You're a Hall of Fame athlete, freshly retired. What do you do?

Say you’re a Hall of Fame athlete - in whichever sport you prefer - but your body has now called it quits and you can’t do it anymore, and have just retired. You’ve made hundreds of millions of dollars, have suffered your share of injuries, but nothing particularly crippling or severe; can still live a normal life. What do you do with your remaining 40-50 years on Earth?

In a sense, this isn’t too different from the what-would-you-do-if-you-won-the-lottery threads. The difference being that you’re famous and also have an extensive background in sports.

I suppose what every other HOF athlete does, take up golf.

I wonder what HOF golfers do when they retire?

Play golf but in a relaxing way.

I would use my fame and fortune to help educate the public on Environmental issues, especially Climate Change.

I’d probably go with “retired star athlete plan #3: buy a sports bar/restaurant and stick my name on it.” It would do well for a year or two before slowly losing its following, being forgotten, and closing quietly.

I’m going into broadcasting. It keeps the money train flowing but in a nice and easy way, that way you don’t accidentally blow through your savings.

Really? I have a friend who is in the NFL Hall Of Fame (1990). He earned four Super Bowl rings over his eleven year career. He played in 146 games in which he had 1,479 tackles, 28 interceptions, 23.5 sacks as a middle linebacker.

He barely broke 2 million in his career, and that’s including doing paid meet-n-greets, selling jerseys, etc.

Please reread the Op, your friend doesn’t fit the criteria of just retired and having made hundreds of millions. This thread is more about the Derek Jeters of the world.

Sure, but I’m asking more about today’s era - the thread is about if you retired today (or very recently). When your friend was playing in the 1970s-1980s, athletes were paid just a comparative pittance, as you point out. Whereas Patrick Mahomes is earning a salary of $50 million a year and that’s not even including all the off-the-field income.

Your friend is former Pittsburgh Steeler, Jack Lambert.

Yeah, the minimum salary in the NFL today is 600K. You’ll break 2 million with just 4 years of serviceable play.

And already in the HOF? OK, I totally understand, just pointing out how recent huge salaries for athletes are.

What would I do after retirement? I’d try like hell to spend all that money in the short good time I have left, expecting CTE to show up eventually.

Generally agreed, particularly if I had been playing a contact sport. Even if I didn’t wind up facing the cognitive issues (and, potentially, ALS) which result from CTE, many retired players from sports like football and hockey suffered significant injuries while playing (damaged knees, broken bones, etc.), and the effects of those injuries mean that a lot of them are physically limited during their post-sports lives, as well.

I’ve been out drinking with Jack and his wife when I lived in Pittsburgh in the late 80s . A real down to earth couple and not extravagant, they enjoyed people. And 2 million went a lot further back then.

Good responses thus far.

Would you want to do coaching after a few years of having chillaxed? (say, head coach, or an offensive/defensive/positional coach for your favorite team)

The popular choices these days are:

  1. Do color sports commentary on TV/radio (for instance, every famous Dallas Cowboys quarterback)

  2. Make a pain in the ass of yourself on sports analysis programs (see Charles Barkley)

  3. Form a syndicate and buy a professional team (i.e. Michael Jordan, Alex Rodriguez)

I’d want to buy a private island and chill. But after being the center of attention and adoration for years, most of these athletes can’t do without publicity.

Oh God no. There is no job security in coaching and even as a player coming in near the top you have to move more than the military to work your way up to where you can have some kind of job security. Maybe going the gm route like Elway would be interesting but coaching is pure suck.

Athletes are paid far, far more now than they used to be.

Get a library card. When you’ve read all the books there, think about something else.

Well I know I don’t have the talent to talk on tv. It’s not an easy job and most are not suited for it. Being the minority owner of a team sounds like fun. And sitting on a beach somewhere

Definitely. Any job in the NFL in coaching (or even in the front office) has very long hours, and little job security.

I can only think of a few HOF players who became coaches in the NFL – Bart Starr, Forrest Gregg, and Norm Van Brocklin all come to mind. All three of them were named head coaches soon after their playing careers ended, with fairly limited experience as assistant coaches (three years for Gregg, one year for Starr, and Van Brocklin went directly from playing QB to being head coach). And, all three of them had losing records as head coaches, though their reputations as players likely kept them from being fired as soon as they might have been otherwise.