The majority of athletes will spend their careers focusing solely on their on-field success, and the time they spend off the field is spent making sure they're in top shape to perform come game-time. Obviously, the more popular and marketable athletes will also spend a lot of time doing interviews, going to events and maintaining a public persona. Others may spend time finding another passion that they are grooming themselves to partake in once their careers are over.
Most of the time, for obvious reasons, those passions remain within an athlete's sport, be it coaching, managing or broadcasting, or perhaps in another sport. Another common post-career passion for athletes is food, and that should come as no surprise to anyone, for two reasons: for starters, athletes have to fuel their bodies, so eating right and eating a lot was not part of the job, it was a way of life for whatever amount of years they played professionally. The second reasons is that now that they don't have to worry about having a ridiculously low body fat percentage, so they can gorge on whatever their heart desires.
The passion for food among athletes has often led to retired players using some of their career earnings to open up their own restaurants, as a way to invest in that passion and keep busy in their new lives. The trend is seen across all sports, but at a glance it appears that football players are the most invested in the food business after they hand up their cleats (you can imagine why, considering all the offensive lineman that have gone through the NFL).
Some have failed, whether it was lack of experience or surrounding oneself with the wrong individuals, while others have prospered and become legendary eateries, even for those who've never watched a football game in their lives and just want to go for a good steak.
15 Andy Nelson Southern BBQ Pit
14 Tiffany's - Tony Siragusa
13 Offerdahl’s Café Grill - John Offerdahl
12 Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza - Dan Marino
11 Billy Sims BBQ - Billy Sims
10 Brother Jimmy's - Jonathan Vilma, Jon Beason, D.J. Williams
9 Theismann's - Joe Theismann
8 Brett Favre's Steakhouse - Brett Favre
7 Eddie George's Grille 27 - Eddie George
6 Jerome Bettis Grille 36 - Jerome Bettis
5 Elway's - John Elway
4 Manning's - Archie Manning
3 Vince Young Steakhouse - Vince Young
2 Ditka's - Mike Ditka
1 Short's Burger & Shine - Nate Kaeding
It's not everyday you'll see a kicker at the top of a list that includes names like Dan Marino and Brett Favre, but Nate Kaeding found a way. Short's Burger & Shine has received rave reviews from all over the country, specifically for the amazing beef that is used to serve one of the many legendary burgers on their expansive menu. The produce, meat and beer is as fresh as you'll get in a burger joint, as it all comes from within Iowa. Suffice to say, Kaeding did not shank this one!
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