The Frugal Football Team

I’m not a fan of professional sports, in fact I think I have only watched 1 entire football game start to finish in my life.  Professional athletes, and especially professional football players are well known for their flashy lifestyle. It isn’t uncommon to see football players living the lives of the rich and famous and then a few years out of the league ending up bankrupt.  This is actually one of the reasons I don’t like professional sports, the way in which the athletes treat money and the way in which kids dream to emulate this lifestyle.

Last year I wrote an article on a professional boxer I used to work with whose career trajectory closely mirrored Floyd Mayweather.  Floyd “Money” Mayweather is the type of athlete that is the reason I can’t be a fan of professional athletes.  Most of these guys are so incredibly disconnected from the world and just piss away money acting like fools.  Sure, it’s their money, and they can do with it as they please, BUT these athletes are looked up to by hundreds of thousands of kids, who dream to be, and act like them. The way the vast majority of these pros handle money is very damaging to the culture of how people view money as a society.  (Sorry kids, not only are Lamborghini’s and Mansions a waste of money, it is also unbelievably unlikely you will ever have those things, especially while young.) Today I learned about the several pro football players who don’t fit this mold, and they all play for the same team, the Washington Redskins.

Football Player Stats

Over 1 million kids play football at the high school level in the US.  Only 90,000 of those kids will play in college. There are only 1,967 professional football players in the US.  This means that less than 0.18% of those who dream to be pro players will ever make it that far.  For those who do, the average career in the NFL is only 3.3 years according to the NFL Players Association.   Play in the NFL is obviously highly competitive and every year 256 new players are drafted.  A single injury can be career ending.  A handful of players on the Redskins understand this and are living accordingly.  When you think of NFL players you certainly wouldn’t expect any of them to be driving 20 year old cars, or sharing a small apartment with a roommate, but that is exactly what these guys do.

The Frugal Football Team:

Alfred Morris 27, running back: Rides a bike to work.  When he must drive, he uses his 1991 Mazda. (This guy is doing better than me, my car is a 2000 and I thought it was old!)

Ryan Kerrigan 27, pass rusher, shares a modest apartment with a friend.

Kirk Cousins 27, quarterback, drives a dented 2000 GMC. On his vehicle choices,  he stated “It’s better to buy appreciating assets than depreciating. No yachts, no sports cars.”  He also happens to be from Michigan.

Tom Compton 26, offensive lineman, shared an apartment with Kirk Cousins for 3 years.

And these are only the 4 guys featured in the article.  Chances are there are more guys on the team following suit. What I love more about the example these guys are living is that they are creating a culture in the Redskin’s program of fiscal discipline.  Other players will see what these guys are doing and follow suit and very well may continue for years.  There is a lot of power in peer pressure, especially amongst young men.  These young guys who turn pro think they hit the lottery and when they pull into the parking lot and see nothing but BMWs and Hummers will feel they need to be driving the same things to fit in and display their status.  These frugal football players are showing there is a different option.

The general public is also seeing what they are doing, and this may very well have an effect on the image of who professional athletes are.  “The best sermons are lived, not preached.This is why I started posting our net worth so that others can see that Mrs. C. and I are living according to what I say here.  We can all effect the cultures around us by living fiscally conservative lifestyles.  When your friends and co-workers see what you are doing to win, they will implement the same strategies.  Most importantly of all, your children will see what you are doing and will emulate the same lifestyle.

Action Steps:

When times are good, save your money: ALL our jobs are temporary, maybe not as obviously temporary as a pro football player, but temporary none the less.

Be an example: Show other people through your actions, not your lectures how to win with money.

Live like a student after turning pro:  This is true for not just athletes, but for doctors, and lawyers, and business pros.  Take the first few years out of college and continue to live like you are in college.  Far too many people once they get their first real job think WOOOOOO MONEY!!!!! and spend every bit of it.  Can you imagine a specialist doctor starting out bringing in a quarter million a year driving a 15 year old car and living like he’s making $30K?

Who are you rooting for today, The Redskins or the Packers?  I myself am going for the Washington Redskins!

John C. started Action Economics in 2013 as a way to gain more knowledge on personal financial planning and to share that knowledge with others. Action Economics focuses on paying off the house, reducing taxes, and building wealth. Check out the Action Economics archives section for all past posts.

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