When The NFL Lifestyle Crashes

June 2nd, 2013

There are all sorts of horror stories out there about former NFL players, who shortly after their careers are over are scraping the bottom of the career barrel, having trouble making the transition from football to civilian life when the fat checks of the NFL quit rolling in.

That happened with former Bucs defensive end Stylez White. Just three years ago, White was the Bucs starting right defensive end. His contract was not renewed by the Bucs, and White went from living the high life to working for $9 an hour, writes Joe’s good friend Rock Riley of Bright House Sports Network.

“I was doing it all in a hotel in Ohio,” said White. “Front desk, banquet setup, everything and I realized it wasn’t for me.”

White was trying to figure out what to do with his life after he was let go by the Buccaneers following the 2010 season.

“I was the rap video,” said White, who loves to have a good time but can’t blow money the way he used to. “I was a bottle service guy. It gets old and expensive. There’s no way to teach you to curb your spending since the paychecks aren’t coming in anymore. You gotta learn. I did.”

Per Riley, White is trying to become a personal trainer and hopes to open a gym in St. Petersburg soon.

What’s sad about this is this happened to a smart guy. White, if you have ever met him, is not dumb. Sadly, White’s story is too common, despite many, many programs the NFL hosts for players from the moment they get into the league to tutor them in how to not get caught in this ugly trap.

It’s a good thing that White has learned to adjust to civilian life. A lot of guys don’t and their stories have a much sadder ending.

25 Responses to “When The NFL Lifestyle Crashes”

  1. Mr Lucky Says:

    Joe what I think is sad is that Steve doesn’t have a coaching job in the NFL.

  2. Joe Says:

    Think you’re confusing Steve White and Stylez White. Two very different people.

  3. bucfan593 Says:

    I don’t find these storys sad at all. I would be happy and satisfied with just one game check from most players and would manage it appropriatly! I don’t even have a degree and I’m still smart enough to plan for the future.. My mother raised three kids not making much more than 9 dollars an hour if she can do it so can they!!

  4. Walter Says:


    I always figured Joe meant sad like, “Wow, they wasted all that money?? That’s sad,” rather then, “I feel sorry for them, it’s so saddening that they are broke.” I might be wrong though, but I for one do not feel sorry for NFL players going broke.

  5. BKNYfootballhead Says:

    He could probably find work at Howard’s Hardware or Tony’s Liquor.

  6. Digger Says:

    He went from Best Buy security to the NFL, and didn’t learn. He tried to start his own clothing line. I cheered so hard for him and his family

  7. Macabee Says:


    The Stylez White story is all too common in the NFL. I think your story is more compelling. For you to speak of your situation sounds as though you are proud of your resilience, as you should be.

    So, today I raise a toast to you and those that find a way to succeed. Not to make light of Stylez because I find him to be quite likeable. But somehow I think if Stylez had the big bucks again he would still be Stylez!

  8. tampabaybucfan Says:

    If there’s not there should be some sort of incentive laden savings program set up for players from the very beginning. They should be encouraged to have, for example, twenty per-cent of their salary taken from their check and set aside for when they leave the NFL.
    I realize that any of them could achieve this on their own, but they are kids…and many of them don’t come from strong family support systems. The need some serious coaxing from the NFL.
    Then, if the choose to blow their money….I have absolutely no sympathy for them at all. They deserve to live like the rest of us have to.,,,within our means.

  9. jlynch Says:

    How about that college education??

  10. Bucs Fan #238 Says:

    How about that college education??

    Yep. How about spending all your money despite having an NFL salary average of 4 years when one has to work 40 more years… assuming they have a retirement savings to retire at 65.

    Anyway… we all have our own struggles. Luckily in this great country one can get a food stamp debit card and government housing… at least we know he won’t starve.

  11. Bucs Fan #238 Says:

    Oh, it’s not the NFL’s job to teach these guys simple math.

    They could however scare them by showing a lifetime chart of salary earned by different levels of players… even 10 year vets still need to make an income post NFL.

  12. DWBuc99 Says:

    It is tempting to say that these players just blow money and that if I had that kind of money…. Blah… Blah… Blah…. The fact is…. the majority of you would be in the exact same shape as them. If you came into a large amount of money suddenly, and did not have the character to handle it, you would blow thru it just as fast if not faster than they do (did). Money is amoral… It takes the shape of the one that holds it.

