If you’re wondering what it’s like to see a $XX,000,000 check and then subsequently find ways to spend it all, ESPN’s latest 30 for 30 installment, “Broke” dives into the topic. How professional athletes can blow through unprecedented millions of dollars throughout the courses of their respective lives is a question that’s pondered more often than not by, well, normal people like me and you.
The stories don’t stop at today’s headlines revolving around Vince Young and Michael Vick spending. “Broke” profiles the downward financial spirals of different greats of their respective games: former MLB World Series Champion Curt Schilling, former NBA All-Star Jamal Mashburn, famed Browns QB Bernie Kosar and former NFL Pro Bowler Andre Rison.
The episode shows the “how” to “why” 60% of NBA players and 78% percent of NFL players go broke (hence the title) within five years of retirement. The doc explores how many of these athletes have never had real money for the bulk of their lives and as soon as they see that first check, they don’t know what to do with it. Some even believe that they’ll never be able to ever spend all of it. Add some shady investments to reckless spending habits and generally gross money mismanagement and you end up with a sobering story about the reality of many once-promising stars.
Hit play below to take a walk with ESPN in an athlete’s shoes from the time he cashes his signing bonus until he spends his last dollar, and some even beyond their last dollar. Pointing and ridiculing them over some of their decisions will become much harder once the end credits start rolling.