A ‘Financial Fumble’ We Can All Learn From

What former NFL wide-receiver Rod Barksdale learned about friends and family in ‘financial need’

Image: Noah Barksdale

In 1987, a long-time friend asked then Dallas Cowboy star wide receiver Rod Barksdale if he could borrow $20,000. Barksdale’s friend was going to use the money for a down payment on a home, telling Barksdale he would pay him back “when I can.”

“In my mind ‘when I can’ meant something like six months and I would not hesitate to help. I never forgot what it was like to grow up and have wants and needs you could not afford.”

Back in the Day

When Barksdale was first drafted by the NFL in 1985, he said his life changed because all of a sudden he had “options.” “All of a sudden I was making $125,000 a year. A lot of money in the mid 80’s.”

Well aware of the fact that most NFL careers are short-lived, he quickly started planning how he could save and grow his money. He identified what he calls a sound investment property.

“I’ll take this money and create something with it. I will put it to work and catch up to it in 10 years.” Barksdale, however, stepped away from his 10-year plan, let his friend borrow the money, and walked away from the investment property.

“Somebody you haven’t heard from in a long time calls you. The first thing they do is congratulate you on your contract, and the next thing you know, they have an issue,” said Barksdale.

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