30 for 30 Broke

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Wabash
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30 for 30 Broke

Post by Wabash »

I just watched ESPN's 30 for 30 episode titled Broke.

It is really sad how many pro athletes are literally "broke" several years after their playing days are over. It seems like all the forces around them are arrayed to ensure that the millions they are earning will be systematically taken from them before their playing days are over.

One of the great points brought up is the typical college athlete never receives any education on how to handle money and by NCAA rules they are prohibited from enlisting that type of help from anyone outside the university they are attending.
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Re: 30 for 30 Broke

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I personally think financial planning should be a required course for all students, not just athletes.

And that major sport athletes, football/soccer/hockey/baseball should also have to take a second class going more in depth about it.

Athletes will still end up broke, but at least you give them some knowledge before feeding them to the wolves.

Also 30 for 30 is one of the best things on TV, I highly suggest to watch them, even if you aren't into sports a lot of them are very interesting.
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Re: 30 for 30 Broke

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Wabash wrote:I just watched ESPN's 30 for 30 episode titled Broke.

It is really sad how many pro athletes are literally "broke" several years after their playing days are over. It seems like all the forces around them are arrayed to ensure that the millions they are earning will be systematically taken from them before their playing days are over.

One of the great points brought up is the typical college athlete never receives any education on how to handle money and by NCAA rules they are prohibited from enlisting that type of help from anyone outside the university they are attending.
There are many words I would use to describe pro athletes who make millions of dollars and blow them just as quickly, but “really sad” aren’t two of them.

Yes, they may not be allowed to hire financial advisers while attending college, but there is nothing preventing them from doing so the day they leave school or the day they sign for the big bucks.
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Re: 30 for 30 Broke

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Nice empathy you got there MDD.

I'm sure at 20 years old and being a young millionaire, you'd make great decisions too, wouldn't you? Especially if you came from a broken home where the rest of your family was counting on you to make it so they would be taken care of...
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Re: 30 for 30 Broke

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Notorious wrote:Nice empathy you got there MDD.

I'm sure at 20 years old and being a young millionaire, you'd make great decisions too, wouldn't you? Especially if you came from a broken home where the rest of your family was counting on you to make it so they would be taken care of...
Sorry, Noto, but I guess I just reserve my empathy for other things. You now, things like kids with cancer, or vets coming back from the Middle East with no arms or legs, or families of murder victims, or families that lose their homes because the only mill in town shut down. That sort of thing. Somehow young millionaire athletes that blow their wads because they're immature or stupid just don't seem to belong in the same class.

And yes, I might not have been equipped to make the wisest financial decisions when I was 20, but I would have found someone who was. A 15-minute chat with the general manager of my new team would likely provide me with several names of responsible financial advisers and wealth managers. On the other hand, if my priorities were glitzy houses, Ferrari's, gold chains, cocaine and hangers-on, I wouldn't expect a lot of empathy from forum posters I'd never met.
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Re: 30 for 30 Broke

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MDDad wrote: There are many words I would use to describe pro athletes who make millions of dollars and blow them just as quickly, but “really sad” aren’t two of them.

Yes, they may not be allowed to hire financial advisers while attending college, but there is nothing preventing them from doing so the day they leave school or the day they sign for the big bucks.
Sorry you feel that way. I have a little more empathy for the naive who are viewed as prey by very savvy predators.
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Re: 30 for 30 Broke

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Wabash wrote:I have a little more empathy for the naive who are viewed as prey by very savvy predators.
I'm sure you do. Good for you. Now if we can just get the remaining millionaires to pay "just a little bit more" in taxes, maybe we can get the broke millionaires reimbursed.
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Re: 30 for 30 Broke

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It is sad, more so in that it repeats itself every year.
I know the NFL as a league has required a finance crash course for rookies since the 1990's, and teams have been bringing in financial advisors for classes for much longer.

Rookies are even told by veteran players that NFL means "Not For Long", i.e. you need to make all the money you can up front, because it always ends before you are ready.

For every sad story, there's a player who makes savvy investments and there's a player who is so risk averse that he won't even make a move on an established mutual fund without consulting his agent, accountant, financial planner and doing his own research.

For every player buying cars and boats as gifts for friends and team mates, there is a player who buys modest homes for family and makes revenue-generating investments.

Hell, Gronkowski puts his football paychecks in CDs and pays his rent and bills with appearance fees and endorsements. As simple as that is, even that is smart.

