What Four Legendary Old School Football Players Do These Days


archie griffin

By John O’Leary

When our favorite old-school football players left the field for the last time, some dropped out of the spotlight, choosing to lead quieter lives. Others do everything that they can to stay in front of the camera, seeking careers in entertainment, either acting or becoming a sports commentator. Still more get their moments in the spotlight in negative ways, such as felons on the evening news.

If you’ve ever wondered what happened to your favorite players after retirement, keep reading to learn about four famous former players and the lives that they lead now.


Jerry Rice

Jerry Rice spent more than 20 years in the NFL, starting in 1984 and ending in 2000. While he spent most of his career with the San Francisco 49ers, including three of his Super Bowl runs, he also played for the Oakland Raiders, Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos. His records for many of the major statistical categories for wide receivers continue to hold strong today.

While he may have left the field after retirement, he didn’t leave the spotlight. He has guest-starred on shows like Law and OrderOne Tree Hill and The Class. He participated in Dancing with the Stars and Deal or No Deal. He even appeared in the film Without a Paddle: Nature Calls. Rice continues to make his way onto our screens today.

joe montana notre dame

Joe Montana

If there’s one player that did everything he could to drop out of the spotlight rather than staying under it, it’s Joe Montana.

You may remember him better as Joe Cool or The Comeback Kid. He was a Hall of Fame inductee, as well as a four-time Super Bowl Champ and a three-time Super Bowl MVP. After spending the 80s and 90s on the field, he left for California wine country, where he lived on a ranch with his wife and kids, owning horses and making his own wine. He used the profits from his wine business to support the charity he started and spent his free time coaching his son’s junior football team. Now, he’s continuing the quiet life in a San Francisco condo with his wife.


Archie Griffin

Though he was perhaps the most famous NFL player on this list, Archie Griffin was one of the least successful in retirement. Before he even started in the NFL, Archie Griffin became the only college football player to earn the Heisman Trophy twice. His entrance into the draft in 1976 was a highly anticipated one. Unfortunately, his 7-season run with Cincinnati Bengals was less than memorable. He left the NFL in 1983 and tried to make it in the USFL, but was met with failure.

His retirement from football was equally disappointing. He tried and failed to start his own shoe line. He filed for bankruptcy after several failed ventures. Now, he seems to have finally found his niche, working as the Ohio State Assistant Alumni Association Director, where he gets to help rally the team before and after games. He is also a partial owner of a minor league baseball team.


Tim Foley

Tim Foley is perhaps best-known for being a player with the Miami Dolphins during their record-breaking undefeated season in 1972. Even while he was still playing, he was known for being a hard worker who was serious about getting the job done right. So it should come as no surprise that when he hung up his uniform in 1980, it didn’t take long for him to go back to work.

Foley launched his Amway Independent Business in 1981, less than a year after retiring from his 11-year run in the NFL. His hard work and dedication paid off at Amway as much as it did on the field; as he would later earn the prestigious level of Founders Crown Ambassador.

Leaving the Spotlight

From actors to winemakers to business owners and everything in between, there’s no telling which direction NFL players will choose to go once they hang up their jerseys. While it seems that an increasing number of recent-retirees find their way back onto TV in a bad way, at least there are a few old-schoolers out there finding success off the field.

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