A year ago this time, Keith Fitzhugh was taking a thorough spin in the 24-hour news cycle.
Fitzhugh, you may recall, chose to keep his job at an Atlanta railroad even when the New York Jets came calling for his help.
"I can smile about it now because it really was the right decision," Fitzhugh told The Associated Press this week. "Some people, they thought it was the wrong decision, but in my heart, I always knew it was the right one. You just don't know what's going to happen ever."
Fitzhugh's year has had highs and lows. He married his college sweetheart on Thanksgiving, and was recently promoted. Sadly, his father died of a heart attack in October.
"If he would've left his job, came here and done this for three or four weeks and made some good money for that time, he would've missed that time with his parents and never have been able to get that back," said Jets defensive back Marquice Cole, who lived with Fitzhugh in 2009. "It was a no-brainer and he made the right decision."
Leonhard was lost to another serious injury on Sunday, but Fitzhugh isn't staring at the phone.
"I have thought about it like that I'm retired from the game," he said. "I'm just being honest with myself as far as pro football. It was just time for me to get myself mentally prepared just like I did for football, but now, for the railroad."