What’s there after the NFL?

The NFL is exciting and living under the spotlight of the pro football games provides certain status and life style to the players not easily compared to a regular way of living: hard trainings, traveling from state to state for the NFL games, money and luxury that are hardly enjoyed because of the hard work. NFL players are willing to live this life to achieve their goals, break records and be part of the NFL history. Is it really worth it? According to some experts, just the fact that most of these men will be thrust into the so-called real world with few marketable skills to increase their wealth some sort of cultural shock is bound to take place in some cases.

The NFL is part of the American traditions, part of our homes, families and memories, yet the main characters of all those memories will vanish from our minds as soon as they leave the NFL career that gave them so much. Apparently, 78% of all NFL players are divorced, bankrupt or unemployed two years after leaving the National Football League.

As a former NFL player and 12-year veteran with the Green Bay Packers himself Ken Ruettgers found a way to help athletes overcome this transition as the executive director of www.gamesover.org. Games Over is a Non-profit organization that helps professional athletes address the transition from professional sports to other careers. Ruttgers explains that the most common losses after retiring any professional sports career (not only the NFL) will include:

  • Loss of celebrity status.

  • Instant name recognition vanishes.

  • Income is slashed.

  • Such perks as free meals and support staff end.

  • Self-doubt, fear and a lack of direction.

As corny as it may sound, this transition is not easy. As an NFL player you are waited on, served, assisted and usually it is very hard to be alone or even have a chance to feel alone, after a professional career in sports ends, all the attention ends with it. People are not aware that 50% of NFL players only have careers of a little more than three years, meaning that an average of about 320 veteran players lose their job each year. What are the odds? NFL stars, record breakers and idols can be really retiree material at the age of 35 years old?

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One Response

  1. At least while they’re still playing in the NFL, football players will never be the kind to hate Mondays…Monday Night Football for the win!

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