I felt a need to make this thread for a man who I believe to be one of the most underrated and under-appreciated players to ever grace an NFL field.
This year wasn't a bright spot for him individually or as a team, but that still will never take away from the stellar body of work that he's put together through the course of an outstanding career.
An Undrafted Free Agent coming out of John Carroll in 1998, Fletcher made an immediate impact on the Rams as their team-nominated rookie of the year playing in all 16 games. The following year, the Division III product earned the starting MLB job and helped lead the Rams on their path to the Superbowl. He's never looked back since.
An unassuming team first player, Fletcher's always remained in the shadows. For many reasons, he's never received the recognition and awards that his play on the field should have warranted. Playing amongst the likes of the always boisterous and all-world Ray Lewis, fellow NFL greats Brian Urlacher and Zach Thomas, followed by up-and-coming superstars Jon Beason and Patrick Willis, as well as other good ILBs on winning teams like Farrior, Trotter, Seau, and Bruschi, Fletchers consistently great performances often went unnoticed.
While he may not have all the awards and accolades that he deserved, 256 consecutive starts of high-caliber performance as a 5'10 MLB in this league speaks for itself. While its true that many injuries are pure chance, it was no fluke that Fletcher remained healthy and productive for 16 years.
Dedication to physically prepare his body in the offseason and week in and week out during the season. Toughness to play through all the injuries he's sustained over the years. Passion to stick with it for as long as he has, even through many difficult team seasons. The love for the game to put on all-pro caliber performances year in and year out without recognition.
The adjectives for describing London Fletcher are endless, but his career is not. As London Fletcher is just moments away from his final time lacing up the cleats, I just wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to a man who embodies everything I love about football. A great football player and a seemingly great person, I'll be sad to see him go.
Hats off, Iron Man. I had a blast watching you play this game I do so dearly love.