Mind Over Sports

Posts Tagged ‘Bobby Brett

What takes place away from the baseball diamond affects what takes place on the baseball diamond. Over the last two seasons Philadelphia Phillies’ Ryan Howard’s performance has dropped off considerably and I’ve often wondered what the problem might have been. The “problem” recently became public knowledge when Howard reached a legal settlement with his family. According to the Associated Press: “Phillies slugger Ryan Howard has settled a legal battle with his family over its management of his finances and business affairs.” There are still some lingering problems since his father, Ron Howard, maintains that he should receive $5 million himself and that Cheryl Howard, Ryan’s mother, should receive $5 million also. Too bad Ryan didn’t hire Bobby Brett, George Brett’s brother, when he first began making those big bucks. Bobby is not only totally honest but is also a financial genius. No wonder George was so successful at the plate. He was never worried about his personal finances the way Ryan has been.

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This is a question often raised and the answer is pretty simple. They don’t have a Bobby Brett to handle their finances, as he did for his brother George. When George was playing for the Kansas City Royals, I lived in Kansas City and owned an advertising agency and on occasion hired George to do commercials for my clients. And in order to get that accomplished, I had to go through Bobby, who was his financial adviser and confident. Bobby was a tough person to deal with but he was always straight forward with me and was always truthful. And I believe it was because of his diligence in handling George’s cash flow that helped George to be as successful as he was. When he came to bat, he never worried about his finances because he knew he had Bobby in his corner. Today, both are multi-millionaires and own a couple of minor league baseball franchises in the northwest United States.

It’s too bad Warren Sapp, Michael Vick, Mike Tyson, Johnny Unitas, Bjorn Borg and Mark Brunell didn’t have a Bobby in their corner. It’s been estimated that 78% of all NFL players will declare bankruptcy or face joblessness and divorce a mere two years after they finish their careers.

Citing the rate at which pro athletes declare bankruptcy after their professional careers end, former Major League Baseball player Doug Glanville wrote in one of his magazine columns that the problem lies with the speed at which the money comes in. He advises strong financial and life planning for athletes to avoid money woes after the playing stops. And I advise that they find someone like Bobby to cover their backs.

In the June 27, 2011 issue of USA Today, ex-NFL coach Joe Gibbs said he witnessed the following scene too many times: “A player would be upset with his contract (and) we’d be in serious discussions…and during the conversation it dawns on you, ‘Are you in financial trouble?’ That happens over and over again…it plays out a lot.” Gibbs also said: “I definitely feel like anybody that’s worried about their finances, it’ll affect every part of your life…Certainly your career and your focus…it’s an awful feeling to have a financial mess. It carries over to every part of your life.”

Including, how you perform on the field. For those of you who are familiar with my column, you know that I’ve always maintained that what takes place off the field of competition affects what takes place on the field of competition. I’ve used many examples in the past and a physician friend of mine, who is quite knowledgeable about the field of medicine, said: “Yes, Marvin, but it’s strictly anecdotal.” And he’s right. There really isn’t any research to back up my theory that I’ve been espousing for the past 25 years.

A good example is George Brett. Few people realize that George had a secret weapon when he came to bat. His brother, Bobby, handled all his finances and made sure that the money was put away for safe keeping. Today, they are both millionaires and own a couple of baseball franchises in the northwest part of the country.

And so, you have to ask: If a financial mess can negatively affect an athlete’s performance, what about a divorce, or an extra-marital affair, or drugs. There’s no question that Casey Stengel was right when he said: “Most ball games are lost, not won.”


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