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Millionaire athletes end up broke

By Larry Pritchett
Past PCHS Activities Director

I finally sat down and watched one of ESPN’s 30 for 30 programs. I have seen parts of a lot of them but for some reason not all of one program. The 30 for 30 program titled “Broke” was an attention getter for me. It is hard to grasp how athletes can make the type of money they do and end up broke when their career is over.
After hearing some of the athletes tell their stories, even when what they had done was borderline stupid when you thought about it, you still think, how can someone be that clueless about what is going on in their financial lives? A lot of the athletes made more in four or five years than a normal person would make in two or three lifetimes and still had their skill to spend it all during their playing time.
The problem is spread across all professional sports. For a group of people who have such great physical skills it is hard to believe that they couldn’t have just a touch of common sense.
It reminds me of the U.S. Senator that said once, “You spend a billion here and you spend a billion there, pretty soon it all adds up.” You think!
A few quotes from some of the people can give you an idea of how they were able to accomplish this financial feat.
“I bought myself a yacht, a mansion, a couple of cars. That ain’t a million dollars . That’s seven million dollars. I pretty much gave it away.–Keith McCants, former NFL linebacker.
McCants also credits his family with helping him, “Family and friends, they stick it to you more than anybody.”
Bernie Kosar, former NFL quarterback, commented that not being able to say “No” hurt him. “There was probably, different times, I was taking care of 25, 50 families.” Kosar said even little things add up, “I remember one point seeing I had like 60-some different cell phones. I know I only use one.”
I know that raising a family sometimes is difficult and it can be expensive but guys like Evander Holyfield probably went to extremes with family as it was stated that he pays hundreds of thousands annually to support the 11 children he has fathered by nine different women.
A lot of the people sounded bitter and I thought almost wanted you to feel like they were victims, but Bernie Kosar was able to speak a little differently about his problems. “The bankruptcy stuff has been a blessing in disguise. When people don’t think you have money, they don’t call you as much. Family included.”
30 for 30 programs go on each week and I actually watched parts of the one last Tuesday and it was interesting also. The title was “9.79” and it was about Ben Jonson and the world record 100 meters in the Olympics that was disallowed after he tested positive for drugs.
Now for the best part of baseball season–the playoffs and the world- series. There have been some pretty good games already but the world-series is the best baseball to watch.
Support the Plainsmen! See you at the games.