  13. TimBucTwo@OneBucPalace Says:

    It used to be in the past when the NFL was smaller, player’s agents would help their clients invest and help them learn to be responsible and how to handle their financial affairs. Now, with so many players, agents are signing multiple players across several different sports, so they don’t have the same personal relationships they once had with their clients. The relationship between agents and players are not as personal as they once were. I listened to an interview a couple years ago with Drew Rosenhaus and this was one of the subjects he talked about.

  14. Buc'It Says:

    A great episode that encompasses this very topic. .


  15. Architek Says:

    Sad story but common not only in NFL but normal populous.

  16. tonytwocents Says:

    I cant feel sorry for a guy who changes his name to “Stylez”, apparently named after a fictional douchebag teenage character from Teen Wolf. (If he said he named himself after Furious Styles, then I might get it) But anyways, welcome to reality, Greg.

  17. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Some of you guys are absolutely full of yourself, to a point where it’s laughable. There’s are many reasons why so many players go broke, and often times it happens to very intelligent players. I can tell you first hand that the more you make, the more you spend. That’s just reality. Anybody here going to tell me that if they worked their whole life to make it to the NFL they wouldn’t buy a few stupid things (put yourself in the mind of being 21 years old)? Bullspit. I’m sure you guys would rent a cheap one bedroom apartment and but a Prius, right? I’m sure you would turn down all the women that throw themselves at these guys too. From my experience, beautiful women love riding in a Prius, much more than a Bentley.

    I’m not saying you should feel sorry for them. I’m not saying they should be given anything. But please stop being all high and mighty and saying that YOU would do something different, because the odds greatly favor that you wouldn’t. Generally speaking, the people that talk the most about what they would do are the very ones would do the exact opposite.

  18. Dave Says:

    It is just like almost every single one of US. We tend to live with whatever we are making. Very few set side as much as they should for the future. We just don’t ake as much so when things get worse it isn’t as drastic, it is usually a matter of cutting some bills down and not going out as much. For rich, young athletes the fall is much more drastic since they were making so much to begin with.

    The NFL does alot with them as far as financial stuff goes. If they want to force a 20% savings/investment for the players, they need the NFLPA to go along. I don’t see why they would not since it is in thei best interest, but many would fight it.

  19. Eric Says:

    I’d like to try that too much money problem, just to take it for a spin.

  20. DomsAdvisor Says:

    The NFL and financial advisors already tell the players that this salary isn’t a lifetime salary. Even the players buddies tell them the same. Perhaps they need this communicated in crayon charts?

  21. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    “I’d like to try that too much money problem, just to take it for a spin.”


    Me too!!!

  22. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    The players union is supposed to take care of things like this.

  23. bubashep Says:

    Get your degree. That’s what scholarships are for silly.

  24. scubog Says:

    As the saying goes, it’s a short trip from the penthouse to the outhouse. You’d think he would have made a few contacts over the years to help with suitable employment or business opportunities.

  25. R. Martin Says:

    Its funny how some of you automatically assume these guys are broke because they are having a tough time transitioning from the NFL. I dont see it much different than a kid from college trying to figure out if their degree actually matches their life ambitions, it takes time but here’s some stats for you guys to chew on:

    White played 5 years in the league meaning he was signed up for the NFL 401k which at a minimum was $14k per year in automated savings (the NFL sets this on autodraft from their checks). The NFL also matches dollar for dollar, you do the math! They absolutely can not touch this money until they are at least 45 yr old. They cant borrow or withdrawal from it in any manner.

    They also get a pension credit after 3 credited seasons in the league, he had 5 seasons so at age 55, he’ll likely draw around $1500 per month for life.

    They also have an annuity funded for them, again after 3 credited seasons. That ends up being another $45k or so put away for them.

    Not done yet, as they also get another $25k put in a Health Savings account for them, along with 5 yrs of health insurance once they leave the league. As well as college reimbursement.

    The guy is 33 yrs old yet has his retirement completely secured, I guarantee you that only 5% of those commenting are able to say they have their retirement secure at even age 55 much less 33. Its hilarious how little you guys know yet make all these negative comments when in fact the guy is likely in much better shape than 99% of 30 yr olds. One thing i learned from working with NFL players, haters love to hate.