What it's about: It might seem impossible to squander millions of dollars in a few short years, but that's the reality for a large contingent of pro athletes. A Sports Illustrated report in 2009 discovered that 60 percent of NBA players go broke within five years of retirement, and 78 percent of NFL athletes have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress. Yes, "professional athletes blow a lot of money on useless crap," explained director Bill Corben. "But that's barely the tip of the iceberg."
What it's really about: Stepping into someone else's shoes. No one has to feel bad for a guy whose made and lost more money in a few years than most of us will see in a lifetime, but fans owe it to themselves and the players they love to understand the problem. Like everyone, athletes make bad investments, they give in to pressure from family and friends, they live beyond their means. The ego that drives them can also ruin them, and when the money is gone, so too are the freeloaders. It's great to dream about hitting a home run or scoring a touchdown, but few consider the downsides of being a sports hero, and don't realize "how easy it is to go broke."Back to top