When former NFL quarterback Brett Favre entered the Hall of Fame in 2015, he had not been out of the public spotlight for very long. His long, drawn-out retirement, which started in 2002 and continued into 2013, kept his name in the news. Unlike Favre, though, many other famous football players didn’t stay in the news after their retirement, even when their post-retirement achievements were newsworthy. That being said, here’s a look at what a few famous players of yesteryear have been up to since retiring.
Many people consider former Cleveland Browns running back Jim Brown to be the greatest player in NFL history. A multi-sports star and All-American lacrosse player at Syracuse, Brown entered the NFL as the first round sixth pick in 1957. His 942-yard rookie year earned him the league’s rushing championship, which he would win eight more times. By 1965, Brown held league records for 100-yard games, single-season yards, career rushing yards, average yards per carry and career touchdowns. In his final game, Brown scored three touchdowns.
Before retiring, Brown had already begun an acting career. He became the first major black action star, appearing in such classics as “The Dirty Dozen” and “Three the Hard Way.” In 1993, Brown helped kick off the Ultimate Fighting Championship as a commentator. Since 1988, he has helped kids from gang backgrounds through his Amer-I-Can program. He is part-owner of a lacrosse team, and remains an adviser to the Browns.
A Purdue Boilermakers All-American defensive back, Tim Foley joined the Miami Dolphins as a third-round pick for the team’s first winning season in 1970. That year, the Dolphins’ defense allowed an AFC low of 11.6 yards per catch. The next year, Foley made an interception in three consecutive games for a total of four in the season, which culminated with the Dolphins going to the Super Bowl for the first time. In 1972, Foley added three more interceptions to his stats as the Dolphins won every game to take Super Bowl 7 from the Washington Redskins. In 1973, Foley returned two blocked punts for touchdowns in one game as the Dolphins won a second consecutive Super Bowl, defeating the Minnesota Vikings. Foley continued playing until 1980, going to the Pro Bowl in his second-to-last year and achieving career totals of 101 games started, 510 tackles and 22 interceptions. He was named the Dolphins’ 28th best player of all time by The Phinsider.
Foley went on to an equally successful career at Amway, America’s 30th largest private company. By 1998 Foley had qualified as a Crown Ambassador, which had been the highest possible level until Amway added a Founders Crown Ambassador level to recognize exceptional achievers. In 2005, Foley became a Founders Crown Ambassador.
Following a come-from-behind Notre Dame Cotton Bowl win, the all-time greatest clutch quarterback joined the San Francisco 49ers in the third round of the 1979 draft. Replacing Steve DeBerg midway through 1980, Montana led the league with a 64.5 percent pass completion rate, scoring the first of 31 come-from-behind victories with an overtime win over the New Orleans Saints. In the 1981 NFC Championship, Montana marched the 49ers down the field from the 11-yard line to come from behind and defeat the Dallas Cowboys with a pass that would go down in NFL history as “The Catch.” The 49ers went on to defeat the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl 16, the first of Montana’s four Super Bowl victories. After earning three Super Bowl MVPs, Montana went down with a 1991 injury that took him out for the 1992 season, propelling Steve Young to starting quarterback. Requesting a trade, Montana ended his career with the Kansas City Chiefs from 1993 to 1994.
Today, Montana struggles with chronic pain from his football injuries. He and his wife, Jennifer, have been horseback riders since 1996, and they raise horses and produce wine in Napa when they’re not in San Francisco. This year, Montana tossed the coin to start Super Bowl 50.21