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Former RB Rashard Mendenhall Scores Full-Time Writer Job With ‘Ballers’


In one of the more unique career turns following retirement from the NFL, former Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals running back Rashard Mendenhall has landed a full-time role as a script writer for HBO’s latest sports drama, Ballers. The series follows a former football player turned financial advisor (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) who witnesses the highs and lows of the professional sporting world.

Mendenhall made waves in the league when he announced his retirement at age 26. The back played six seasons and made $13 million before deciding to call it a career. Now, with the pilot episode of Ballers having been met warmly by both critics and the public alike, he appears to have settled into a job that agrees with him on a personal level.

After five years in the ‘Burgh and three years averaging over 1000 rushing yards, “Mendy” will unfortunately be best remembered as the man who lost a fumble during a crucial Pittsburgh drive in Super Bowl XLV. The play would go on to be the deciding moment in the contest, ultimately helping Green Bay to its fourth Lombardi trophy.

In later seasons, he began to draw the ire of Steeler Nation for his excessive “dancing” behind the line of scrimmage and reluctance to hit holes and run north to south. His move to Arizona placed Pittsburgh in a short-lived dark age of “running back by committee” until Le’Veon Bell came along to rebuild the backfield.

His unique playing style notwithstanding, Mendenhall always seemed like a thoughtful young man whose views often conflicted with the public’s perception of athletes as role models. Following the death of Osama Bin Laden and the raucous American reaction that followed in 2011, Mendenhall criticized the celebrations and suggested that the whole story had yet to be revealed.

His Twitter comments naturally caused discomfort among a nation still sporting fresh wounds, and it is still unknown as to whether the backlash affected his decision to step out of the spotlight. In March 2014, he again challenged his perception as a stereotype when he announced, “Football was pretty cool, but I don’t want to play anymore. I want to travel the world and write.”

It appears this wasn’t just an empty promise. If it means Mendenhall has truly found his new life’s passion behind the silver screen, then nobody has the right to judge anymore.

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