Game over, but no time to quit
Former Colts working hard long after their playing days
He no longer blocks charging linebackers such as pro football Hall of Famers Sam Huff and Ray Nitschke. But Nutter does operate heavy machinery at the beverage distributorship he owns in Waldorf. He runs forklifts. He makes deliveries, driving trucks up to 100 miles a day.
Not bad for a guy who is soon to turn 74.
Nutter is one of a cadre of aging former Colts who continue to work into their 70s. They played football here at a time when salaries were meager and athletes needed off-season jobs. Their lives were built on a lunch-pail work ethic, born of being raised during the Great Depression.
It's a far cry from the NFL today, where the Colts reside in Indianapolis and play host to the Ravens tonight.
Jim Mutscheller was part of Baltimore's most famous Colts teams. Now 74, Mutscheller clocks in at 7:30 a.m. An insurance agent for a Hunt Valley firm, he works despite having had a knee and a shoulder replaced. Mutscheller played tight end for eight years and helped the Colts win NFL championships in 1958 and 1959.
Selling insurance, he says, keeps him active and chasing goals. "I enjoy making a [tough] sale," Mutscheller says. "It's like catching a pass on third-and-10 and getting a first down."
That's the point, says Jim Taylor, a sports psychologist in San Francisco.
"Athletes are, by definition, doers," Taylor says. "Their gratification comes from accomplishments - and living on past laurels only goes so far from a self-worth perspective.
"Old players like setting goals, too. Some don't need to work. But for many, doing nothing is not an option.
"Ultimately, you have to live with who you are, not who you were."
Few players earned as many accolades as Lenny Moore, the Colts Hall of Fame running back. The basement of his Randallstown home is filled with hardware from a 12-year career that began in 1956.
Yet Moore continues to draw a paycheck. At 71, "Spats" works as a troubleshooter for the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services, mentoring high-risk children and counseling their families.
"All of us [old Colts] know the value of work," says Moore, whose football salary peaked at $30,000. "I can't sit at home. What good is it to take what I have to offer to the grave?
"Do nothing and you're just speeding up your getting-out-of-here time."
Moore says he knows old-timers from other NFL teams who are struggling financially. In the 1950s, few players earned more than $15,000 a year. Today's average NFL salary is $1.26 million.
Player pensions vary for those who suited up 50 years ago, but generally, benefits are $200 per month for each year played.
"Health insurance is the problem," Moore says. "We've reached the age where things are happening to us. Three years ago, when I had my prostate removed, I needed a number of [injections] that cost $2,500 a shot.
"Without my work insurance, I couldn't have met the expense."