The NFL Rookie Symposium doesn't really register on the average fan's radar, I'd wager, but it's an important thing. Whether the NFL is actually succeeding or not, the symposium is targeted at giving rookies some of the tools and advices they need to survive as very large men who have suddenly become very wealthy, which is something these players need. Many go broke in stunning fashion after their careers are over.
So it's nice to get a glimpse into the symposium with the help of Jake Matthews, who is writing about it for the Falcons alongside other rookies at SportsBlog.com. He touches on the financial stuff pretty early on:
I can probably guarantee that most of the rookies here don't know much about finance, so having the opportunity to gain a better understanding of it has been helpful. Surround yourself with people you trust, build a good team. It's so much more than being a good football player. This is the setup for the rest of your life. It's going to pay its dividends later down the road if we take advantage of what's offered to us.
It's a short post and it's relentlessly upbeat—what did you expect, frankly?—but I do think there's real value in what Matthews talks about, having a goal and a means to reach it. His family has the bloodlines and no one would be surprised if Jake played 15 years in the NFL, but you can't count on that. Being smart about your money now is probably the thing most young players struggle with, and if that message is getting across, it's great.
Give the whole thing a read and remember that Brian Banks spoke to these kids. That's powerful.