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Times Are Hard for the People’s Champ

Sep 23, 2009, 10:30 AM EDT

Freddie-mitchell-brothers-bbq

Despite being a mediocre player in the NFL, Freddie Mitchell won me over with his outspokenness, his hands that were "so great," and his frohawk. Sure, it didn't hurt that he made the catch on the single greatest play I've ever witnessed in person. I'd say I was quite the Freddie Mitchell fan.

Times appear to be quite hard for FredEx. Not only has his Twitter page turned into one bad infomercial/pyramid-scheme-linkathon, but he's now been ordered to hand over the keys to his BBQ restaurant joint in Lakeland, Florida.

The Ledger reports:

Former NFL player Freddie Mitchell must turn over the keys to Brothers'
Bar-B-Q in Lakeland, Polk County Judge Anne H. Kaylor ruled Friday.

Mitchell had entered into a lease-to-own agreement with the owner, Mary Harris, court records show.

The former Philadelphia Eagles player paid about $15,000 but still owed $80,000, according to court records.

The restaurant business is a tough one and Freddie seems to have crashed and burned on this endeavor.

Which brings up another alarming fact I recently read in Sports Illustrated regarding ex-athletes (via):

By the time they have been retired for two years, 78% of former NFL
players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress because of
joblessness or divorce.

That number is staggering. So while there's guys in the NFL like Donovan McNabb out there who appear to be set for life, there's plenty more Freddie Mitchell's who are scrounging by in their professional football career afterlife.

>>Ex-NFL Star to Lose Lakeland Eatery [Ledger]

>>How (and Why) Athletes Go Broke [SI]

>>Freddie Mitchell Can't Catch A Break, Loses Barbecue Restaurant In Florida [TheIlladelph]