As the NFL lockout enters its third month, players are turning to non-football jobs to pass the time and subsidize their incomes. For established stars like Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chad Johnson, who has already tried his hand at bullriding and professional soccer since the work stoppage started, the side gigs are little more than canny self-promotion. For the league's less well-known players, lockout work has been far less glamorous. Among the more practical lockout jobs players have taken:
Farmhand (New York Jets defensive end Matt Kroul)
The New York Times ran a feature Saturday on the ways players are staying busy (and employed) during the lockout. It centered on Kroul, who has been "tilling and planting and chopping" away the offseason on his family's 500-acre farm in Iowa. Not that he minded it. "When football is over," he reasoned, "I'll probably be right here."
Substitute teacher (Denver Broncos safety David Bruton)
Bruton has been a licensed substitute teacher in his hometown of Miamisburg, Ohio since April. According to the Denver Post, he subbed twice in May, first teaching math and social studies to second graders, then in a remedial social studies class at Miamsburg High School. Bruton made $90 for each day, and also got to work out at the high school's gym.
Private equity intern (New England Patriots punter Zoltan Mesko)
From March through May, Mesko interned Graham Partners, a Philadelphia-based private equity firm. According to the Times, Mesko, who speaks five languages has a master's degree in sports management from the University of Michigan, secured the job through a fellow UM alum. Compared to rookie training camp, the punter says his two months in high finance were easy. “There was no hazing," Mesko told the Times. "There's actually H.R. departments in the financial district. I did get coffee, though. I guess that was the rookie mentality instilled in me last fall." Plus, he was able to practice his punting at a nearby high school on his lunch hour.
Used car salesman (Atlanta Falcons fullback Jason Snelling)
Snelling, who will be a free agent whenever the lockout is over, already owns a recording studio in Atlanta. When the work stoppage began, he took classes, filed paperwork, found a partner, and opened his own used car dealership. Since the lockout began three months ago, he's says he's already sold 23 vehicles, including one for a teammate who requested "a 2009 BMW 745 with low mileage." Snelling found him one at a dealer's auction in New Jersey.
Undercard boxer (Baltimore Ravens safety Tom Zbikowski)
Vikings defensive end Ray Edwards is also trying to break into the fight game, but Zbikowski's experience as college boxer at Notre Dame gave him added credibility. While he was undefeated in his four fights since the lockout began, he pulled out a scheduled fight in Los Angeles this weekend, explaining to the Los Angeles Times that "it was time to begin the transition back to football."