One of the touhgest things for an athelete to do is walk away from the game they love. It's their life, their identity. Rarely do our all time favorites go out the way we think they deserve to. John Elway walked away from football after winning two straight Super Bowls. Not bad. But we all have images like Michael Jordan struggling in a Wizards uniform. Brett Favre limping off the field as a Viking. Willie Mays as a Met. It's tough to let go. We're getting three big reminders of that in sports this year.

Kansas City Chiefs v Denver Broncos
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Peyton Manning was brought to Denver by John Elway. Do what Elway did. Win a Super Bowl or two and ride off into the sunset. They made it to the big game, but got blasted by Seatle. Now as Peyton hangs on, injuries have diminished his skills, and now sidelined him completely. With the team winning without him, you have to wonder if we've seen the last of Peyton on the field.

Mitchell Leff
Mitchell Leff
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Kobe Bryant announced this week that this season with the Lakers will be his last season in the NBA. Kobe came to the NBA straight out of high school 20 years ago. He won 5 titles with the Lakers and is arguably the best shooter/scoorer we've seen since MJ. But injuries have sidelined Kobe the past several seasons. This year his scoring is at an all time low. The shots aren't falling and Kobe finally realized it. The goodbye tour has commenced.

PGA Championship - Round One
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Finally, we have Tiger Woods. The man who has battled his back the past several years, but has always said that he would be back. Woods was so dominant in his prime that the Tiger we've seen the past two years doesn't seem possible. I mean, he isn't even 40 yet. But this week, for the first time, Tiger Woods sounded like a man who has come to grips with reality. After 3 back surgeries in 21 months, Tiger now can only walk for exercise. He can't even play soceer with his kids. Golf is the last thing on his mind. The man who was obsessed at breaking the all time record for most major wins, dooesn't know if he'll ever swing a club again. Father time waits for no one. He's undefeated. It's only a matter of time before he calls your number. Some athletes can see it coming, while others ignore it until the end. For Peyton, Kobe and Tiger, the end is near.