I hate to say it, but every one of these guys who goes broke was surrounded by guys doing the right thing.
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Re: 30 for 30 Broke

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18echo wrote:It is sad, more so in that it repeats itself every year.
I know the NFL as a league has required a finance crash course for rookies since the 1990's, and teams have been bringing in financial advisors for classes for much longer.

Rookies are even told by veteran players that NFL means "Not For Long", i.e. you need to make all the money you can up front, because it always ends before you are ready.

For every sad story, there's a player who makes savvy investments and there's a player who is so risk averse that he won't even make a move on an established mutual fund without consulting his agent, accountant, financial planner and doing his own research.

For every player buying cars and boats as gifts for friends and team mates, there is a player who buys modest homes for family and makes revenue-generating investments.

Hell, Gronkowski puts his football paychecks in CDs and pays his rent and bills with appearance fees and endorsements. As simple as that is, even that is smart.

I hate to say it, but every one of these guys who goes broke was surrounded by guys doing the right thing.
I don't know about the stats you throw out. This piece on 30 for 30 led off with a narrative that state 78% of all NFL players have either gone BK or are under financial stress within two years of their retirement. With the NBA the numbers are 60% of the players are BK within four years.

The disparity had to do with the fact that NFL contracts are the only major pro sports league whose contracts aren't guaranteed. NFL players careers can literally end one moment to the next with the paychecks stopping just as quickly.
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Re: 30 for 30 Broke

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Wabash wrote:I don't know about the stats you throw out. This piece on 30 for 30 led off with a narrative that state 78% of all NFL players have either gone BK or are under financial stress within two years of their retirement. With the NBA the numbers are 60% of the players are BK within four years.
They weren't stats, they were anecdotes.
Wabash wrote:The disparity had to do with the fact that NFL contracts are the only major pro sports league whose contracts aren't guaranteed. NFL players careers can literally end one moment to the next with the paychecks stopping just as quickly.
No, NFL contracts are not guaranteed as a league rule, though many are negotiated with guaranteed money.
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Re: 30 for 30 Broke

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Much of that documentary had to do with the competitive nature and spending habits of these athletes.
"My teammate who isn't as good as me and makes less than me got a Rolex...I need to get a Rolex WITH 100 diamonds AND a matching one for each of my girlfriends just to show him who is really on top." Oh c'mon... what a pathetic, stupid excuse to go blow your money.

I'm with MDDad on this one...no empathy for that type of attitude.

Also, the guys who have 3 or 4 "baby mommas" and 2 ex-wives get no sympathy from me either. This takes no financial planning classes in college. How about some birth control planning and realizing that there are women out there who would never look at you twice if you weren't an athlete who made money? Here's a clue athletes, there are women out there who are looking for 18 years of child support payments that cover their living expenses as well and you are just the ticket.

When a family member robs you of your earning because you naively entrusted them to take care of your earnings, yes, I have some empathy for that. That is really sad that a family member thinks that they can take that money for themselves just because they share your bloodline.

And as I recall, a player in the NFL should have gone through a couple of years of college paid for with a scholarship. That's a lot more than many people in this country get. Even if they play a couple of years in the NFL and end of flat broke, shouldn't they have that education under their belt to do something with?
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Re: 30 for 30 Broke

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Thanks, afan. All these guys had free opportunities to get smarter, but many chose to stay at ground-level stupid. There is only so much empathy to go around, and there are millions of people who deserve it. On my personal list, broke ex-millionaire athletes just happen to rank close to the bottom.
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Re: 30 for 30 Broke

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Why do you have a cap on empathy?

Just because you are with a starving children in Africa doesn't mean you can't be to a person whose family swindles them for money.
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Re: 30 for 30 Broke

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18echo wrote:They weren't stats, they were anecdotes.
I would argue that numbers like 78% and 60% are stats.
18echo wrote:No, NFL contracts are not guaranteed as a league rule, though many are negotiated with guaranteed money.
Maybe. I don't know the stats on that either.
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Re: 30 for 30 Broke

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afan95 wrote:Much of that documentary had to do with the competitive nature and spending habits of these athletes.
"My teammate who isn't as good as me and makes less than me got a Rolex...I need to get a Rolex WITH 100 diamonds AND a matching one for each of my girlfriends just to show him who is really on top." Oh c'mon... what a pathetic, stupid excuse to go blow your money.

I'm with MDDad on this one...no empathy for that type of attitude.

Also, the guys who have 3 or 4 "baby mommas" and 2 ex-wives get no sympathy from me either. This takes no financial planning classes in college. How about some birth control planning and realizing that there are women out there who would never look at you twice if you weren't an athlete who made money? Here's a clue athletes, there are women out there who are looking for 18 years of child support payments that cover their living expenses as well and you are just the ticket.

