From Glory Days. Emmy Award Winning TV Host Kurt A. David Talks About How The World Famous Sports Superstars Overcome Their Ultimate Defeat. Retirement.
Most sports fans dream about what it would be like to live the life of a Hall of Fame or World Champion professional athlete.
It looks so exciting, exhilarating, and empowering. A life of glamour and glitz where millions of sports fans worship someone as their Hero who scored that world cup winning goal pitched that Major League ball or delivered that powerful KO.
All-time highest paid athlete, American professional boxing promoter and former professional boxer, Floyd Joy Mayweather Jr. having competed from 1996 to 2007, earned a $550 million in revenue in August 2017 during his epic one-fight come back against Conor McGregor in Las Vegas.
Golden State Warrior Stephen Curry has a base salary of $34 million. The Street reports he is currently signed on a 5-year, $201.2 million contract, with an annual salary cap of $40 million. As a two-time MVP winner, Curry is signed until the 2022 season.
Basketball stars get an average of $4.79 million per year or $92,199 per week.
Washington Nationals of Major League Baseball pitcher Stephen Strasburg’s salary is estimated at $38.3 million. Washington drafted him with the No. 1 pick in 2009 – look no further than 2017, when his 15-4 record and 2.52 ERA led to him being third in NL Cy Young voting.
But what is behind all the billions of dollars of TV and video rights, advertising deals, and sales of team shirts, hats coffee mugs and logo placements?
Many professional athletes make more money in one season than most average people earn in their entire lifetime. Yet, the majority of professional athletes with these huge salaries end up broke after their retirement.
A Sports Illustrated analysis showed that 78 percent of NFL players are bankrupt or nearly so just two years after their career ends, and 60 percent of NBA retirees lose it all in five years. An estimated one in every six professional football players files for bankruptcy within 12 years of retiring from the game due to lack of planning, unsustainable lifestyles, and other factors.
First-round NFL No. 1 draft pick Jadeveon Clowney landed a $22 million contract with the Houston Texans. He’ll earn additional millions with endorsement deals. But on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Clowney revealed he was still broke and living at home with mom. When asked what he was going to do with his first paycheck, Clowney said he would buy his mother a house.
What’s more, players are often young when they launch pro careers as the average length of a professional athlete career
• NLF: 3.5 years
• NBA: 4.8 years
• MLB: 5.6 years
• NHL: 5.5 years
Those most fortunate players, such as Nolan Ryan and Gordie Howe who play for 15 plus years are a rarity. Most professional athletes are back in the general workforce after their “fast and furious” years.
As well as financial, and physical (due to acute or chronic injuries) setbacks of an ending sports career in the early thirties, there are many other issues to consider when ending a sports career.
After the initial excitement of fame and popularity and dedicating the additional time and energy to shaping their talents and perfecting their craft, professional athletes find themselves with the upsetting anticipation of their soon-ending sports career.
An athlete’s self-identity is typically inseparable from their role as an athlete. Often for many years, the primary focus in their life is on developing as an athlete and succeeding in their chosen sport. So, when the sports career ends, it leaves a significant hole in the athlete’s life.
EMMY AWARD WINNING ‘FROM GLORY DAYS’ TV SHOW, created by Kurt A. David, who is a former pro athlete, keynote speaker, acclaimed author, certified counsellor, and consultant to world-class athletes and organizations, is the TV Show that is attracting thousands of sport fans who want to follow what happened to their Heroes.
The TV Show ‘FROM GLORY DAYS,’ features world-class athletes that at times face challenges with this change and transition.
“The exit statistics from pro sports when athletes make this transition from professional sports is outright horrible. My goal with my book and the TV show was not simply to talk about the glory days of an athlete’s playing career but get into the details of their lifestyle changes and other challenging aspects of this transition.” said David.
He also added, “100% of professional athletes ultimately experience job termination, and I want to discuss this sobering transition and also how each athlete has recreated their post-sports success.”
Now going into Season 5, Guests have included many World Series and Super Bowl Champions, NBA and Hall of Fame players, as well as Gold Medal Olympians.
Seven-time World Boxing Champion Thomas ‘Hitman’ Hearns shared how his mother initially refused to allow him to box.
Four-time Super Bowl Champion Rocky Bleier talked about being shot as well as getting hit by a hand grenade while he served as a soldier in the Vietnam War. The doctors told him he would never play professional football again. But he came back and won four NFL Super Bowl Championships.
Season 3 guest Doug Smith told his tragic story and transition of that as a professional hockey player to quadriplegic with no function or feeling below his neck from an accident during a game. Fourteen years later, Doug is a best-selling author and motivational speaker in Canada after countless hours of surgeries and therapy. And he is walking again.
