Calling an audible: Jake Plummer shifts attention to wellness, natural health remedies

Jake Plummer, left, and former NFL running back Ricky Williams led yoga sessions at the beginning of Remembrance: A Health and Wellness Festival at Chandler Park. (Photo by Robert Crompton/Cronkite News)

Plummer, guiding the yoga session with a pose reaching for the sky, stayed active after the NFL, first competing in handball, and now also turning to yoga with a focus on wellness. (Photo by Robert Crompton/Cronkite News)

Williams was a marijuana advocate years before states began to legalize it for recreational purposes. The Saturday festival addressed the healing powers of cannabis. (Photo by Robert Crompton/Cronkite News)

After football, Plummer pursued entrepreneurial adventures and became an advocate for natural health remedies, including UMBO, a line of all-natural functional mushroom supplements he owns. (Photo by Robert Crompton/Cronkite News)

DJ Bryan Lopez helps participants at the festival in Chandler focus and relax with a calming playlist throughout yoga. (Photo by Robert Crompton/Cronkite News)

The wellness events attracted not only football fans and Plummer fans, but those interested in learning about chiropractor activations and the benefits of naturopathic medicine and cannabis. (Photo by Robert Crompton/Cronkite News)

Curious about Pranic Healing? Pranic Healers had a table for people to learn more about their treatments. (Photo by Robert Crompton/Cronkite News)

Representatives from Sonoran University of Health Sciences displayed several plant-based products for sale. (Photo by Robert Crompton/Cronkite News)

CHANDLER – In the buildup to Super Bowl 2023, Arizona prepared for the biggest party in town, offering fans countless events to attend. Jake Plummer joined in on the fun but took a different route, and on February 11, the day before the Super Bowl, the former Arizona State and Cardinals quarterback hosted Remembrance: A Health and Wellness Festival at Chandler Park.

Enlisting the help of fellow NFL players, yoga instructors and natural health and wellness vendors, Remembrance Festival took over the park, where participants could experience a revitalizing yoga session, which Plummer and fellow NFL player Ricky Williams led. The event also included panels involving former NFL players and vendors of natural remedies.

“The Super Bowl is the biggest sporting event in America,” Plummer said. “It highlights the epitome of human performance and health. And it sparked an idea for a collective … to engage the community to deepen a remembrance of natural wellness. Herbs, mushrooms, yoga, cannabis, acupuncturists, and so many other wellness modalities are entering the mainstream.”

While many events leading up to Super Bowl 2023 focused on generating excitement for the game, Plummer saw his festival as an opportunity to “shake up the status quo” and raise awareness of the remedies that are becoming more mainstream.

A star quarterback for ASU before playing 10 seasons in the NFL, Plummer retired from the game in 2007 and traded sports for the world of health and wellness. He is a co-owner of UMBO, an all-natural functional mushroom supplements brand, has embraced yoga and has advocated for the benefits of cannabis usage by pro athletes.

It’s a change of pace that, on a partly cloudy day in Chandler, Plummer wanted to share with the world.

Robert Crompton RAW-burt CROMP-tun (he/him/his)
Sports Visual Journalist, Phoenix

Robert Crompton expects to graduate in May 2023 with a bachelor’s degree in sports journalism. Crompton has interned with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders and the UFC.