Okay...so this might not necessarily be weird
horse news. It is, however, incredibly interesting and pretty unusual if you ask me!
When some professional athletes retire, they tend to stay involved with the same sport they've spent their entire lives playing perhaps in a different capacity. National Hockey League (NHL) great Wayne Gretzky, for example, dabbled in coaching an NHL team and then served as a "special advisor" to the Canadian men's hockey team during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver after his storied career on the ice. Boston Celtics great Larry Bird coached his way to the National Basketball Association's Coach of the Year title after his famous career on the basketball court.
And then there's Vince Wilfork. Wilfork is a defensive lineman for the New England Patriots. But rather than coaching on the gridiron after retirement, Wilfork is planning to coach on the dirt.
"In the offseason I plan to spend time learning the trade of training," Wilfork told a reporter from Harnesslink.com in a recent interview. "Maybe in my post-football career I will become a (horse) trainer."
According to the article (which was also published on several other harness racing-related websites), Wilfork became very interested in harness racing, and even owns part of a horse. His horse, Eel, is a successful trotter who recently received a special award from the New England Harness Horsemen's Association after he lost an eye to an ocular ulcer, but still returned to his winning ways (finishing first in four starts and finished second in his 13 starts since returning to the track from his injury).
Wilfork also owns a Thoroughbred, which he got as a Christmas present from his wife in December.
"The horses fascinate me. I find myself comparing them to other athletes, like myself," Wilfork said in the Harnesslink article.
Personally, I would love to see Wilfork make the transition from football to horse racing! It would be an exciting story to follow (and it would probably bring some much needed attention to the harness racing circuit).
Would it be a challenge? Sure! But it sounds like Wilfork is up for the challenge: "I mentioned it to one of my buddies at the track in Plainridge and he laughed and said never," said Wilfork. "Boy, I love proving people wrong."
What do you think? Can Vince make the change? Let us know in the comments section below!
PS - No discussion of the New England Patriots would be complete without a shout out to my Aunt Cindy. Auntie Cyn is the biggest and most dedicated Patriots fan in the world! Good luck this weekend against the Jets, Auntie!