I just recently read that Terrell Owens (former football star and future Hall of Fame candidate) is in danger of having his 2 Dallas properties foreclosed on. Considering the fact that he once signed a $34 Million 4 year deal with the Cowboys only as far back as 2007 (and made over $80 million during his career), it makes one wonder how it is even “possible” for him to have “any” money problems at all. Interestingly enough, Allen Iverson made over 150 million during his career as an all star basketball player, and yet recently a court decision “froze” his assets because he owed a “jeweler” hundreds of thousands of dollars that he obviously couldn’t pay. Mike Tyson made well over THREE HUNDRED million dollars and now seems to have lost most (if not all) of it. “How does a star athlete come to lose so much money so soon?” In Terrell Owens case he claimed that he made “bad” investments that didn’t pan out. Iverson was well known for gambling and carrying around a large “posse” of friends just about everywhere he went. A lot of times Philadelphians would see his $200,000 blue Bentley car parked in the “handicapped” spot at Fridays. Tyson was also said to have had a lot of friends “leech” off of him, (including Don King) and they in essence squandered his money for him. From the standpoint of the athlete, this has to be a major letdown, and in fact it could be considered quite “embarrassing.” One thing that all three of these people had in common was “cockiness” and at times “arrogance.” All three of them just knew that they were at the very top of the sport they played in, and probably never thought that one day age would deplete their abilities to perform. Scottie Pippin was another all star who blew everything he had earned. John Daly (golfer), Anoine Walker (basketball), Michael Vick (football) and others made huge fortunes playing the game only to eventually come up “dry.” “Anyone” can make a “bad investment” but is that the “only” reason for their falls from fortune? Did living an overly lavish lifestyle contribute in any way? Does anyone reading this article feel sorry for them? In Michael Vick’s case he lost a lot when he was convicted and sentenced for dog fighting, but he seems to have turned the page on his career is is making a lot of that money back. Evander Holyfield was the heavyweight champion and made just as much money, but he also had eleven (11) kids. I would imagine that paying child support on 11 kids would be enough to bankrupt “most” people regardless of income. Where should the blame go? Was it the responsibility of their management teams to help guide them in the right direction? Was it the responsibility of the league directors to inform these athletes to “save” for a rainy day? What should we learn from all this? Well, for me, should I “ever” come into a position to earn huge figures like that, my first inclination would be to save as though my career would “end tomorrow” because it just “might.” Once you have saved enough money to where you could live off the “interest” alone then I would give myself an “allowance” to spend (and make sure not to exceed my own allotments). The truth of the matter is that even with their financial problems some of these athletes can still make more money than most of us by selling the assets they own, but that still doesn’t excuse them from blowing their fortunes with bad decisions in the first place. A role model can influence kids through positive achievements but a role model can also influence through “negative” happenings as well. I hope that the young kids who idolized these superstars take note to what is happening during the “twilight” of their careers because that is important to securing stability. “Success is never guaranteed to last forever.” Fame and fortune can “make you” and it can surely “break you.” You don’t have to be a star athlete to squander money, so hopefully the rest of us can learn from their experiences. Whether it is a “hundred million” or a “hundred dollars” it would be wise to “think before you spend.” If you think that you could have handled the situation better than I sincerely hope that one day you get “your” opportunity. I guess it is better to have “earned and lost” than never to have “earned at all.” Good luck to you, and I hope you are blessed with enough fortunes to at least make you “smile” today. Take care and have a great one.
If you have a topic that you would like to feature on my Daily Thought page, you can email me directly at Brettjolly@aol.com.
Singer Anthony Hamilton and Brett Jolly in concert