Defensive lineman Haloti Ngata is one of the greatest Ravens in the franchise’s short history. He made five Pro Bowls in nine years in Baltimore after being selected 12th overall in the 2006 draft, helped lead the team to its second Super Bowl victory in 2013, and was regularly considered one of the best defensive players in the sport.
And yet, his most impressive feat might be his retirement announcement.
Ngata announced this week on Instagram that he was retiring from the NFL after 13 seasons, but it wasn’t your standard retirement.
The hulking lineman hiked to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro to post a picture with a customized banner announcing his playing career is over. The banner mentions going out from the NFL “on top,” a fitting phrase for a man standing at Africa’s highest point.
19,341 feet above sea level. For reference, that’s nearly 121 full-length football fields.
Ngata was always a man who embraced challenges, and climbing the world’s tallest free standing mountain certainly qualifies. He has an argument as a top-five player in team history, and now has an argument for top five retirement in league history as well.
The bar has now been set really, really high for future retirement announcements around sports. It’ll be tough to top this one, either in creativity or in literal height.
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