This NFL off-season has seen a variety of tragicomic court-based antics and flubs by some of the NFL's most luminous stars (seriously, Judge Judy wants in on the action, show pitch: "Ball Court: When Athletes Face the Music!") From Michael Vick's continuing off-field saga and pathetic fall from millionaire athlete to construction worker-turned-Boys & Girls Club gym teacher, to Plaxico Burress' ongoing and litigious tango with both the City of New York and Goodell's expectations, to the depressing reality of Donte Stallworth killing a guy in a shameful act of hubris by driving drunk, to say nothing of the sideshow melodrama that is Pacman Jones at this point in his career; the NFL has been weighing a little heavier on the collective soul of it's fanbase. With that in mind, the career counselors at Bleacher Report decided to take a step back and reevaluate what these four gents could be doing with their lives whilst their playing careers are put on hiatus.
University: Virginia Polytechnic Institute
Aliases: Ookie, Ron Mexico
List of Occupations:
Former Atlanta Falcons Quarterback; Pro Bowler (2002, 2004, 2005); Dog Wrangler, Finacier, Proprietor: Bad Newz Kennels, (19??-2007); Construction worker, $10.00/hour; Health and Fitness instructor, Boys & Girls Club of the Virginia Peninsula
Suggested Future Career: Lion Tamer
Vick, 29, is still at the peak of his athletic prowess and his time spent in prison could only have further steeled one of the NFL's already most fearless and "gully" of competitors. An elusive quarterback who was wont to bursts of improvisation outside of the pocket, Vick, could use those same elusive qualities to lure and conquer the "mighty Simbas" of the three-ring circus. Furthermore, his flair for the dramatic would serve him well while tangling with any number of Panthera leo in a cage while equipped with merely the requisite chair and whip of the lion tamer get-up of yore.
Additionally, Vick's ...ahem... "history" of working with animals could only help in taming the King of the Jungle. He's been slaying football's Panthers, Jaguars, Lions (to say nothing of Bears and Vikings) for years and there can't too steep of a learning curve when dealing with blood-thirsty carnivores, can there?
The bleeding hearts over at PETA are sure to be all over this with a quickness. Meanwhile, Vick, should expect a substantial pay decrease (yes, even from the Boys & Girls Club) as the circus isn't exactly raking in the green these days. Also, there's gotta be some sort of a steep learning curve when dealing with blood-thirsty carnivores, right? And sure, cats 'n dogs historically haven't been the tightest of buds; but somewhere there's a lion who's been paid off by a high profile pit bull to take a chunk outta Vick's gluteus maximus.
Adam "Pacman" Jones
University: West Virginia University
Alias: Uhh, "Pacman"
Skills Set: Knack for keeping defense attorneys and prosecutors in the black; Turning Roger Goodell's hair gray; Apt at conflict resolution, albeit conflicts he instigated, "resolution" usually by violence, but still resolution.
Suggested Future Career: Weatherman for Nashville's CBS affiliate
Sure to be a ratings boon for whatever lucky news group that finds Jones available; Pacman would bring his unique aptitude for "makin' it rain" to the Music City and, voila!, droughts be gone! Could report on traffic from the news helicopter and have NFL also-ran/ former teammate, Vince Young back in employment as the pilot of said chopper.
Astonishingly, Jones is not currently suspended by the NFL and is a free agent, so, any news team willing to take a risk on the volatile talent would have to be prepared to have him jump back to the League. In spite of (or maybe because of his) enrollment at West Virginia, Jones' elocution is not at what it could be. Weathermen are famously reticent and unwilling to partake in "beefs" Jones could find this vexing. Reportedly, Jones has a real temper and alcohol problem, even resorting to violence at points. Again: weathermen "don't play that."
University: Michigan State University
Aliases: "Plax," To haters: "Plexi-glass"
List of Occupations: Wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants
Notable Accomplishments: Occasionally confused for NFL bust and former MSU Spartan, Charles Rogers; proficient at complaining about salary, not getting the ball often enough; frustrating Tom Coughlin with his antics; won a Super Bowl ring; shooting himself with an unholstered Glock.
Suggested Future Occupation: Spokesperson for the National Rifle Association
Since being cut by the Giants, thanks to his uncertain legal future, Burress has been looking for that perfect comeback opportunity. Since losing NRA-lifer/spokesman extraordinaire, Charlton Heston, the NRA has been looking for an adequate replacement. I smell sit-com! Or at least a perfect opportunity for the larger-than-life Plax to take his personality on the road and explain to Americans that gun ownership is your 2nd Amendment right.
Potential Negatives: None. Rarely does corporate synergy work out this well for both parties involved.
University: University of Tennessee
List of Occupations: Wide receiver for New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots, Cleveland Browns
Notable Accomplishments: Lost a Super Bowl; His legs are home to a seemingly endless string of hamstring injuries; Owns a 2005 Bentley sedan
Suggested Future Occupation: Rickshaw Driver
For starters, you don't need a drivers license for this job. Furthermore, nothing says humiliation and remorse more than stooping to the lowly job of rickshaw driver, while at the same time affording one the leg muscle-building and aerobic exercise demanded by pro football franchises. This way Stallworth can have both, you know, just in case Goodell lifts his "indefinite suspension," and a NFL squad comes-a-callin'.
Potential Negatives: Falling in love with the job, Stallworth, potentially, shuns all contact with would-be-NFL suitors, striving towards a life of poverty and enlightenment after catching a marathon of "Kung Fu" on AMC in his modest studio apartment that his new career affords him; which really isn't all that bad.