In a fairly sad story that barely made the major newspapers, former Met and Phillies outfielder, and stock prognosticator, Lenny Dykstra was forced to file a Chapter 11 bankruptcy to shield his already dwindling assets. This wasn't a shock to anyone with a premium cable channel, who saw the Real Sports exclusive in which Lenny tried to convince Bernard Goldberg that he wasn't broke as he had almost $1,000.00 in his wallet. It was really a sad visual image, one of a former professional athlete taken down by the real world of finance.
This story would not be novel or shocking if Lenny Dykstra had just been a former athlete. The sad truth, is that former athletes are prone to financial troubles, and one report had over 70% of former NBA players filing bankruptcy within 10 years of the end of their career.
But Lenny Dykstra wasn't your average former athlete, as had a second career, one after baseball, that of a high finance, stock picking extraordinare. Yes, the hard-nosed instinctual ball-player, was a regular on CNBC, regularly extorting his genius as a finance guru. This part of his life, interestingly enough, got no mention in the news today, and I doubt, will get little comment on CNBC.
This, my friends, is the real story. Lenny Dykstra, as with Jim Cramer, got sucked into the finance porn vortex--albeit from different universes. As entertainment and business news blurred to an indiscernible pulp in the 1990's, Lenny Dykstra was the perfect front man. Articulate in the Joe the Plumber type of way, forcefully, certain, and believing in stocks with a faith-based furry, he was Everyman who wanted to make a million. And he did it, first with car-washes, then with stocks, and melding personality and instincts all in one, finally, as a celebrity. As a commentator he was perfect, all financial machismo, without the momentary glimpses of humanity and reason you get with Jim Cramer; you know, the every once in a while where he recognizes he is an emperor without clothes.
Now, with his financial life in ruins, the cameras forgetting he even existed, and even his wife gone, he gets to face the financial world like everyone else. That is, with confusion, fear and uncertainty. I would hope that this is a lesson to all, that entertainment and money don't mix, but doubt that other than this rather unread blog, anyone will comment on it. In fact, rather than use this as an example, I am sure that CNBC, FOX or some other channel that claims to give you the inside scoop on the world of finance is desperately searching for the next instinct based, charismatic, former athlete to add to it's day-time lineup. Where is Dennis Rodman anyway?