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Thursday, February 10, 2011
What the heck was Jake Plummer thinking?

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

We live in an age in which some people become famous specifically because they lack talent and self-awareness. They get rich because the public enjoys gawking at their idiocy, incivility and stunning self-absorption.

And for the objectified, fame is the singular goal, no matter what is sacrificed to obtain it.

Not naming any names, but I'm sure a few just popped into your head.

Then you have former Arizona State and Denver Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer, a once-controversial athlete who walked away from fame and fortune -- and stayed away -- to build the life he wanted with his family in Idaho.

If you read just one thing today, you should read the Pac-12 blog. But if you want to read two, this is your best shot: A great "where are they now" profile of Plummer from Sports Illustrated.

Loved this quote from Plummer when he spoke at Pat Tillman's memorial:
"I was in the store the other day and I saw PEOPLE magazine, and it had the cover of the 50 most beautiful people in the world, or America, and there was a picture of Pat," Plummer said. "It was kind of ironic because I really looked and said, What is beauty? Is beauty a pretty face, a nice smile, flowing hair, nice skin? Not to me, it's not. To me beauty is living life to higher standards, stronger morals and ethics and believing in them, whether people tell you you're right or wrong. Beauty is not wasting a day. Beauty is noticing life's little intricacies and taking time out of your busy day to really enjoy those little intricacies. Beauty is being real, being genuine, being pure with no facade—what you see is what you get. Beauty is expanding your mind, always seeking knowledge, not being content, always going after something and challenging yourself."

The profile is titled, "What was he thinking?" Plummer provides a full and nuanced answer.

The fantasy of a young man is to become a famous athlete or movie star. The fantasy of an older man is to do what Plummer is doing: Living life on his own terms in complete contentment.