BUZ LIVINGSTON: Football and finances

Buz Livingston
Special to The Sun
Published: Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 05:43 PM.


Mama tried to raise me better and nipped my sports writing career in the bud.

Temptation being what it is occasionally, I fell off the wagon. The Walton Sun lacks a dedicated sports section, but the uproar from the Green Bay/Seattle game combines sports and finances.

The National Football League locked out union officials in a dispute, in part, over retirement plans. People obviously are getting the message about planning for their retirement. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell took a page from Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker’s playbook.

Goodell proposed changing the officials’ defined benefit (DB) pension plan to a defined contribution plan like a 401(k). The officials however hunkered down. After the atrocious call against Green Bay, Wisconsin’s union-busting governor bemoaned the inequity, oh the irony. The official in charge toils as a loan officer for Bank of America. His decision pales when compared to Bank of America’s boneheaded purchase of notorious sub-prime lender Countrywide Financial.

Another painful example was the 1999 UGA/Georgia Tech game where Jasper Sanks scored a touchdown from the one-foot line with 13 seconds left in the game… then fumbled. Yes, the officials blew the call. The true culprit, however, was Georgia’s head coach, Jim Donnan, who inexplicably did not kick a chip shot field goal.

Investors, like football coaches, should avoid unnecessary risks (ask a Florida fan about Fourth and Dumb). Recently a couple, near retirement, showed up with a much too aggressive 90 percent stock portfolio. During the land boom, people borrowed against home equity for land speculation. Like Donnan, investors often take inappropriate risk.

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