I was trying to figure out what to write about this morning. Then I came across a column written by CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman. His column this morning is about players who hit the professional lottery-- and STILL make absolutely foolish decisions about money.
Oh money...how do I love thee? Let me count the ways-- why stars keep spending their money foolishly...
1. Simple street cred. I don't care if you are from the most impoverished part of a major city, or a farm boy from a dot on the map in the middle of nowhere-- one rule remains... if you got it, flaunt it!! Especially if you are 19, 20, 21 years of age. You got to show your homeboys-- either in the city or back on the back forty-- you are DA MAN!!!
2. The Age of Invincibility. I am 46 now, but I remember when I was 20. I felt I could do anything-- and that is when I was flat broke. Add a win of the professional lottery to that... just imagine the mindset... "I am SUPERMAN!! I am BULLETPROOF!! I got WHATEVER I want-- booze, chicks, drugs, cars, homes, security for me and my friends..." quite a heady brew for a 20 year-old who is great at sports, but maybe not good at life. Mix the two, and you have a perfect recipe for professional player arrests and various outlandish acts-- all reported nationwide in a matter of minutes...
3. Lack of mentoring. These guys hear the rookie orientations... they know the stories of Vince Young-- broke after spending over 29 million dollars. Entertainer MC Hammer-- just now recovering after blowing over 33 million dollars. The examples of pros past-- who made nowhere near that amount, and are in some cases destitute. The warning signs are there... but players won't listen-- unless they have a trusted financial expert deal with their money-- then there will be some light at the end of their playing careers.
Now that is not to say some haven't spent-- and invested wisely. Many have-- and will reap the rewards for the rest of their life. However, to do it, they have to overcome their 20 year-old ego that says they are IT! Those who avoid that trap, and live wisely-- have a great future ahead of them. The professional lottery changed their lives-- it is up to them whether it is for better or worse.
That's my take... I'm Tom Lee.