When a family member robs you of your earning because you naively entrusted them to take care of your earnings, yes, I have some empathy for that. That is really sad that a family member thinks that they can take that money for themselves just because they share your bloodline.

And as I recall, a player in the NFL should have gone through a couple of years of college paid for with a scholarship. That's a lot more than many people in this country get. Even if they play a couple of years in the NFL and end of flat broke, shouldn't they have that education under their belt to do something with?
I agree with all you said. I still have some empathy for these guys. One person put it best. Their lives are the reverse of the norm. Most people (if they accumulate wealth at all) do it slowly over time. Athletes acquire it very young. I liked how the story ended with the anecdotes of the athletes who were able to parlay their early fortune into livelihoods that will carry them well beyond their playing days. Sometime back in the 90's after former NFL Hall of Famer and multiple college All American Alan Page had been appointed to the Minnesota State Supreme Court. The writer stated that when he walked into Page's chambers there was not one shred of evidence that not only had Page played football, he had played it at a level that most would envy. Page calmly replied that he wanted to be remembered as a jurist that played football, not as a football player that became a jurist.

There are certainly others. Former Green Bay Packer Willie Davis, former Laker Magic Johnson, and Julius Erving. So it can be done.
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Re: 30 for 30 Broke

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Notorious wrote:Why do you have a cap on empathy?

Just because you are with a starving children in Africa doesn't mean you can't be to a person whose family swindles them for money.
With all due respect, Noto, having read many of your posts over the past 4 1/2 years, you might be one of the last posters on this forum who should be lecturing others about empathy. Regardless, I'll try to summarize it one more time: The best college/professional athletes have laid at their feet a world of instant wealth and educational opportunity that the rest of us can only dream about. If they choose to ignore those blessings and remain ignorant enough to lose it all, they don't make my empathy cut. Sorry man.
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Re: 30 for 30 Broke

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Wabash wrote:I would argue that numbers like 78% and 60% are stats.
My bad, I read "throw out" as me putting forth stats, rather than dismissing those from the documentary.
(I did not see that episode of 30 for 30 BTW)
Wabash wrote:Maybe. I don't know the stats on that either.
I remember reading that in addition to being the largest rookie contract to date, Brian Bosworth got much of the money guaranteed, almost as if he knew he wouldn't come close to lasting the 10 seasons the NFL.
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Re: 30 for 30 Broke

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MDDad wrote: With all due respect, Noto, having read many of your posts over the past 4 1/2 years, you might be one of the last posters on this forum who should be lecturing others about empathy. Regardless, I'll try to summarize it one more time: The best college/professional athletes have laid at their feet a world of instant wealth and educational opportunity that the rest of us can only dream about. If they choose to ignore those blessings and remain ignorant enough to lose it all, they don't make my empathy cut. Sorry man.
I kind of agree with most of this.

I'm not trying to be confrontational. I do want to say that to their credit, the athletes interviewed weren't asking for any sympathy. It's as if they realized all that you stated in your post. They had an incredible opportunity and many admitted to blowing it.
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Re: 30 for 30 Broke

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I don't know which is sadder, the topic or the attitudes of a couple of posters on this thread...wow.

I guess there's a graph somewhere showing the level of empathy "ground-level stupid, immature" people deserve that factors in the level of income lost, how much you feel they really earned it and your own income. Maybe someone could post that so I can know how to feel about these people.

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Re: 30 for 30 Broke

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Watched this episode a little while ago. Before I watched it I felt like MDDAD. After, I had a new perspective on the problem and more empathy for the players.

I had a chance to have a brief conversation with Stu Lantz yesterday and he talked about player ego. Professional athletes are a unique breed. To reach that level you were likely THE man for several years. Tis changes you. he also talked about how highly competitive professional athletes are. It is hard for any of us to imagine what really goes through their minds.

It is easy to see how athletes fall into the trap of making poor financial choices. Emotions get the better of you. You are riding a wave of success most only dream about. On your field of play, you must believe, you must know, that you are elite. Then you are expected to leave that out on the field and be "normal".

There are a lot of reasons why pro athletes end up going broke. 30 for 30 did a very good job of going over them and helping me understand how this happens. Most of the athletes interviewed for the show are not asking for empathy. They are merely answering the question of why. After watching the show, I now get the why and I also have a bit more empathy for some of them who lost everything.
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