DULUTH -- Former NFL offensive tackle Matt Stinchcomb said playing professional football is like working for any business organization: You're expected to meet expectations and achieve a number of goals laid out over the course of a week.
"After two seasons or so, you realize it is very much a job," Stinchcomb said Friday morning at the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce's Success Lives Here breakfast. "Even in victory, these coaches find something wrong with what you're doing."
Stinchcomb, who graduated from Parkview High and the University of Georgia and played for the Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, said the NFL is "a very high-dollar, hierarchical" enterprise.
"It's a challenge, but a great experience," he said.
Stinchcomb, currently a Peachtree City resident, now helps operate the Atlanta offices of Seacrest Partners, an insurance brokerage firm. He is also a college football analyst for ESPNU and SEC Network.
At the Chamber meeting, Stinchcomb credited his mother with having the most pervasive influence on his life, shared some of the best advice he received from his father and talked about how he reacts when his brother, Jon, shows off his Super Bowl ring. (Jon plays for the New Orleans Saints.)
"I pull out my Peach Bowl watch," Stinchcomb said, jokingly adding that a ring doesn't serve a purpose but at least a watch can tell you the time -- although his watch doesn't work.
Stinchcomb played in the Super Bowl in 2003, but the Raiders lost to the Buccaneers. Although he was named to the 2009 class of SEC Legends, many of Stinchcomb's successes were in academics. He graduated summa cum laude in 1998 from UGA and completed the Harvard Business School's
Executive Education Business Management and Entrepreneurial Program in 2006.
He said his mother, Karen Johnson, a longtime educator who works at Trickum Middle School, emphasized not only academics, but achievement. She wanted the best her children could accomplish, and if they did that -- even if it was C-level work or third string -- she was happy.
Stinchcomb said one of his favorite "nuggets" of advice from his father was this: "All you can do is all you can do."
"In his eyes, it was a motivator," he said. "In any situation, you should apply what you can. ... At the end of the day, it's also what consoles you. If (you) did everything (you) could possibly do today, then you can sleep at night."