Is There Life After Football?: Surviving the NFL by George E. Koonce Jr. et al

Growing up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, there are several seasons: winter, spring, training camp, and football season. So it is only natural that I have an interest in football-related books, especially when one is written by a former Green Bay Packer who earned his PhD. after retiring from the game.

From the publisher: “Is There Life After Football? draws upon the experiences of hundreds of former players as they describe their lives after their football days are over. It also incorporates stories about their playing careers, even before entering the NFL, to provide context for understanding their current situations. The authors begin with an analysis of the “bubble”-like conditions of privilege that NFL players experience while playing, conditions that often leave players unprepared for the real world once they retire and must manage their own lives.

The book also examines the key issues affecting former NFL players in retirement: social isolation, financial concerns, inadequate career planning, psychological challenges, and physical injuries. From players who make reckless and unsustainable financial investments during their very few high-earning years, to players who struggle to form personal and professional relationships outside of football, the stories in the book put a very human face on the realities of the world of professional football. George Koonce Jr., a former NFL player himself, weaves in his own story throughout, explaining the challenges and setbacks he encountered and decisions that helped him succeed as an NFL Director of Player Development, PhD student, and university administrator after leaving the sport.”



It’s football season. Such as it is, anyway. During the offseason, I like to read about football because I miss it so much. My husband has quite the collection of Green Bay Packers books and I’ll take one off the shelf and read it.  Or in this case, borrow from the library. I read this book a while ago and am just getting down to writing about it.

I’m not an academic by any means, but I thought Is There Life After Football? was a well-written book about the ins and outs of professional football. Anecdotal information is sprinkled throughout the factual claims and made for easy reading. I thought the last chapter was kind of muddled, though. Still a solid 4-star out of 5 book.

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