Charlie Batch has been one of the most active members of the NFL players’ association in their ongoing battle with the owners. He’s a veteran who’s been around for long enough to know the ins and outs of being an NFL player, both good and bad. And as we’ve pointed out on numerous occasions, Batch and his cohorts have been extraordinarily stubborn in their supposed give-and-take war with the league.
These guys have made millions, but every dollar counts like never before.
And in Batch’s case, it doesn’t help that he’s broke.
That’s right, the 13-year veteran is in jeopardy of losing his two Super Bowl rings as a result of bankruptcy.
U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Jeffery A. Deller lifted an automatic stay on Friday, giving Primerock Real Estate Fund LP the choice to collect on its $820,000 claim against Batch by seizing property he put up as collateral to secure the debt.
It’s sad that Batch will likely be forced to surrender “two Super Bowl trophies and rings, several jerseys signed by other Steelers and an autographed Mario Lemieux jersey.” But what’s even sadder is that, in 2000, Batch received a $13 million signing bonus with Detroit. Since then, he’s made at least $700,000 a year. The guy has probably earned over $20 million in his career, but poor investments have killed him.
We saw the same thing with Mark Brunell, who declared bankruptcy less than a year ago despite earning $52 million in his career to that point.
The NFL’s minimum salary is $320,000, but we’re still hearing players gripe about having to pay for health insurance during a work stoppage, and we’re seeing them fight tooth and nail over a few hundred million dollars in the labour war. We’re seeing them resort to a childish “prove it” defence when the league claims it has seen profits decline (despite the fact that surface numbers indicate that to be the case).
This is happening because NFL players are not generally savvy. They do not generally make good investments or embark on safe, sensible business ventures. The majority of pro athletes are stupid with their money, and as a result, they don’t have anything to fall back on when feces hits the fan.