Ex-Professional Athletes: Why Does Retirement End So Disastrously?

March 31st, 2012 by Michael Tabor
There isn’t a day that goes by in which I don’t read or hear a story about an ex-professional athlete who has fallen from grace e.g. spent all their millions and are now broke, and worse yet accused of raping, robbing, spousal abuse and occasionally even murdering. Today I read the story of Ryan Leaf (who? Yes he had an abominable professional career so his name may not be recognizable but he was at one time one of the nation’s top prospects and the Indianapolis Colts had a difficult time deciding whether or not to draft Peyton Manning or Ryan Leaf back in 1998) who was arrested yesterday for burglary and drug charges. Wow – so sad and stupid.
One particular athlete that comes to mind whose post – football life ended up tragically is Mike Webster – “Iron Mike” the center for the Pittsburgh Steelers with big bulging biceps #52 (now retired) who was a staple of the Pittsburgh Steelers, playing 15 years (1974-1989) 245 games (longer than any Steeler in history), and 4 Super Bowls ended up destitute and was plagued with a host of injuries. Webster suffered from depression, dementia, and amnesia (football violence and injuries – another blog) and ended up living in his truck by a train station. Mike Webster sadly died at the age of 50 and one can obviously see this was the result of the “blows to the head” and certainly not Mike’s fault. This is just a sad and tragic story and the improper headgear worn by Mike and the NFL are to blame.
The list here is just a number of retired professional athletes who had it all and threw it all away:
O.J. Simpson – double homicide

Mike Tyson – bankruptcy, rape, etc.

Rae Carruth  – murdered his pregnant wife because he didn’t want to pay child support

Ugueth Urbina – a rather unknown relief pitcher for the Detroit Tigers who I included because of the gratuitousness and savagery of his actions: he gathered up a group of ranch workers in his native country of Venezuela and literally “hacked” them with a machete and burnt them alive, simply because he believed they stole one of his guns. (beyond sick)

Jayson Williams – former NBA player who killed his limo driver

Mike Danton – he hired a hit man to kill his former agent

Lawrence Taylor – Rape, drugs, alcoholism

I can go on and on but I believe I’ve amply illustrated my point. With the exception of poor Mike Webster (and others to be fair) were given a gift from God and when the fanfare went away, these spoiled, overpaid, over-privileged men couldn’t handle being a mere mortal human being.
So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? Do you have other ex-athletes you would like to mention? Why do you think that exponentially more ex-athletes behave so heinously?
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3 Responses to “Ex-Professional Athletes: Why Does Retirement End So Disastrously?”

  1. magdalena Says:

    Here’s another….Darryl Strawberry, his bouts with drug addiction, failure to pay child support, sex scandal involving prostitution, to name a few. However, Darryl managed to turn his life around and founded The Darryl Strawberry Foundation to help kids with autism.

  2. tabata Says:

    Do you have a Facebook fan page for your site?

  3. Michael Tabor Says:

    No. This is it – just post your comments or contribute by remarking on the corresponding article. Thank you.

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