Peyton Manning has been one of the most heavily commercialized athletes of our generation, so it never occurred to us that he might have a hard time stepping out into the real world upon retirement.
But as Manning's father, Archie, said on Monday following Peyton's retirement press conference, the longer someone is in the game, the more difficult it is to step out. That apparently goes for Papa John's franchise owners and shoo-in candidates for coaching or front office jobs as well.
"It's such a big part of you, if you're fortunate enough to do it for a long time," Archie told the Broncos' official website. "Like John says, the longer you play, the harder it is (to retire). So there's a transition there.
"But he's going to have people that will help them. And Peyton's always been pretty good at dealing with things."
Manning's confidant, Tony Dungy, noted on Monday that he didn't think Manning would back out of retirement. There have only been a few quarterbacks, like Brett Favre and Vinny Testaverde, who had some degree of success after hitting the big 4-0 and none of them were as accomplished as Manning.
Still, it's interesting to hear Archie talk about life after football. It most certainly afflicts the players who adhere to the average lifespan of an NFL player, which currently hovers around 3.3 years but is far less for running backs and wide receivers. Apparently it is also a consideration for the ones who made it nearly two decades and have more than 20 significant quarterbacking records to their name.