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Sports Then and Now

4 Football Players You’ve Forgotten About and What They’re Up to Now

Posted on October 30, 2017 by Carol Trehearn

Football-1The names of the latest NFL superstars usually stay in the national spotlight for several years after retirement. These players become commentators on major news stations, launch their own restaurants or fashion lines and appear as guests at a variety of events and fundraisers. But what about the players who never achieve superstar-status?

If you’ve ever wondered what happens to the players who fall out of the spotlight after retirement, keep reading to learn about four football players you’ve forgotten about, and what they’re doing since leaving the field:

Jake “the Snake” Plummer

You’ve probably heard of plenty of former NFL players who have gone on to launch restaurant chains, become actors or start a career as sports commentators. Less common are stories of football players who continue careers as professional athletes, but in different sports. But that’s exactly what Jake “the Snake” Plummer went on to do. His 10 year NFL career included runs with the Arizona Cardinals and the Denver Broncos. But when he abruptly retired in 2007 after getting traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Plummer went on to launch a new career as a professional handball player. In his very first appearance as a professional handball player, Plummer and his brother/partner took second place in the U.S. Open of Handball.

Plummer now runs handball tournaments and occasionally steps back into the world of football as a sports commentator.

Joe Horn

If you were a Kansas City Chiefs fan in the late 1990s or a New Orleans Saints fan in the early 2000s (or an Atlanta Falcons fan in 2007), you may remember Joe Horn for his over-the-top touchdown celebrations. Now, if you live in the South, you may be more likely to recognize his brand name faster than his real name. That’s because Horn is founder of the barbecue sauce Bayou 87. His sauce claims to blend the flavors of New Orleans with cajun culture.

When he isn’t stirring up his signature taste, Horn is also known for partnering with other former players and coaches to host youth football camps across the country.

Joey Harrington

Of the NFL players on this list, Joey Harrington may have had the least extraordinary career of them all. He was the No. 3 draft pick for the Detroit Lions in 2002. Leading up to the start of the season, he was touted as a bright light in the failing team’s future. But his debut was far from spectacular. He spent several uneventful seasons with the Lions before getting traded three times in three years, from the Miami Dolphins, to the Atlanta Falcons, to the New Orleans Saints, although he’d play just one game with the last before getting released for injuries.

But Harrington’s life after football has been anything but uneventful. He went on to launch a career as a jazz pianist. He has even performed as a guest with bands like Third Eye Blind and artist Jason Mraz. He later became a part-time broadcaster for a news station in Oregon, and in 2016, he opened his restaurant, Pearl Tavern, in Portland.

Tim Foley

You may remember this name from the 11 years that he spent with the Miami Dolphins. But did you know that just one year after his football career ended, Tim Foley launched an independent business for Amway, the 30th largest private company in the U.S. While his career as an athlete was without any major triumphs, his career as a business owner has been the opposite.

In the 36 years since he launched his business, he has climbed through the ranks, earning a number of qualifications from Amway during that time, including the prestigious Founder’s Crown.

Launching Meaningful Futures

After their unspectacular careers in the NFL, each of these players went on to accomplish successful careers centered on their interests and passions outside of football. You don’t have to have been a professional football player to leave one career for another that you’re more passionate about. Launching your own business can be a great way to find success and start a career that you’re truly passionate about.


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