Cliff Note: the first comment is a response from Jeff Kinzbach. He sent it to me via Facebook and gave me permission to copy and paste it here.
First a tip of the hat to longtime WMMS morning show host, Jeff Kinzbach, who I had the pleasure of meeting last night. The post I'm writing is based on a post he made on his website, jeffkinzbach.com.
His post links to a story about Chris McAlister, former cornerback for the Baltimore Ravens. In 2004, he signed a 7 year contract worth $55 million. Now McAlister is broke and living with his parents and needs to pay $11,000 in child support. Question is, what happened to the money? Next question is. should we be feeling sorry for him and others?
Most pro athletes nowadays are mercenaries. We in northeast Ohio are painfully aware of that, as we are only 14 months removed from Lebron James "taking his talents to South Beach." Good news is he also took his entourage and mother to South Beach. I just wonder how much his entourage costs him and what do they do to earn it?
Too many hit the big time way too quickly and don't know how to handle it. And those around them aren't much help as they pretty much see dollar signs and little else. Nationally known financial counselor, Dave Ramsey always meets with rookies on the Tennessee Titans at the beginning of rookie camp and attempts to give them advice on how to handle the money they receive and to prepare for a life after football before they ever step on the practice field. Fact of the matter is that most have this condition called perceived immortality. They feel that they have this never ending stream of income, not realizing that life does happen. They never think of the one injury that would end their career.
You could equate this to any facet of entertainment. To the rock stars, actors, TV and radio stars. I thought this week of Ted Williams, the former radio personality who was found begging on a freeway off ramp last winter. His voice captivated the interest of many people. Williams was a former radio personality who developed a substance abuse problem, then ended up homeless. When his story hit the news, he became a subject of many articles and a guest on many news shows. Dr. Phil even offered his help. But Ted Williams fell off the wagon again. As someone who has a great voice and never got the chance, don't expect me to feel sorry for the man.
As mentioned earlier in this post, I got to meet one of my radio heroes last night, Jeff Kinzbach. For those of you living out of the area, Jeff was the host of the long running Buzzard Morning Zoo on WMMS/100.7 Cleveland. For years this was the top rated morning show. But as life goes, all good things must come to an end. WMMS was bought out by another company and a duopoly was formed with WMJI/105.7. There was friction between key members of the Morning Zoo and the WMJI morning show, and Jeff was cut loose, soon to be followed by his longtime morning partner, Ed "Flash" Ferenc. They resurfaced with a very entertaining afternoon show on WWWE/1100(now WTAM) but that ended after a couple of years. Funny thing is when they got to the bridge, they didn't jump off or set up housekeeping under it. They kept traveling. Flash got a job with Cuyahoga County, and fills in for some radio personalities on occasion. Jeff went to Dallas and dabbled in real estate. Made a good living for himself. He recently moved back to the area. His daughter marches in the Pride of Highland Marching Band, and Jeff is their announcer. He's a good one too. Most importantly, he is not full of himself. He was on top, started falling, grabbed onto a branch, and started working from there. For what Jeff Kinzbach has done since the Buzzard Morning Zoo ended, is something to admire him for.