NEW YORK, NY – A couple of weeks ago while I was spending some quality time with my wife’s family in West Palm Beach, I was struck by the sheer volume of senior citizens out hustling around in the crippling heat trying to make a few bucks while doing such things as bagging groceries or peddling illegal prescription drugs. These old-timers provided a stellar example that there are indeed second acts in life. It got me to thinking, why don’t more athletes try to reinvent themselves, as something other than color commentators, after their playing days are over?
Just look at Carl Lewis. After his sprinting career ended he tried his hand at throwing out first pitches at baseball games and was an abject failure. He then launched an ill-advised singing career. Now he’s running for New Jersey State Senate, even though he doesn’t even live there. He’ll find his niche eventually… although it will probably be as a hairdresser. Here are some new gig ideas for those sports personalities either nearing the end of their careers or already growing fat and cranky in retirement.
Brett Favre: Mississippi High School Gym Teacher. Those who can’t, teach. Those who can’t teach, teach gym. Those who can’t teach gym, teach gym in Mississippi.
David Ortiz: Cigar Store Indian. Big Papi has just the kind of round jolly face and pleasant demeanor that will tempt even the staunchest non-smokers to venture into tobacco shops.
Annika Sorenstam: Furniture Designer/Retailer. Perhaps the most competitive golfer ever on the women’s tour, Annika can use that same bulldog approach to take a bite out of those fat cats at IKEA. Besides, isn’t furniture design and confusing instruction writing hardwired into the Swedish DNA?
Shaquille O’Neal: Christmas Star Installation Technician. Shaq can step right in for The Abominable Snowman. After holding the position for over 40 years, the Abominable has since been recycled himself. His fur is now proudly worn on the heads of former NBA coaches Dick Versace and Hubie Brown and his teeth can be found hanging around Turk Wendell’s neck.
Jose Reyes: Carhop. Yes, he may indeed have a lot of good baseball left in him, but with his track record it couldn’t hurt for Jose to start thinking about his next move. With his infectious smile, bubbly personality, and speed, Reyes would make the perfect Carhop at one of those 50s-style drive-in restaurants. Those rollerskates are much easier on the hammies.
Roger Clemens: Prison Bitch. I know it doesn’t look good now, but I’m not giving up on this one yet folks. It’s a role he was born to play.
Anna Kournikova: Bond Girl. It’s been way too long since 007 last banged a hot Russian spy. Besides, if Denise Richards can portray a nuclear physicist in a Bond flick, Kournikova should have no problem pulling of a role as a tennis-playing double-agent.
Jerry Jones: Televangelist. He’d make guys like Bakker, Falwell, and Swaggert look like rank amateurs.
Short Matt: Internet Billionaire. For the last time guy, give up the rugby, the hockey, and the baseball and try to focus. It’s high time Meet The Matts met The Marks… as in Cuban and Zuckerberg.
Zenyatta: TV Star. If there’s one thing television could use these days it’s a female version of Mr. Ed… Barring that, Zenyatta could step in immediately and be the most attractive panelist on The View.
If the site is still up tomorrow, expect a healthy dose of Lori Levine, who unfortunately chose this place as her second/third career.