Money Ball: How Some NFL Players Might Make a Quick Buck

A new partnership between the NFL union and IU got us wondering.

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The Super Bowl caps the NFL season, but some players could be going back to school—at Indiana University—instead of packing for vacation.

As with so many mergers, a little networking brought the Kelley School of Business and the NFL Players Association into a huddle to discuss a program for active and retired pro football players. NFLPA staffer Don Davis had studied for his MBA at George Washington University with Tim Fort, now a Kelley professor. After the two reconnected, Davis, a former Patriots linebacker, became enchanted with Bloomington. “Beautiful campus,” he says. “I liked how Kelley was separate and unique, yet intertwined in the rest of the campus.” Ultimately, the availability of both online and residency options sold the NFLPA on IU.

At press time, three former players had signed up for the Kelley program, and close to a dozen current NFLers were looking into it, according to the union. We spitballed some business plans that might motivate a few more to get on board when they hang up their helmets.

 

 

Manti Te’o
Chartered sportsman tours on California’s Lower Otay Lake

Because we’re told the reservoir just outside San Diego—where the former Notre Dame star now plays for the Chargers—is well-stocked with catfish.

 

Peyton Manning
Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning
Apprenticeships at Pizzology and Napolese

Pulling a page from the play-book of William Shatner and Priceline, Manning took a stake in a company he pitched for, acquiring 21 Denver-area Papa John’s franchises in 2012. Papa John’s recently rolled out a Fritos Chili Pizza topped with—you guessed it. A few Hell’s Kitchen–style months with Indy gourmet pie chefs Neal Brown and Tyler Herald might teach Manning how pizza should be done.

 

Pat McAfee
A Colts Pro Shop franchise in Las Vegas

At one point last year, the Dick’s Sporting Goods Jersey Report showed that the punter’s Colts jersey was outselling those of many bigger NFL stars, even Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. Curiously, Colts jerseys topped sales of all NFL teams in Nevada, too. Not only could McAfee make a mint in Vegas selling his shirt (as well as those of teammate Andrew Luck, who consistently ranks second nationally)—the wannabe entertainer might also find a casino lounge for his on-again, off-again standup comedy act.

 

Reggie Wayne
Reggie Wayne

Reggie Wayne
Ridin’ with Reggie car service

When Edgerrin James lost his license in 2002, he and Wayne split taxi fare to the first day of training camp in Terre Haute. In subsequent years, Wayne parlayed that friendly act into a running gag that has made his camp arrival an anticipated annual spectacle: He has appeared in a hardhat and dump truck, a Hummer and fatigues, and, most recently, an IndyCar and fire suit. Just imagine how well a chicken limo piloted by a possible future Hall of Fame receiver would do. Tagline: Catch a Ride!

 

Jay Cutler
A line of signature punching bags

Thanks to Cutler’s notoriously pouty, disinterested mug, the native of Santa Claus, Indiana, ranked No. 9 on Bleacher Report’s list of the 50 Most Punchable Faces in Pro Sports in 2011. What Chicago fan wouldn’t have wanted a Cutler punching bag in 2009, when he threw 26 interceptions, the most for a Bears quarterback since 1947?

 

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