The life-changing moment that still brings Rams star Andrew Whitworth to tears
By LA Stories Staff Los Angeles
PUBLISHED 5:00 AM PT Mar. 28, 2022
With the recent announcement of his retirement, former Los Angeles Rams player Andrew Whitworth is reflecting on his career in the NFL.
“If you’d have told 19-year-old or 21-year-old Andrew Whitworth where he’d be at the age of 40, I would’ve never predicted it and never said that was even possible,” he said.
And yet, here he is, proving that it is possible.
This year, Whitworth made history as the oldest player in NFL history to start a game as left tackle. He won the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award for his excellence both on and off the field. He helped lead the Rams to Super Bowl victory at SoFi Stadium by beating his former team, the Cincinnati Bengals. Anyone doubting his abilities at his age, including himself, was quickly proven wrong.
“If every one of those people saw that moment and got to think about it for just a second, and it pushed them to go a little further, then to me, that’s what it’s all about,” Whitworth said.
In this episode of “LA Stories,” Whitworth opens up to host Giselle Fernandez about his childhood and journey to the NFL. As a teenager growing up in West Monroe, Louisiana, he said he hated playing football — something he laughs about today.
“I couldn’t stand it and thought about quitting every day. And now, to be where I am, it’s just funny to think of the things that were in my head when I was 13 years old.”
Growing up, Whitworth looked to his grandmother as his mentor, crediting her with how he conducts himself off the field today.
“My grandmother had the biggest impact. It was about not just service, but understanding what a smile or what a hello, or just meeting somebody where they are and just kind of asking them how they’re doing, what that can do for people.”
Whitworth has dedicated his life to helping others and serving his community. Together with his wife Melissa, he created the Big Whit Foundation, where he’s helped thousands of people in need, hoping to make an impact that was bigger than just football.
The couple does all they can to help in areas that are close to their heart. In 2013, when Whitworth heard a teenager from his home state of Louisiana died from football injuries, he immediately offered to cover all funeral expenses.
There are countless like this one that tell of Whitworth’s huge heart, and even in retirement, he hopes to continue spreading love.
“The greatest thing you can get out of life is seeing that your life was not only about you, but it was about the impact you made on people around you. And I think, to me, that’s the greatest value you can have.”