Rick Reilly just wrote a great article on ESPN.com talking about the serious side of the NFL lockout. Many people do not realize that there are NFL players who are not making millions of dollars. For many, this work stoppage has forced them into a very difficult predicament.
One player Reilly focused on in his article was Cleveland Browns defensive lineman, Brian Schaefering. Undrafted in 2008, out of the small Lindenwood University, Schaefering is only making the league minimum of $395,000. You may say, "how can you not live of of that?". Well for starters, after taxes, Brian and his wife only netted about $200,000. A father of three, all under the age of 8, Schaefering faced many bills and isn't living the luxurious life many imagine of an NFL player.
"I'll do anything," says Schaefering, 27. "If I have to work for UPS, I will. I gotta family to feed. I've paved roads, fixed roofs, done landscaping. I'm not better'n anybody else. I don't want any handouts. I'd be happy with $12 an hour if I could get it."
Schaefering recorded 31 tackles for the Browns in 2010 and even recorded a safety in week 6 against the Steelers. He started the last nine games for the Browns after barely making the practice squad the year before.
"The problem is," says Schaefering, "who wants to hire a guy who may have to pack up and leave [for the NFL] a month or two into it? ... I hear people joking around about this thing, but it's no joke," he says. "If this goes into the season, my wife might start panicking a little."
Lets all wish the best to Brian Schaefering and his family. He is a true blue collar guy trying to live his dream. This is what Cleveland is made of. I wish the best of luck to his family and pray this lockout ends as soon as possible so we get to see him out on the field again this year for the Browns.