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Retired Carolina Panther running back Steve Israel  has transitioned from finding holes (or making them) in the D-line to exploring the world of entrepreneurship and private equity financing.

Former Panthers Colin Branch, Muhsin Muhammad and Steve Israel at the City Club

As enthusiastic as he is about his new career, Steve is emphatic about one thing: Nothing beats playing professional football: ?If there were a league for people over 50, I?d join.? Steve was among a panel of three former Carolina Panthers who spoke to a packed house of about 120 young professionals this week at the City Club uptown. He was joined by former free safety Colin Branch and wide receiver Muhsin ?Moose? Muhammad, a Panthers captain in ?03, the year the team went to the Super Bowl. (Where have those days gone?)

The crowd at the City Club topped 120

Moose brought along a Daytime Emmy he won for sports broadcasting, noting that he majored in telecommunications at Michigan State. After his retirement, he founded a private equity firm called Axum Capital Partners. Colin is a financial analyst with Northwestern Mutual Financial Network. And while they all come from disparate parts of the country, they now all call Charlotte home. Being quick on the gridiron won't prepare you for a life off the field, Moose told the crowd. It takes work and foresight. And, unfortunately, too few pro athletes realize that. ?One thing that holds true for all NFL players, and that is that they will retire,? he said. ?Some guys get it. You?ve got to prepare. You?ve got to do something you love. You?ve got to do something that's fun.?