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Daily Buzz: Brent is stomach-turning

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Sam Gardner

Sam Gardner is a general assignment writer for FOXSports.com. Originally from Orlando, Fla., he previously covered the Orlando Magic for FOX Sports Florida and has also covered the NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Finals and MLB playoffs. Follow him on Twitter.

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Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Josh Brent announced that he was "retiring" from the NFL on Thursday, calling it the “right thing for (him) to do,” given the current legal and personal battles he’s fighting.

As far as I’m concerned, giving Brent the benefit of calling it a retirement is an insult to any athlete who has ever played a sport or worked a day in their lives.

Forget the technical definition of the term -- retirement isn’t just hanging up the cleats. Retirement is symbolic. It’s what happens when you’ve paid your dues and built a legacy and your career ends because you’re too old, too tired or too broken down to keep taking the field. Retirement is what Brian Urlacher did this offseason. Retirement is for guys like Ray Lewis or Jeff Saturday.

These men are titans who earned the right to end things their way. Brent doesn’t deserve to be lumped in with them just because his circumstances forced the issue. Retirement is a reward for competitors who want to go home and relax after a career well-played, not an out for guys whose “retirement” may play out in a cell.

Unlike the Pro Bowlers mentioned above, the only reason anyone even knows Brent’s name is because he was involved in the death of a teammate and keeps finding ways to end up back in jail as he awaits his September trial on charges of the intoxication manslaughter of Jerry Brown.

To that end, Brent has failed two drug tests since being released on a $100,000 bond, and had a hearing scheduled Friday morning in which a Dallas County judge was to rule on whether Brent's bond should be revoked after his latest positive test for marijuana.

From a productivity standpoint, Brent is more famous for standing on the sideline than he is for anything he ever did on the field. No one will ever remember him for his 31 career tackles or his 1-1/2 career sacks, or for the one fumble he forced and the one pass he deflected.

So forgive me if I have a hard time stomaching the idea that what he did Thursday was “retire.” Josh Brent didn’t retire, he quit — and he did it because he had to. And for those who harbor any sort of respect for the players who have earned the opportunity to make that decision themselves, there’s a big difference.

Now, for a few links:

• Ever wonder how the NFL's yellow first-down line came to be?

• Jerry Seinfeld tore into Mets fans for their behavior at the All-Star Game.

• The teen who ran onto the field during the All-Star Game could get a year in jail.

• You won't find people waiting outside Wrigley for Cubs games like they did Thursday night to hear Pearl Jam's soundcheck:

• Six current players joined Ed O'Bannon's suit against the NCAA.

• The single-A Lansing Lugnuts were no-hit for the third time this season.

• Amar'e Stoudemire on the Israeli national team?

• Jadeveon Clowney posted this awesome picture of Steve Spurrier to his Instagram:

• Maurice Jones-Drew was mocked for picking himself first in his own fantasy football draft.

• A 'Bama fan compared Nick Saban to Hitler — but he totally meant it as a compliment.

• Jim Buss thinks Kobe Bryant will be ready for the start of the season.

• Tom Rinaldi left Jordan Spieth hanging after his first round at the Open:

• Amid opposition from neighbors, the Jets have withdrawn their request for a helipad at the team's Florham Park, N.J., practice facility.

• The Brooklyn Nets' owner thinks Jason Kidd will be a good coach because of the movie "Top Gun." Obviously.

• Bud Selig is not thrilled by the Rays' attendance woes.

• Seems you may see Oregon rocking a blinding yellow-on-yellow uniform this year:

• Former naval officer looks to succeed in golf.

• And here's another compelling golf read on Jeff Klauk's ongoing battle with epilepsy.

• Former ABA player Simmie Hill died at 66, and ex-Olympian Bill Johnson is not doing well either.

• The Diamondbacks have introduced a luchador mascot:

• Jim Carrey randomly hung out on an Iowa high school baseball team's bus.

• Noted good guy Matt Kemp bought new Beats by Dre headphones for all of his teammates.

Michael Vick says prison made him a better person.

• Dirk Nowitzki can’t get no satisfaction:

Tagged: Cowboys, Colts, Eagles, Ravens, Michael Vick, Jeff Saturday, Ray Lewis, Josh Brent, Jerry Brown

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