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People Amazed at NFL Player's Ability to Not Instantly Go Broke

An NFL player has been in the news recently, and thankfully it’s not for cheating in a game or beating his girlfriend.

Ryan Broyles is making waves for his heroic ability to not spend every penny he has on Ferrari's and fancy dinners. He makes millions, but doesn’t spend millions. Finance blogs are calling him a paragon of financial restraint. He’s being exalted as a model we should all look up to.

So, is Mr. Broyles living on Ramen? That would be cool, especially when your job is to be as beefy as possible so as to withstand crushing blows from 300 pound freaks of nature. Nope, it’s not ramen.

Is he doing one of those experiments where you try not to buy anything for a year? One of those, “let’s not take anything from the earth, but just give back” types? Not really. He actually just bought a new car. And a new house. And he just had a baby. That’ll suck up some resources.

So, what did he do to earn his status as Warren Buffet in shoulder pads? He managed to limit his spending to sixty thousand dollars per year.

Huh?

Sixty thousand dollars is a lot of money. That's nine thousand more per year than the median American family makes in a year.

Don’t get me wrong, I know I’d be tempted to spend a lot of money if I made millions of dollars. Sixty thousand is a small fraction of this guy's total earnings. But let’s stop acting like he’s dumpster diving. I will reiterate that he’s spending almost ten thousand more dollars per year more than the average family MAKES. That’s a years rent in many parts of the country. 

The whole thing reminds me of the “funniest guy in the office” situation. That’s the phenomenon where someone gets an inflated sense of their own abilities because they are in an environment where the bar is set low. This also applies to decent looking girls at Ivy League schools and kids who were the best player on their podunk high school basketball team. 

I've been a victim of "funniest guy in the office" syndrome. At one of my old jobs, I was hilarious. I wrote a weekly email roundup of the things that happened in my department, and people lost their minds over it. They would double over in laughter. The emails were clever, but probably didn't deserve the reaction they got. 

I got many emails telling me how funny I was. For a two week period, I felt like Eddie Murphy in the eighties. I was zinging people over email left and right and they couldn’t get enough. I was a comedy god.

A few weeks later, I was at a different job. I was working with real comedy writers who got paid very large sums of money to write jokes. My boss called me into his office during my second week and asked if I wanted to help him write some jokes. He was punching up a script. That’s where you go through a script line by line and see if you can think of jokes funnier than the ones that are on the page.

Exactly one minute after we started, I knew I was in over my head. My boss was tossing out joke after joke after joke. They all seemed very funny. I was genuinely laughing. He would stop every once in a while and say “got anything here?”

Something was mumbled about a gorilla throwing poo. It didn’t get a laugh. It’s best forgotten.

I realized just how far I was from being a professional joke writer. I was the big fish in the aquarium who was released into the wild, full of confidence, only to realize I had no idea how to get food when some guy in a hat wasn’t feeding it to me. I was really a guppy.

I eventually got better, but it was a good lesson to learn. Sometimes, the accolades aren’t earned. Ryan Broyles’ spending habits are great when compared to his buddies who buy water powered jetpacks. But, he’s still a financial guppy. If you are looking to save money and develop better spending habits, there are better people to learn from than a guy who just bought a big, new house and has three cars for two drivers.