Vince Young, former NFL All-Pro and Texas quarterback legend, needs a job. That is the opinion of his attorney, at least, who while not confirming that his client is broke just confirmed that his client, now unemployed and out of the NFL, is at least close to it.
He can blame many of the pitfalls of NFL riches: thieving custodians of his wealthy, bad decision-making, and the inevitable losing investments resulting from bad asset allocation. He may also blame the Cheesecake Factory and their delicious, shovel-sized portions.
According to Clay Travis, Vince Young spent $5,000 a week at the Cheesecake Factory. This report came from the 2006 season, when the rookie Young would take "seven to eight" his teammates to the popular chain restaurant to eat. This is common practice for rookies entering the league, so let's not blame Vince for obeying the customs of his new employers.
Let's figure out exactly how someone spends $5,000 a week at the Cheesecake Factory, though. It really isn't as improbable as it sounds provided you assume a few things.
- We'll assume eight people in a party.
- For maximum gluttony, we will also assume the Titans ate at the Cheesecake Factory five times a week. This is far more probable than you want to admit. Most professional athletes in any city flock to large chain restaurants.
- Five meals with eight people with a $5000 budget breaks down to $625 per person per week, or $125 a meal.
Getting to $125 is difficult without some serious gluttony. A filet mignon ($30), crab cake appetizer ($12), two side items ($7 a piece), and one slice of expensive cheesecake ($7) gets you to $63 or so before tax and tip. That tax, by the way, is a combined state and city tax of 9.2% for someone eating in Nashville. It is not a small chunk of this, either.
You fill in the rest with delicious and expensive booze. champagne, the most expensive of which would be Veuve Clicquot, which goes for about $90 a bottle at the Cheesecake Factory. Add in additional beverages--our favorite being the "Flying Gorilla," a "Kicked-Up" Chocolate Banana Milkshake with Godiva Chocolate and Banana Liqueur"--and hitting that $125 goes from extravagant to sort of conceivable.
Now, doing it with less frequency makes for some really extravagant meals for eight, but it could be done. Young could simply walk in and purchase a hundred cheesecakes every day, and some to go, and get to somewhere in the neighborhood of five grand a day. He would also have a tremendous pest infestation at his house, but that isn't the point.
The point is that even if Vince Young did this every day, every week, for an entire year, the total would come out to approximately $260,000, the amount some NFL rookies spend on their first cars. It's an obscene amount of money, but it's one obscene amount of money that, in the grand scale of a $26 million contract, seems like another item on a long checklist of things you can suddenly afford. Luxuries suddenly become necessities; necessities get the green light because they're necessities, and suddenly the Cheesecake Factory becomes a utility. (A delicious, expensive utility, but a utility nonetheless.)