What the Super Bowl Can Teach You About Money
From the first ever financial literacy ad during primetime to frugal habits of some star players, the game holds solid money lessons.
For football players, managing money is easy to fumble. Unlike most people, they often earn huge paychecks early in their careers, when they have the least experience handling money, and then those paychecks can abruptly drop off when they retire from the game. HBO even created an entire television series, “Ballers,” starring Dwayne Johnson, around the concept. Former NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens, former quarterback Dan Marino and former quarterback Vince Young have filed for bankruptcy, lost millions in bad investments and defaulted on loans, respectively.
Last year, the National Bureau of Economic Research found that 16 percent of players drafted by NFL teams between 1996 to 2003 filed for bankruptcy within 12 years of leaving the NFL. Those public troubles are part of the reason one former star, Phillip Buchanon, turned himself into something of a financial superhero last year, penning a guide to money, “New Money: Staying Rich,” after his football retirement. The NFL’s Player Engagement Department also runs financial boot camps for players and the NFL Players Association, a union, invests in financial literacy education, too.
All those efforts might be paying off: Recent coverage of the Redskins players’ lifestyle choices have centered around their frugality. A widely-shared January Wall Street Journal article revealed that some players are biking to work, driving beat-up vans and living in low-rent apartments. Their penny-pinching habits were attributed partly to their personalities, life experience and the availability of cheap housing near their training facility.
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