The way you're perceived is everything.
My advice would be to downplay your past while playing up the present.
Most people will always see you as just an athlete. But use that to your advantage. Play up the fact that football taught you how to be a "team player." Also, consistently emphasize (through words and action) the skills you employed as a player discipline and quiet focus, especially during difficult times. This will allow your co-workers to see you as a skilled professional who's more interested in building his future than he is resurrecting his past.