MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s called “Game Plan 2.” Former Minnesota Viking Carl Eller created the program, along with attorney Jeff O’Brien, for athletes to use to help them navigate life after football.
“What happens with the athlete is that they put an enormous amount of attention and focus on one area of their life, the performance area, and that comes with a sacrifice,” said Eller, who was a guest on “News and Views” on Sunday on WCCO Radio.
Eller pointed to Steve Jobs, as an example of a man who did great things, but regretted what he wasn’t able to do in the process.
“He talks about how he wishes he would have spent more time with his family,” he said.
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Eller said there is such extreme competition they have to make those sacrifice, but need to find parachutes to help them land softly when their time as an athlete comes to an end.
“So what I want them to learn is that balance becomes a health issue,” he said.
Eller has himself experienced ups and down after his football career.
Several years ago, he punched a police officer and threw another one onto the hood of his Mercedes SUV as they tried to arrest him for possible drunken driving.
Eller now says he wants to reach out to young athletes, so they handle life’s responsibilities and don’t end up in trouble.
“Other areas like social, emotional and psychological, they are not well versed in that,” he said.