The NFL lockout is over. In other shocking news, the US economy is in trouble and it’s freakin’ hot outside! In all honesty, who didn’t think this deal was going to get done? There was way too much money at stake and we all know money talks. Except in those Geico commercials when all it did was stare menacingly at poor folks just trying to save 15% on car insurance. So after 132 days of unrest between the players and owners, a deal was struck that is believed to fairly distribute the 369 gazillion dollars that football brings in each year.
When the lockout began, I thought about my own job and the 9 months I spent as a member of the unemployment club prior to landing it. I felt I had something in common with the players and therefore I slowly gravitated to their side of the fight. I remember thinking during those first few weeks without a paycheck, that it would be comforting to have someone walking me through the process, giving me advice on how to best handle my finances and life without a job.
While following the lockout, I joked with some friends about how funny it would be if these millionaire players had someone walking them through as if they were average unemployed Joes. Then, like discovering a pot of comedic gold, I came across the “NFLPA Guide to the Lockout”, a handbook created by the Players Association to help players manage their life and finances during these hard times. This 64 page guide to unemployment is chock full of useful information…if you are someone who takes baths in a tub full of $100 bills.
Here are just a few examples of the top-notch advice you’ll find in this handbook:
“Consider selling a car that you haven’t driven in the past 6 months.” Incredibly sound and savvy advice if you ask me. I expect there are an awful lot of gently used Bentleys on car lots today thanks to this little nugget. I know if I were going to let one of my vehicles go, it certainly wouldn’t be the Maybach or the Bugatti so the Bentley is the obvious choice. Unfortunately for me, if I had a vehicle that I hadn’t driven for 6 months, it would only be because I was physically unable to do so due to injury or incarceration or something to that effect. But thanks for the advice fellas!
“If you are making car payments for friends, now is the time to stop!” Really? But I got all my friends a membership to my car payment of the month club for Christmas this year. Each month, a different friend gets a check from me for their monthly payment. Those scheduled for August through December are going to be so disappointed.
“Nix the personal shopping assistant, stylist, and recurring clothing purchases.” This is a tough one, but the handbook says to do it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to have a conversation with Great Clips and American Eagle that I really don’t want to have.
“Utilities: If you don’t use it, lose it…” Now this is actual advice that the average person coul…oh wait, there’s more to it. “…Turn off all utilities at any of the homes you rarely use.” Damn, they lost me again. Only got the one home guys, but thanks anyway.
“Layoff unnecessary jobs for your friends.” Those friends currently employed by me for the following services: stamp-licking, toilet roll replenishment, bug removal, tip calculation, mail retrieval, pressing the brew button on my Keurig, managing my DVR, yelling obscenities at bad drivers, and petting my dogs for me; I’m afraid I’m going to have to let you go.
“Leave the club with your wallet and budget in tact.” This seems reasonable. I mean it’s not as if you’re going to stop these guys from going to clubs. Here’s a tip fellas; when visiting a “gentleman’s lounge”, leave the ATM card at home and just bring cash. You’re welcome.
“Manage expectations. Explain to your friends that there will be plenty of time to celebrate your success later but now is a time to focus on yourself and your family.” On the plus side, expectations of my success are pretty low so disappointing people is highly unlikely. On the negative side, I’m pretty sure if I told my friends, “Don’t worry guys, there will be plenty of time to celebrate my success in the future.”, I’d get punched squarely in the face.
So there you go folks, just a little sage advice from the NFL Players Association on how to handle things in the absence of work. Feel free to check out the entire document if you find yourself in this predicament and would like further clarification on anything. If you have a job though, and perhaps are in the market for a new vehicle, I hear Bentley’s are gnude and available.
Quick Side Note: I know I said I would be unveiling the new name for the blog with my next post but obviously that is not the case today. The comments continue to roll in and the race is very close; closer than I expected. I think I’ll make the decision over the weekend so stay tuned, but thanks for all the opinions and mental images you shared. They were both welcomed and, in some cases, disturbing.