The Post-Journal

Frewsburg's Conlan Announces Retirement

Penn State's 1986 national championship team was honored at halftime of the Nittany Lions' game last weekend at Beaver Stadium.

Shane Conlan was there to share in the moment with his friends and former teammates, who defeated Miami in that memorable Fiesta Bowl nearly a decade ago.

It was also Conlan's way of seeing his football career come full circle.

After five years in Happy Valley and nine in the NFL, the Frewsburg native has decided to retire. "That was a good way to end it," Conlan said of the festivities at has alma mater, "I said then that this is it."

While he has not made is intentions known to the NFL, Conlan, who played in three Super Bowls and three Pro Bowls while with the Buffalo Bills, confirmed what has been speculated for much of the summer.

"I'm happy," he said by telephone from his Sewickley, Pa., home. "Actually, it's kind of a relief. It would have been a struggle to try and get through (a season) physically."

The Frewburg native had contract talks with the Carolina Panthers through early August, but a deal was never completed. Conlan believes the Panthers were scared off after looking at X-rays of his neck during a routine physical.

"It wasn't very good," he said. "I figured they were a little apprehensive. Everything was great when I got there, but when I left I knew they weren't going to (sign me)."

Several other teams had also talked with Conlan's agent Bret Senior, but no serious offers were made. So for the first time in about 25 years, Conlan won't be playing football.

"It's a little strange," Conlan said, "but right now it's not like I miss it. On Sundays I'll miss it a little bit, but I definitely don't miss the practice. Plus I'm playing a lot of golf, which is good."

Financially secure, Conlan said he had some "deals" in the works with his agent, but "as far as a 9 to 5 job I have no clue and no desire."

For the time being, he'll spend time working on the 100-year-old house that he and his wife, Caroline, bought in suburban Pittsburgh.

"That keeps me very busy," Conlan said. He will also have even more time with his 3-year son Patrick. Another child is due in the spring.

Conlan said, "I hope I'm just remembered as a nice guy, a small-town kid that had some ability and tried to use it to his potential with hard work," he said. "It was just a fun ride."

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