3 Sports Stories That Offer Money-Savvy Lessons

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Cliff Lee

Paying a single player $25 million a year doesn’t sound money savvy …

A lot of sports fans dread July and August. Basketball, hockey, and football are gone, while only baseball remains to entertain us. Some years we get the Olympics or World Cup as a special treat, but this year, we have no such luck.

So, to entertain you, I’m taking a spin around the sports world to cover three stories that should have you cheering during these dog days (with money-savvy lessons, of course).

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1. MLB Trade Deadline

That sound you hear in the distance is all the fans of your local baseball team screaming at its GM and owner to get something done by today’s rapidly approaching 4 p.m. ET trade deadline. Every team in the league is looking to get better (or worse, for right now, but better later), and plenty of big names could be moved.

There’s an easy lesson we can learn here: If you have something that you don’t need, flip it for cash, something useful, or just to create extra space in your room. For example, my beloved Phillies don’t need a $58 million relief pitcher, so they should trade Jonathon Papelbon for something that could help down the road.

If you can unload an old couch for some cash, that’s reason for celebration (but be careful—even celebrating can go wrong).

NFL Training Camps Begin

Can you smell that? Smells like ice cream? No!

It smells like football season. All 32 teams have reported to training camp, and the first preseason games are next week. America is buzzing with football fever again, even if it feels like the Super Bowl was just yesterday.

Training camp reinforces how important preparation is to all of us. The school year is almost here, and every student needs to be ready. You don’t want to be stuck buying school supplies at the last minute for any price. Target and other stores already have their “Back to School” sections set up. No matter what is on your list (books, posters, furniture, food, whatever!), get out early to make sure you find a good deal. Dollar stores, coupons, and discounts made the move to college affordable for me every year.

NFL coaches only wish all their problems could be solved by a trip to Target (which, amazingly, still does not sell quarterbacks).

Dwight Howard Heads To Houston

Dwight Howard has become the most annoying story in sports since Brett Favre, but thankfully we’re out of the woods. He signed a deal with the Houston Rockets and left the Lakers in the dust. D12 wouldn’t accept anything less than his perfect situation. Was it the best thing for his career? Probably! Was it annoying for everyone? Definitely!

Still, sometimes you need to look out for yourself. If you’re choosing a place to live, classes, major, job, or anything else, be like Dwight—but recognize the work that goes into that. Dwight earned the right to be selfish, as a seven-time All-Star, seven-time All-NBA team selection, five-time All-Defensive member, and three-time Defensive Player of the Year (thanks, Wikipedia!). If you aren’t happy with your school, you can’t simply transfer to Harvard. If you don’t like your job, Apple isn’t just going to name you CEO any time soon.

With hard work and confidence, you can get closer and closer to your perfect situation. I was accepted into college off the waiting list, in part due to good second-semester grades from my senior year in high school. I kept working to get the best (and no one offered me $88 million, like Dwight, to do it).

What sports stories have taught you lessons this month? Share with us!

(Photo: Keith Allison)

About Shane McNichol

Shane McNichol is a recent graduate of Boston College and a contributing writer to the SALT Blog. Find him on Twitter: @OnTheShaneTrain

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