We have a Freddie Mitchell sighting: the former Eagles wideout is now the new owner of Brothers ' Bar-B-Q in Lakeland, Florida. No word on whether he plans to have a replica wrestling championship belt over the facade of the building. The former first-round pick hasn't played since the Eagles lost to the Patriots in the Super Bowl, after which Philadelphia endured a purging of mouthy offensive skill players, and Fred Ex hasn't seen the field since.
Five months ago, Mitchell moved back to Lakeland from Los Angeles while still trying to land a spot on a new team. That hasn't happened, but he saw a different opportunity: Brothers' was struggling and perhaps ready for a sale. Within a few months, Mitchell had struck a deal with 85-year-old owner Mary Harris. "I was wanting to get rid of it for a while, and I thought this might be the opportunity. I was deep in debt from it, too," said Harris, whose late husband, Ernie, opened Brothers' in 1986. "He (Mitchell) sounded as though he would continue to have the same quality that we did." Since taking over three months ago, Mitchell has poured himself into the six-day work weeks of his new venture, and first foray into the restaurant industry.
I always get excited when athletes start their own businesses. Less time for drugs and rape that way. But all generalizations aside, stories about athletes returning home to their communities are really heartwarming. Especially when that athlete went tits-up after less than five years in the league. At least he won't be waiting by the phone anymore. Former Football Star Tackles New Venture [The Ledger] Thanks, David.