Wednesday, October 20, 2004

$47 Million gone!

that buck that bought a bottle coulda struck the lotto
Nas - Life's a B....

Of course the above quote makes the assumption that gambling isn't as cruel a mistress as alcohol which isn't necessarily true. Case in point; Big Daddy Cecil Fielder one of the premier home run hitters of the 90s before it all became about McGuire, Sosa and Bonds. Now here is a dude who made earnings of $47 million just from hitting a baseball alone. Ok he fielded too but if you've seen Big Daddy in the field you know he was getting paid to hit not field.

In case you are not familiar with his on-field accomplishments in 1990 he became the first player to hit 50 home runs in 13 years, and he also led the league in RBI for three straight years. Not shabby accomplishments in the world of baseball I must say.

So how is it that the man who not only made 47 million but also seemed to invest some of his money in businesses is now completely broke six years after playing major league baseball? Well the answer is one simple word; gambling. It appears homeboy had a serious gambling problem and over the years lost pretty much everything he owned. Fielder is currently on the lam hiding from creditors and even his wife who is seeking to divorce him (talk about no romance without finance).Isn't that pretty sad?

Actually this isn't the usual way most celebrities and athletes lose all their money. Usually when I think of broke celebrities I think of guys who went spend crazy once they got the cash; buying numerous vehicles and ridiculously gaudy jewelry or homes with heated marble floors and basketball courts in the kitchen, that sort of silliness. Then before they knew it they were filing for bankruptcy. That is a problem which is seen quite a bit with athletes and entertainers where someone who was previously poor becomes suddenly rich and just gets carried away with spending on the material items they didn't have whilst poor. Now while some of us may find that behavior sickening it may not actually qualify as a sickness the way gambling can be considered. Well in most cases anyways.

One usually thinks though that gambling is the opiate of the masses. A dream like approach to getting rich fast. A way for the elite to keep us poor working stiffs thinking we have some shot at gaining access to their world if we are lucky instead of facing the reality that we will never reach that point. Its all about getting that one big win to get to a level where we can be comfortable. So why would a dude with the riches already want to gamble them away? Most of us wish we had that sort of money and I'm sure if we did we might spend a bit foolishly buying the chinchilla underwear and matching socks but hey we probably wouldn't be out there gambling at least not the large sums he was. Plus at the end of the day we'd still have the chinchilla underwear and matching socks to show for our money spent ...if that's any consolation.

We might play a little bingo, still buy a lotto ticket, maybe even go to the casino every once in a while and blow a hundred dollar bill but we're not going to be losing 47 million. Well at least I know I'm wouldn't.

So yep I feel a little sad about the addiction that Big Cec' had I just hope this is a warning to folks out there. (could this ending have been more lame!)

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