Hailing from Philadelphia, I have an odd sense of like/dislike for our sports teams. For starters, Philly teams don’t win championships. The Eagles have only been to Superbowl once. The Sixers as the Nationals won in 1955, then back to the Sixers in 1967, and again in 1983 with Dr J and Moses. The Flyers held the Stanley Cup in 1974, 75 but nothing since. Finally the Phillies won the world series in 1980 and 2008 which I recall had an odd rain delay that caused game 3 to be postponed and the sense of an unofficial victory. That leads for a total of 1 championship since I was born. That’s not a whole lot to get excited for and may add to my lack of being a homer. If there is any team though that I’d want to win, it’s almost always a Philadelphia team but that has to factor in my indifference to the outcome of sporting events in general. Putting this brief history of ineptitude aside, Philadelphia athletes also seem to be better at losing their money than other cities. Let’s look at some of our finer specimens.
First on my list is Allen Iverson and rightfully so. He brought life into Philly ball that was honestly terrible for years following Barkley’s departure. AI was this city’s savior and he brought that intensity beginning his rookie season. The 2000 championship run was my fondest enjoyment of any Sixers basketball ever. Stepping over Tyrone Lue is the most memorable with AI crossing Jordan as a close second. Amazingly, with all his talent and earning ability, he has found himself without any money. AI earned over 154 million dollars throughout his career and that doesn’t include endorsements which have to be close to 50 million. I would go on to say that with all of AI’s retirements and returns, overseas basketball, and soccer auditions, that this is one of the saddest athlete stories. He succumbed to some costly issues such as gambling, divorce with goddamn kids, and having an entourage 50 deep. These guys just don’t understand that the money stops coming in when you stop playing. “In a Philadelphia Inquirer column published March 7, 2010, Stephen A. Smith wrote that according to “numerous NBA sources”, Iverson would “either drink himself into oblivion or gamble his life away”, and that Iverson had already been banned from casinos in Detroit and Atlantic City. Smith also wrote that Tawanna, his wife of eight years, had separated from him and filed for divorce, seeking custody of their five children, as well as child support and alimony payments.” I wonder if AI has the answer?
I remember Lenny being my favorite Phillie during their World Series run in 1993 (he was also runner up for MVP to Barry Bonds that year). He batted lead off, played centerfield, had a cheek full of tobacco and was tough as nails. He was also a bad boy after these numerous incidents. In 1991, while driving drunk (.179 BAC), he crashed his car into a tree on Darby-Paoli Road in Radnor Township after attending John Kruk’s party. Oh yeah, Darren Daulton was also in the car and they both sustained broken bones. In 1999, he was arrested for sexual harassment of a 17-year-old woman who worked at his car wash, but the criminal charges were later dropped. In December 2010, Dykstra was accused of hiring a female escort, then writing the escort a bad $1,000 check. Adult film star and escort Monica Foster claimed that he purchased her escort service on December 13, 2010 then wrote her a check that bounced. Monica Foster later posted a copy of the bounced check on her blog. These acts don’t even touch the financial issues he had which I just don’t have the space or will to write about in this short area. Let’s just say the guy didn’t manage his money well and was a complete shyster and after filing for bankruptcy, has landed himself behind bars.
It’s hard for me to really call Vick an Eagle but he technically has played for us and is one of the most high profile finance-tards. I don’t need to go into the dog fighting because that’s been covered to death. Some of Vick’s more interesting bonehead stories. In March 2005, Sonya Elliott filed a civil lawsuit against Vick alleging she contracted genital herpes from him in the autumn of 2002 and that he failed to inform her that he had the disease. Elliot further alleged that Vick had visited clinics under the alias “Ron Mexico” to get treatments and thus knew of his condition. The “weed water bottle” also seems to have gone mum. Vick surrendered a water bottle that had a hidden compartment to security personnel at Miami International Airport on January 17, 2007 but nothing was found illegal. Vick announced that the water bottle was a jewelry stash box, and that the substance in question had been jewelry. HUH? Financially, Vick signed a 6 year, 100 million dollar contract with the Eagles recently so he won’t be broke forever but his financial troubles stemmed from the dog-fighting and his inability to collect on his contract. I have a feeling though that Vick will have wised up and will have some better financial planning moving forward. Over under 5 years til bankruptcy?