NFL players take up a variety of activities once their playing days are over. Some go into coaching or even politics. Patrick Willis works for a tech company in Silicon Valley. Walter Thurmond III may have found the best use of retirement, or at least as legend has it.
First, let's get to the backstory. After six NFL seasons, Thurmond opted to retire this offseason at 28 years old. At the time, Thurmond was said to be walking away from football to "pursue other opportunities."
Now, we know those other opportunities included crushing a bunch of home runs on a rec softball team and doing it under the alias "Dick Mahoney."
Jim Adair of Crossing Broad uncovered the legendary details:
Other than crushing the ball and keeping his team in first place, Mahoney didn't really socialize much. The email says that he once told a teammate that he did "a little bit of this, a little bit of that" for a living. Rumors started to spread:
The woman who organizes our softball team asked [redacted] what Mahoney's email was so he could be added to our thread. "Doesn't have one," [redacted] said. When [redacted] witnessed Mahoney park his Porsche Cayenne next to the field, he sort of put [redacted] on the spot about Mahoney's background, [Redacted] just said, "You're going to have to find out for yourself what Mahoney does for a living. I can't tell you." Conspiracy theories started to spread that Mahoney was a drug dealer or was in porn (he missed a few games because he was flying back and forth from LA, apparently.)
Mahoney, who played the games while wearing a wig, eventually left the team because he was moving to Los Angeles to pursue film making. Before leaving, Mahoney crushed seven home runs in two games and would have had an eighth home run if not for a base running blunder, according to Adair.
So is Dick Mahoney really Walter Thurmond III? The signs point to yes.
First, Thurmond's interest in film making has been widely reported, so him leaving for L.A. for that reason checks out.
Second, Crossing Broad dug up this Instagram post from a woman they claim is Thurmond's girlfriend:
Third, Thurmond retweeted this tweet from NFL Media's Chris Wesseling:
Finally, there is also this:
@CrossingBroad Txted w/Dick Mahoney’s agent, Walter Thurmond. He says, unlike Walter, Dick has not retired, but he has "changed locations."— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) June 14, 2016
It really seems like Thurmond indeed retired from the NFL and started mashing dingers as Dick Mahoney. That is among the best NFL retirement stories ever. The even better news is he isn't done yet. Watch out rec softball teams in Los Angeles, Dick Mahoney is coming.