Each week, we’ll break down something that happened during the Ohio State game (and occasionally other games and events) that we’ll be talking about for a while—you know, the silly sideline interactions, the awful announcing and the weird storylines that stick with us for years to come. We’ll also compare each of these happenings to memorable moments in pop culture, because who doesn’t love a good Office reference?
As we’ve heard from the NCAA commercials during college football and hoops seasons, less than 2% of college athletes go pro in their sports. Men’s basketball players enter the NBA at a rate of about 1.2%, while just 0.8% of women make it to the WNBA. Then there’s baseball, where nearly 10% of college athletes get to the major league.
When it comes to football, of 1.1 million high school athletes who play football, 6.5% will go on to play in college across all divisions. From those playing college ball, 1.6% go on to compete at the professional level. While football is the most physically intensive sport on this list (in terms of contact — not making commentary on skills here), it makes sense that the average NFL career spans just 3.3 years.
These stats of course beg the question of what the heck happens to the vast majority of athletes we know and love when their college and pro careers are done. We’ve seen them in the broadcast booth with varying degrees of success, moving into the coaching ranks or generally hanging around their former college or pro teams in other capacities.
Most recently — even though he is still firmly in the league — we saw Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce try his hand at standup comedy while hosting Saturday Night Live over the weekend.
Travis Kelce's SNL monologue - guy has a future in this post football. pic.twitter.com/pcprvwgN8c— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) March 5, 2023
Perhaps the 33-year old was testing the waters for his post-NFL career. It was an interesting shift since SNL is firmly separated from the NFL and would be a high-risk, high-reward move for someone to look for success in an area completely apart from the sports realm. At least he made his brother laugh.
For Ohio State, all-pro safety Malcolm Jenkins, who had a lengthy and extremely successful NFL career, has translated his fame into a successful foundation that works to promote social justice. Former hoops standout Michael Redd is a successful entrepreneur.
On the analyst side, power forward Clark Kellogg is clearly the best commentator CBS has to offer (fun fact, Kellogg went back to school after his NBA career ended and earned his marketing degree from Ohio State). Joshua Perry, who joined BTN seemingly minutes after being at Ohio State, has become a favorite on the panel.
And that list doesn’t even begin to account for the many entrepreneurs (the Boren brothers, Chimdi Chikwa, Doug Worthington, Thaddeus Gibson and others) who have founded or furthered businesses.
In the future perhaps we will see even more from these former athletes, especially as NIL deals will give them access to new channels earlier than they’d had before.