No, I’m not talking about me (too young and too poor). I’m talking about professional athletes and what they choose to do after retirement. The NBA estimates that over 60% of players go bankrupt within 5 years of retirement, but what do the rest do? Many athletes who made sound money management decisions go on to start businesses or run charities.
LeRoy Butler is probably most famous for inventing the Lambeau Leap while he was the starting safety on some of the great Green Bay Packers teams in the 90s. Butler is a great example of an athlete who had a successful career and is now trying to make a difference off the field. Butler has sponsored the Go Pink Soccer Series in Wisconsin, a series of 88 high school girls soccer games that has raised over $100,000 for breast cancer charities in the last two years.
Butler doesn’t just lend his name to the cause. Although he is a resident of Jacksonville, Florida, Butler makes appearances at many of the games in the series, signs autographs and makes an event out of the games. I was fortunate to referee one of the Go Pink Soccer Series games last night where Butler made an appearance (I’ve reffed soccer since I was 12 as a side job). He happily posed for pictures, signed autographs and talked with the players, fans and refs and seemed to really enjoy himself. I asked him if he could do a Lambeau Leap into the high school stadium bleachers but he said “he didn’t want to crush anyone.” He couldn’t have been a nicer guy.
Its great to see an athlete using his celebrity to help out a great cause and enjoy it. Butler could have been in sunny Florida last night, but he was in wet, windy Wisconsin on a Tuesday night watching a high school girls soccer game and enjoying every minute of it. It would be great to see more athletes follow Butler’s example.
During football season I wrote about innovation in the NFL and why the NFL is slow to adopt new in game tactics. Today, I was reading Al’s Ramblings, my favorite Brewers blog, and found his post on the Cincinnati Reds attempt at making more money and generating more interest for the franchise: a futures game. Instead of normal futures games like the one during the all star break, where the two teams are made up of minor league prospects, this futures game is the best players from the Reds minor league system against the full major league club.
This is a unique event that will not only generate money for the Reds, but will offer a value add for Reds fans. Imagine if one of their top prospects hits a home run off of a current major league pitcher. The fans will have something to look forward to and could have the beginnings of a legend, especially if that player comes up the the majors and stars later in life.
Al argues that the Brewers should implement a game like this before the regular season. I agree completely, especially if the Brewers sold tickets for $10-20. They could market it as not only a futures game, but an opening day for true baseball fans, rather than the alcohol soaked event that is the current opening day. I’d like to see the Brewers and other team continue to innovate on and off the field, as adds to fan interest and team income.
If you like college basketball and have the humor of a college student, you need to read this blog called Club Trillion: Views From the End of the Bench.
Club Trillion is an exclusive club founded in 2007 by three very handsome and very financially well-off Ohio State basketball players–Kyle Madsen (#15), Danny Peters (#13), and myself. We named ourselves “Club Trillion” because as athletically limited white folk, we found ourselves riding the bench for the Buckeyes. When the time came for us to get in, there would usually only be 1 minute remaining in the game and after sitting down for 39 minutes, we really had no interest in trying to be all that productive. So we devised the plan of trying to get the “trillion” which occurs when we play 1 minute and do absolutely nothing that would appear in the box score, thus making our stat line say 1 minute played followed by a bunch of zeroes. I know what you are saying to yourself right now. You are saying, “That is side-splittingly hilarious. These guys are probably just a comical party waiting to happen.” You are absolutely right.
His post about being stuck in an elevator with some of his teammates is laugh out loud funny as well.
Hopefully he can parlay his successful blog into some sort of a job after college that lets him avoid cubicle life to continue to put his superb practical joking and writing skills to good use!
Matt Millen is now an “expert” on NBC’s coverage of the NFL playoffs.
With all of the bailouts of other failures going on today like Citi, AIG and the Automakers
, its fitting that one of the biggest failures in the last decade of the NFL has landed on his feet so quickly.