Greenway retires with thoughtful words about his parents, small towns

In his retirement speech, Chad Greenway didn't forget his small town roots and family.

Chad Greenway's retirement press conference went 30 minutes before reporters peppered him with questions. Thirty minutes of humble pride that looked back on a football career that started on a farm in rural South Dakota.

Like his 11 seasons with the Vikings, Greenway's farewell was honest and thoughtful. You can watch his full goodbye at

Carrying the torch for small town kids

"To realize my dreams of playing in the NFL for 11 years. A dream that I started when I was 11 years old and I was holding the gate for my dad when he was feeding cattle, and I told him I'm going to play pro ball. He looked at me like I was crazy. I'll never forget, he said, 'it's going to take a lot of hard work but it's possible.' It's sort of one of those moments you just never forget as a kid. My dad was my hero and I think when he said that, it's something like, you know, I'm going to try to do that. It's taken a lot of work, it's taken a lot of effort and a lot of good luck."

Greenway is from Mount Vernon, South Dakota.

Family first

"A lot has been written about my parents because of my dad's passing a couple years ago. I can't say enough about the people they are and the ... kids they raised. They gave us every opportunity we wanted. They let us set sail and go achieve those dreams. They gave us every intangible, quality, that I have, that my sisters have, to go achieve those dreams. I am a microcosm of my parents and the work ethic that has led me to the consistent player that I've been over the last 11 years is only because of them. None of this would be possible without them.

Thanking his mother

"My mom, she still runs the family farm on her own. The courage that she shows on an everyday basis running that thing with my dad gone. Having four daughters is ... such an amazing thing for me to watch. And I'm so proud of her for that and the example she continues to give us. I just can't say thank you enough."

Remembering his father

"The most amazing man in the world. Hands down. I'm so proud to carry the name that he gave me and hold it to a high standard. I'm so proud to be his son. It was hard losing him, but at the same time it's fun to be able to carry on his legacy with my own kids. To the little ones down here, obviously you're my life."

No regrets

"So although I didn't win a Super Bowl – it was the only goal I haven't accomplished – this today is a goal that I'm accomplishing. This my is my final goal that I'll accomplish in the NFL. Probably my final goal that I'll achieve as a player. To go out and retire on my own terms, doing it my way, and looking back at a career that I don't have to live with any regret. I never took a day off. I never took the easy way out. I started from nowhere and was able to achieve the highest standard of our profession."

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