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Jake Plummer Explains Why He Walked Away From Football In 2007

On today's Pardon My Take... JAKE PLUMMER! The former NFL quarterback joined Mr. Cat and Mr. Commenter on today's show live from his mushroom farm to discuss what went into his decision to retire, almost winning a national title at Arizona State, the mushroom business, and much more. When Plummer retired from the National Football League in March of 2007, it was a surprise to many both inside and outside the sport. But on today's show, we got to hear the former Broncos and Cardinals gunslinger on why he made that decision. Let's take a look...

Mr. Commenter: I respect the clarity, though - to know for a fact. Because a lot of guys, they don't know when they want to retire, it's always up in the air. But it seems like you had, you know, you were crystal clear. You knew what you wanted, and you just did it. I think that's very cool.

Jake Plummer: Yeah, well it was just something in my heart I felt was right, and I've always kind of gone on what I feel. You know, as an 18-year old going to ASU, how did I know? I just felt that it was a good place to go. I never heard of ASU much, the coach said, "If you come here, I've got the pieces in place to win a National Championship." The only coach who told me that was Bruce Snyder, I mean, in my gut, if he's telling me that, I want to see if he's right, but my gut also told me - go down here and make a name for yourself somewhere special, somewhere where it hadn't been done in a long time.

(a few moments later)

Mr. Cat: But PFT's right - a lot of guys, the saying goes, "The game retires you, you don't retire from the game." I love the story, though, at your retirement press conference, you did it at the Denver Athletic Club, you gave your speech, you didn't let anyone ask any questions, and then you walked down the hallway and played handball with your brother. Is that exactly how it went? That's one of the coolest ways to retire.

Jake Plummer: Yeah, you know, I didn't want to make a big scene, just wanted to go about the rest of my life and get moving on it. The only thing I didn't do was wear my handball gloves and my goggles when I think back. But I was going straight into get warmed up and go play. You know, it was time to move into a new phase. For 10 years, I played at the highest level. For four years prior to that, I played at the Pac 10, and then since 12 years old, I was playing football. So, it took up a lot of my life, and I was missing out on things, my cousins would get married, or someone would get married in August, and I'm the only guy not there. 

Jake Plummer: So, it was pulling me to be with my family, it was pulling me to go explore the world, to go travel. Because I couldn't really cut loose when I was playing, I felt like singular focused. But once that was over, and I wanted to get married, have kids, and I had a life to go live. Football, it's always going to be with me forever. But for me, there's so much more in life to go experience and do.

Jake Plummer is one of, if not the coolest guests that have ever appeared on Pardon My Take. The vibes around him are always positive, and you can tell how passionate he is about his mushroom business. Good for him for walking away from football when it may have seemed like he had a lot more left in the tank.