The Real Deal With Holyfield

How come so many rich athletes are so poor?

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"I'm not broke. I'm just not liquid," 45-year-old Evander Holyfield argued earlier this month upon narrowly avoiding a court appearance on charges that he was around $9,000 behind in court-ordered child support payments for one of his 11 children.

But there's no denying that as recently as two weeks ago, the "Real Deal's" 54,000-square-foot, 109-room, 17-bathroom home was set for auction due to a $10 million loan default.

Holyfield's most recent moves have answered questions that have long perplexed much of the sports world. Thing is, those same responses have also left us even more confused.

All the "Why-does-Holyfield-keep-fighting?" questions have now given way to thoughts of how can any one human manage to blow through some $200 million in riches before so much as embarking on life's golden years?

In Holyfield's case, the answer to both questions is pretty much the same: The four-time heavyweight champ still fights because he feels he needs to.

He spent and squandered so lavishly because, well, he felt he needed to do that, too.

Consider it the curse of being a world-class athlete, the maddening sense of invincibility and entitlement that simply seems to come with the territory. It's a formula that's proven as deadly as any opponent. One that can cut short careers as quickly as it depletes bank accounts.

Michael Vick and Mike Tyson both had it.So did Marion Jones and Latrell Sprewell. In fact, so do roughly two in every three NBA players, according to a recently published Toronto Star article that assures that some 60 percent of them are guaranteed to be destitute within five years of retiring.


With that, it becomes clear that the same indomitable spirit most athletes take to the field with themisthe same mindset they carry into their everyday existence.