So what’s the reality? Do all NFL players make millions of dollars for years upon end? The statistics might surprise you. The average NFL career lasts 3 seasons, due to the high rate of brain and leg injuries. The median salary in the NFL in 2009 was $770,000. While that might seem like a ton-o-cash, factor in a 35% tax rate, and 6% to the agent. Now factor in a college education that was not completed or which was poorly attended to. And this: 78% of all NFL players are bankrupt within two years of the leaving the league.
So this Sunday, whether you are munching on Polish sausage or pierogies, chew on this. 78% of the men suited up in black and green and gold will be bankrupt in the next 5-10 years. They will be replaced by younger models, who will be encouraged to play even more aggressively, while at the same time threatened with fines totaling in the hundreds of thousands when they do. They will be coming out of college earlier, with less schooling, and less guidance about what to do with their money during the brief period of time in which it is flowing. It seems too outrageous to be true, but those of us watching our storied teams do epic battle this Sunday, whether we be plumbers or professors, likely face a more secure economic future than the chiseled, wild-haired, hard-hitting football players that so beautifully represent out Rust Belt pride.
More and more background info on the issues behind the sportive entertainment business that is the NFL.
Still, it was a good game.