... From the moment an athlete enters the NFL, he is told what to do, when to do it, how to do it, how to talk about doing it and exactly what will happen to him if he doesn't do it. The relentless pursuit of football perfection is all that matters. The team provides food, clothing and transportation for players virtually all year long.
A "player development" employee takes care of any off-the-field issues a player may have. Legal disputes, child-support payments, speeding tickets, car insurance—everything can be taken care of in-house. If a player gets a letter for jury duty, no worries: You play in the NFL. A call is made.
But this bubble is unrealistic. It keeps the athlete in a perpetual state of adolescence and guarantees that he will be unprepared for life outside of it. There's a reason why a majority of former NFL players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress within two years of retirement, a reason why their marriages fall apart, or they get arrested, depressed, addicted. Having never been given the opportunities to learn the lessons that most adults learn, NFL athletes often fall on their faces when there isn't anyone there to catch them...
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