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Jake the Snake
February 15, 2011 3:46 PM   Subscribe

You have to wonder why a red-blooded American male in his prime would walk away from fame and fortune as an NFL quarterback to play handball and hang with his family and his dogs. Don't you? A profile of Jake "The Snake" Plummer.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates (28 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
OMG I LOVE JAKE THE SNAKE

Without reading this article I can tell you it's a two part answer... Part 1 is Pat Tillman and Part 2 is handball.
posted by nathancaswell at 3:51 PM on February 15, 2011


As it happens, the original Jake "The Snake" wrestled his "retirement match" less than three weeks ago.
posted by Joe Beese at 3:57 PM on February 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Right-, then lefthanded, Plummer fires the small, hard rubber ball against the front wall of the court

Plummer always did like to throw inopportune left-handed passes...
posted by nathancaswell at 4:05 PM on February 15, 2011


I know I'm old - when I read "The Snake" my first thought is Ken Stabler.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 4:17 PM on February 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Great article, thanks for the link.
posted by sciurus at 4:17 PM on February 15, 2011


That was a great story.
posted by COD at 4:17 PM on February 15, 2011


Jake Plummer seems like a truly great guy, though.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 4:18 PM on February 15, 2011


Plummer sounds like he has all his priorities in order and I respect that. Good for him.
posted by djeo at 4:24 PM on February 15, 2011


"The courage and integrity is in knowing when you've had enough and being able to walk away from all the conventional markers of success. The courage is in choosing family and dignity over artificially extending a career just for the money. We should laud Jake Plummer..."

This.
posted by dersins at 4:25 PM on February 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Plummer puts down his beer. "Yeah, I left five million on the table, but they paid me like 30 already," he says. "What was I going to do with five more? You know? S---. I know what it's like to grow up with hardly anything, and now they'd paid me all this money. I mean, I have some things I enjoy doing, but basically I could live on a budget like most every other normal American does. I don't spend money.

After all the stories of champions going broke and selling their rings, this paragraph really stood out to me. This is where every one of these players should be after a few years in the NFL, whether they want to keep going or not. The fact that the league doesn't teach money management, provide financial planners, etc. is shameful -- given the way almost every other aspect of a player's life is micromanaged, turning a blind eye while multi-millionaires bankrupt themselves approaches exploitation.

Good for Plummer for seeing past the hype. Also, damned if this article didn't make me long to play racquetball again!
posted by vorfeed at 4:29 PM on February 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


Yay for handball. I miss playing that game (4 wall, indoor).
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 4:44 PM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


That was a great read... thanks for posting it.
posted by ph00dz at 4:54 PM on February 15, 2011


I think money management skills are kind of hard to build in an environment of daily concussions, but they should make more of an effort. Jake Plummer seems like a rare individual of good sense.
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:00 PM on February 15, 2011


Instead of offering him $5M to play again, they should bring him in to talk to rookies about finances. Oh, who am I kidding, they'd be too afraid one of their star players might actually listen to him, and then leave the game.
posted by explosion at 5:16 PM on February 15, 2011


I really don't wonder. Football is a brutal game, the public can turn on you in an instant, and how rich do you need to be.

What I wonder is that I wonder what Barry Sanders is doing now?
posted by mrgrimm at 5:21 PM on February 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


He sure drinks a lot of beer.
posted by nathancaswell at 5:29 PM on February 15, 2011


What a moving article. You could have replaced "quarterback" with "band leader-saxophonist" and it would have still made a beautiful story.
posted by digitalprimate at 5:35 PM on February 15, 2011


He sure drinks a lot of beer.

I intend to do the same when I retire. However, the idea of Bud Light with peppermint makes me want to puke.
posted by Hoopo at 5:41 PM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wonder what Barry Sanders is doing now?

He had a reputation for being low-key and sensible-- he's probably financially comfortable and, unlike most retired running backs, probably has functional hips and knees.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:06 PM on February 15, 2011


Nice post, thanks.
posted by lobstah at 6:11 PM on February 15, 2011


Don't know about Sanders senior. But Barry Sanders Jr. is being recruited by Oklahoma State... I hope the Lions draft him in 2014.
posted by ofthestrait at 6:22 PM on February 15, 2011


Never heard of Jake before but I gotta say, if more people were capable of saying "hey I got $30 million what do I need another five for?" the world would be a hell of a lot better place.
posted by localroger at 6:26 PM on February 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm capable of making $30m last for the rest of my life, so give me a fucking medal.

Jesus. One professional athlete manages to be a responsible human and he's a hero.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 8:34 PM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Never heard of Jake before but I gotta say, if more people were capable of saying "hey I got $30 million what do I need another five for?" the world would be a hell of a lot better place.

There are about 6 billion people capable. So I guess the world's a damn good place.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 8:36 PM on February 15, 2011



I'm capable of making $30m last for the rest of my life, so give me a fucking medal.
Jesus. One professional athlete manages to be a responsible human and he's a hero.


Who was it who said that it's easy to be a saint on a mountain-top? There are a shit-load of people who specialize in separating fortunes from fools who swear that they're never going to be that foolish, and like Willie "The Actor" Sutton, the bank robber, they go where the money is. I'd suggest listening to Act 2 of this TAL episode.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:56 PM on February 15, 2011


So how can you blame Plummer for doing what he did next—for going out on the field and trying to win the damn thing? "I just went for broke," Plummer says. "I remember Mike Bell went down for like a 60-yard play. And the first guy to pick him up was me. I was running alongside him. I was so psyched. I was running around, shouting at the other team, 'Jake the F------ Snake is back!'"

LOL! What an image.
posted by En0rm0 at 11:50 PM on February 15, 2011


Robert Smith of the Vikings did the same thing. Got out while he still could walk, had a functioning mind, and had a pile of dough to last him a lifetime.
posted by Ber at 6:46 AM on February 16, 2011


There are about 6 billion people capable. So I guess the world's a damn good place. Of walking away from $5 million when there isn't a murder involved? What planet are these 6 billion people on; I want to move there. I don't like or respect football, but I respect Jake.
posted by BrotherCaine at 6:50 AM on February 16, 2011


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