't still the same mentality of a lot of the guys in the league. The NFL has come a long way in the last 5-10 years when it comes to concussions. They no longer pretend they are fake, which is a solid start. And most players are trying to play safer, eliminate headshots, etc to extend not just their careers, but their lives.
But this is an eye-opener that when you are a top tier football player your entire life, you've always had the "kill or be killed" mindset drilled into your brain, or whatever is left of it. What Ryan is saying is "I want to leave it all on the field and have no regrets" but what came out is "you see all those guys who can't chew their own food when they are 50 years old? I want that to be me." And that's...uhhhhhh, not what the NFL wants to hear. They would prefer their players not be so open about brain damage.
It's also sort of refreshing (I don't think that's the word, but you'll see where I'm going with this) to see a player be like "yup, my life is going to be fucked up from playing football, and I accept that". You know? Like he's not even pretending that being a football player now will deteriorate his life later. He's not naive to the fact, and he's playing the game full well knowing he won't be able to remember his grandkids' names. It's a gross reality.
The hope is Ryan, and the rest of the league, can have fulfilling NFL careers, take no plays off, *and* play with their grandchildren without CTE getting in the way. I think he is just being honest about the possible reality, but boy, what a dark quote.
PS: Ryan Anderson is a physical freak and I love his game, but there are rumors of the Skins trading him because they aren't sure there is a position for him on the defense. I never get that line of thinking. If a player is good, find a place for him. There's gotta be a place for him on this team. Unless we can get a really good TE in return. That'd be nice. But I am very on the side of keeping talent and creating schemes they can succeed in.