Some football players spend the off season getting into trouble. (Ahem, Ray Rice…) Others use their time away from the sport in more constructive ways, like getting an internship, or… working at a sports merchandise store in the mall?
Yep, that’s exactly what Matt Elam has been doing this winter. For about 20 hours a week, he helps customers pick out shoes as a sales associate at a Finish Line store in Gainesville, Florida.
This is actually a brilliant move. Many players struggle to find a post-NFL career, but Elam already knows what he wants to do, post-football: own a sports merchandise store. He’s using this off-season job to get the retail knowledge and experience to make that happen.
“Everybody was surprised when I started,” Elam said, according to ESPN. “They were like, ‘Why? You got enough money.’ But it’s not about the money. It’s just me building.” (Elam has no idea how much he makes per hour.) But he’s been a boon to the store, where some customers buy things just so he can sign them.
It’s also fun to imagine Elam dealing with a difficult customer.
Difficult Customer: What shoes should I get?
Matt Elam: Well, I’d recommend these, they’re light and have great support…
DC: Oh yeah? How would you know?
ME: I’m a professional football player.
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