“We’re working,” Jon Kitna says. “We’re working.”
It’s his first-period math class at Lincoln High School, and yes, Kitna is working. Has been since 7 on this Thursday morning, which is when Kitna walked onto the campus of the high school he once attended, past the statue of Abraham Lincoln and into Room 102 carrying a bag full of McDonald’s breakfast sandwiches.
He will spend the next three hours in this classroom on Tacoma’s east side where the clock remains stuck at 1:44. The man who spent the past 16 years studying X’s and O’s as an NFL quarterback will spend three periods explaining x to the fifth power among other assorted math quandaries.
You might have heard Kitna retired. Well, that’s not true. He’s just not playing football anymore. The NFL career he never expected is over, and he’s now in his first year teaching math and coaching football, which is exactly what he hoped to do when he left college in 1996.
“The NFL wasn’t supposed to happen,” says Kitna, 39.