The best things in life happen unexpectedly. Just ask Carolina Panthers legend Greg Olsen.
In the premier episode of their newest series “Double Duty,” Whistle documents how fatherhood has affected the life and career of the former NFL tight end and where it has him now. And where it has him now is on a baseball field with nine, 10 and 11-year-olds in Charlotte, N.C.
Who’d a thunk it?
Well, not Olsen, who had never even been in the Tar Heel State prior to his departure from the Chicago Bears.
“Lo and behold, July of 2011, I was traded to the Panthers and moved to Charlotte,” Olsen said in the episode. “We [he and his wife Kara] had never been here before. And started the next journey, which was here in Carolina and where we now call home.”
Four seasons after being selected by the Bears in the 2007 draft, Olsen was traded to the Panthers for a third-round pick. He went on to spend nine of his 14 professional seasons in Carolina, where both his family and career would grow.
“I always say that my career really took off, like the real bulk of my success, came after I had kids. And I don’t think that was a coincidence,” he said. “I just think it brought such perspective, it brought such purpose, it brought structure and responsibility—where for the first time in my life, I had to worry about people outside myself.”
Olsen formed a Hall of Fame-worthy résumé in the black and blue, earning two All-Pro and three Pro Bowl selections while also becoming the first tight end in league history to amass three consecutive campaigns of at least 1,000 yards receiving. He retired, after 2020, as the NFL’s fifth all-time leading pass catcher at the position.
Now, Greg runs and coaches the Carolina Revolution, a youth baseball program dedicated to building more than just kids’ skills on the diamond. Olsen hopes to use the sport as a vehicle to teach his players the importance of character and personal development.
Oh, and you might’ve already heard him in the broadcast booth a time or two for a few Panthers games this season.
For more on Olsen’s post-football career, and the worthwhile lessons he picked up on the way, check out touching feature, also available on Whistle TV, down below.