The end of the career doesn’t mean just not engaging in the sport anymore. It also changes the athlete’s identity as a world-class athlete: he or she is no longer an “athlete.” The perception of the individual of him or herself changes, and there is often a loss of passion and purpose. “Often these former athletes go unrecognized by the public after they finish their professional missions,” says David
David reminisces “I once had a guest who said: Why is it when I’m a professional athlete making a good income everyone wants to give me free cars and suits and meals, but the moment I’m no longer an athlete and now making a fraction of the money I have to pay for everything.”
According to the Kubler-Ross model of loss or grieving, an individual experience the following: denial, bargaining, anger, sadness, and acceptance.
David continues “Often former pro athletes experience a serious loss of direction and even depression as they struggle to create the next phase of their lives. During Season 2, former NFL quarterback Eric Hipple candidly shared intimate details of his struggle with depression and suicide of his 15-year-old son. Hipple now works as an advocate for depression, travelling all over the world speak on the topic.”
During Season 4 Former NHL hockey player Darren McCarty shared how he fell into serious drug and gambling addictions and bankruptcy despite winning Four Stanley Cup Championships.
Former professional baseball player, Rick Leach shared, “My wife kept asking me what I was going to do, and I simply replied, ‘I don’t know.’”
“I enjoyed it for about a week,” stated 2x NBA Champion Rick Mahorn when asked about life after sports during Season 2 of David’s TV show.
When asked what advice he would have for those in transition, 2x Super Bowl Champion and MVP Ray Lewis said, “It’s important to develop your plan and execute the plan. I love the (NFL) league but they are someone else’s brand, and it’s important to develop your own brand,” Lewis added.
Professional athletes must also realize their social and moral responsibility to be good stewards of their finances, as very often are bright and talented individuals who excel on the football field or basketball court but know very little about managing money.
David comments further “With such high bankruptcy rates for former professional athletes it is not unusual to hear the stories of athletes such as #1 NBA Draft Derrick Coleman who discusses the bankruptcy of his businesses in his hometown of Detroit.” He adds: “Some of these athletes even end up in prison for poor choices with money such as Season 3 guess Denny McLain who still owns the Major League Baseball record for most wins, 30 in total, in one season.”
“Before you could go to any car dealership and buy anything you want,” mentioned NCAA Champion and former NBA player Mateen Cleaves who was also a guest star on the TV show.
Despite the sobering exit statistics and loss of direction former professional athletes face, there are many success stories.
Yes, some former professional athletes are great role models for a successful retirement.
Former NBA player, Robert Elliott. Elliott was a three-time academic and athletic All-American at my alma mater, The University of Arizona, where he earned both a Bachelor of Science in accounting and an MBA. Elliott is an outstanding citizen, businessman, musician, philanthropist and family man. As well as owning a successful accounting firm, he was the past president of the NBA Retired Players Association. Elliott authored a book entitled Tucson A Basketball Town.
Two-time NBA Champion Vinnie Johnson has built an empire of businesses with nearly $1 billion in value while capitalizing on the minority contracts.
Season 3 guest Mel Farr was one time considered the wealthiest African-American in America with a valued worth of $600 million mostly from his car dealerships.
Heisman Trophy Winner and former NFL running back Billy Sims have amassed a chain of 70 Billy Sims BBQ restaurants by surrounding himself with smart business people.
With a Mission statement that expresses a desire to educate, entertain, and inspire the audience to be community-minded, fiscally responsible, and realize their own passion and purpose, it’s clear that the TV show, ‘FROM GLORY DAYS’ transcends beyond just the glory days of athletics but to anyone going through a significant change or transition.
Kurt A. David is the creator and host of the EMMY Award winning TV show and regionally best-selling book, ‘From Glory Days’ which chronicles the personal stories of Hall of Fame, All-Star, and World Champion former professional athletes AFTER their pro sports careers.
He owns and operates Glory Days Productions, LLC which produces television shows and commercials. Kurt is also Co-founded PurposePoint.com which helps individuals and companies re-connect with their Mission, Vision, and Values while also developing the ever-changing workforce.
Kurt’s life experiences as a professional athlete, author, TV personality, corporate keynote speaker, certified counsellor, and transition consultant to world-class athletes has provided him the skill to inspire diverse audiences.
As a keynote and workshop speaker, Kurt’s presentations are entertaining, educational, and inspiring, and focused on helping others, “Face Change Like A Champion.”
His second book titled, “The Change” is co-authored by some of the nation’s leading authorities on change and transition and is part of a multiple book series that has become a global movement.
Despite a hectic schedule, Kurt believes it is essential to give back and does so by volunteering his time and resources to numerous local, national, and international charities.