Broke – 30 for 30

Last night saw the return of ESPN’s rightfully acclaimed 30 for 30 documentary series. Director Billy Corben, who also director one of my personal favorite documentaries on the first go-around (“The U”), explore how such a high percentage of athletes who makes unbelievable fortunes wind up literally broke.

The Broke 30 for 30 documentary featured interviews with athletes who have seen their personal portfolios take a turn for the worse (Bernie Kosar, Andre Rison, Keith McCants, Curt Schilling, Cliff Floyd, Leon Searcy, Sean Salisbury, and more) along with an assortment of financial advisers, bloggers, coaches, and athletes who’ve managed their money well.

Many of the common athletes you hear about going broke (Mike Tyson, Antoine Walker, Allen Iverson, Michael Vick) are touched upon, but one major disappointment for me was the lack of any real in-depth look at one particular athletes financial history as an example. Instead of really digging in, the movie just glosses over everything without digging in deep.

The documentary is certainly thought provoking and I applaud Billy Corben for getting a bunch of professional athletes (typically among the most prideful people alive) to talk about their financial mistakes. Watching the movie, though, I couldn’t help but feel the same way before I felt before watching this. During the entire 90 minutes, I felt like I was being manipulated into trying to feel sorry for athletes, but I can’t help but think that these guys are either a) dumb, b) poorly advised, or c) both. Of course, the documentary does touch on just that, as well, but I find it difficult to feel incredibly sorry for athletes who are buying thousands and thousands of dollars in jewelry & cars while paying tons of money in alimony and child support. The excuse, used over and over again, is these guys generally come from poor backgrounds and they are young. I made some financial mistakes in my early 20’s, as well. To spend as exorbitantly and irresponsibly as these guys did (and likely do), it’s not altogether surprising that they have the trouble they do once they retire.

This isn’t in the top tier of the 30 for 30 series. Rather, it’s just a solidly average sports documentary that I’m glad I’ve seen once, but probably won’t go back and revisit (as I have with Corben’s “The U”).

6.5

out of 10

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10 2012

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