“In my 11 years as a Jet, there were plenty of ups and downs, but through it all, I wanted to be the Steady Eddie. I wanted to be the guy other guys looked at to see how it was done. I learned this attribute from the vets that I played with. My biggest regret is not bringing the Lombardi Trophy to New York, but as I retire, I will continue my efforts to bring the Trophy home in a different capacity. I have no idea what that capacity is, but I’m sure I will figure something out in the future.”
Mangold missed only four games in his first 10 seasons in the league but was limited to eight games in 2016 by a foot and ankle injury and was released by the Jets in February 2017. He sat out the entire 2017 season as he continued to recover from the injury.
During his Ohio State career, Mangold played in 42 games. He was a true freshman in 2002 when the Buckeyes won the national title and a captain as a senior in 2005.
Mangold thanked his family, including his wife Jenny and their three kids, plus the Centerville Wee Elks, Alter High School, Ohio State and the Jets in his letter and reflected on his long journey.
“I remember the night before my first pee wee practice like it happened yesterday,” Mangold said. “The unknown, the excitement, the small ball of nervous energy that sits in your stomach were all present that night. Those same feelings would stick with me every fall for the next 23 years. What I didn’t know way back in 1993 is how much football would end up meaning to me and how it would shape my life.
“From the moment I stepped on the field, I was hooked. I won’t say I loved every minute as it was happening — Oklahoma drills, monkey rolls, bear crawls, Jim Tressel’s conditioning tests, every loss and every injury. But as I reflect back, I wouldn’t trade my experiences for the world. All the negatives taught me an important lesson, and all the positives reinforced those lessons.”