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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tell Em Why You Mad Son!

Dallas Cowboys rookie wide receiver, Dez Bryant, was recently a victim of a practical joke. After a night out at a steak house with some teammates, he was left to foot the bill, which came out to somewhere around $55K.
According to reports, the alleged mastermind behind the prank was veteran wide receiver Roy Williams. Williams and Bryant made headlines over the summer after Bryant refused to carry Williams' shoulder pads when told to do so.
It was a classic case of a rookie bucking the tradition of rookie hazing. People took sides. Some felt Bryant just should've carried the pads. Others felt Williams just picked on Bryant out of jealousy, since he was drafted to replace him. Everyone agreed that Williams sucked. The story eventually fell into the background after the Cowboys started 0-2.
I never gave a damn, because I'm a 49er fan.
But, I will tell you why I'm mad.
I'm mad that this prank is going to cost an individual $55K. I'm mad that while I know that individual did sign a contract with a $12 million signing bonus, the bonus is the only part of the contract that he's guaranteed to see. I'm mad that we as a society don't look at allegedly small instances like this one, and understand its a large part of the reason that a majority of professional athletes wind up broke less than half a decade after retirement.
And yeah, I'm mad that that one night cost him more money than I'm going to make this year.
Actually, that's got me more than mad. Borderline pissed. People gave Adam "Pacman" Jones a lot of grief for bringing a trashbag full of $80K to the "scrip club", but I can't see how this is any different, if not worse. For some strange reason, it makes more sense to waste multiple thousands of dollars throwing twenty dollar bills at naked women, than feeding ten men for one night.
Trust me, I'm an expert at wasting more than you're net worth throwing it at naked women. There are few things in life less rewarding, but I'd have to put feeding a bunch of dudes one meal is one of those things.
Still, I'm most mad that people aren't making a bigger deal about this. My brother once made me realize something that put athletes finances in proper perspective. He said something like 12 million dollars for an athlete or celebrity pretty much equals to one pretty fun decade, and then bankruptcy.
Once you account for taxes, families, and entourages, give or take a few gambling problems, paternity suits, DUI's, or overly-generous donation to a charity for tax writeoff purposes, these guys should really be more concerned with their long-term finances. Especially in the NFL, where non-guaranteed contracts are the standard. The list of bankrupt current and former athletes reads like a whorehouse madame's clientle list. Mark Brunell, Antoine Walker, Duece McAllister, Evander Holyfield, Raghib Ismael, even Hall of Famers Lawrence Taylor and Johnny Unitas.
In actuality, these pro athletes are two or three bad fiscal decisions from being bankrupt, at most. Just like the rest of America. Sadly, most will lose the majority of their fortune before they even knew they had it. That is why I'm mad.

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