Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith entered the NFL in 1990, when the Dallas Cowboys drafted him 17th overall. His rookie contract came with a $1 million signing bonus. It was around that time when he made one of his more "'youthful' financial decisions," he tells Harrison Barnes in an interview with The Players' Tribune.
"I bought a $100,000 car when I was 20 years old," says Smith, now 49. That's the equivalent of about $200,000 in today's dollars.
"I wanted to treat myself to a convertible Mercedes Benz, the SL. It was burgundy," continues the eight-time Pro Bowler and three-time Super Bowl champion. "Funny story, though. Before I actually bought the car, the car dealers treated me like I couldn't afford the car. I walked onto the lot and I was looking at brand new cars and the sales guy took one look at me — a young African American guy — and he walked me to the used car section.
"He said, 'Uh, let's try to get you into something that you can afford.'"