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mike vick, philadelphia eagles

Mike Vick’s Wedding In Perspective: $300,000 Is 28.57 Times Philly’s Per Capita Discretionary Income (Just 0.05 Of Vick’s)

Before we answer the “How Much Did Mike Vick Really Spend On His Wedding?” question, we’ve got to class what money is his, and what money belongs to creditors. That’s where Pro Football Talk this morning took its story, highbrowing at the fact that Vick dropped $300,000 on his over-the-weekend nuptuals, given what it’s presumed he owes to dozens.

According to TMZ (via Crossing Broad), Vick is within $400,000 of that finish line.

That’s an important wrinkle in the story, we think. Not only should a guy be able to consummate his relationship with his life partner however the hell he feels like it (again: we think), but if we’re going to bash the guy, we should be first sure of exactly how much cake he’s burning, relatively speaking.

How we’re going to put this together? In a ton of relative terms.

Namely, the cost of the wedding, relative to the national and local annual earnings. There seems to be a (at least marginally) credible wedding cost calculator — CostOfWedding.com — that, if you punch in some pretty simple variables (zip code, how much of your wedding you’re doing yourself, which, we’d have to believe, was precisely nothing) gives you an average cost of a wedding for a certain region. Vick’s wedding was held at the Fontainebleu Hotel in Miami, the average damage for which is between $21,002 and $35,003 — pennies compared to the paper Vick went through. (He spent between 14.28 and 8.57 times that, per the $300,000 estimate.)

But how much money did Vick actually have to go through? If the TMZ report citing that he was nearing  the end of his bankruptcy ran in March, we’re assuming that most of Vick’s earnings prior to this season weren’t cash on hand. Probably went to creditors.

That said, given that he’s still due guaranteed money in 2012 — which would count as a salary cap hit against the Eagles in 2012 if he was cut or traded or by other means removed from the roster — we’ll assume he’s not getting cut until the end of the 2012 season, effectively locking up in advance his entire $12.5 million salary. (Worth noting: Only $3 million of which is guaranteed for injury only.) Whether he pays the $300,000 he dropped on the wedding now, or on credit, again, when we’re talking in absurd dollar amounts, is pretty moot. But we have to think he’s doing it with cash-on-hand, given that, for a guy who declared Chapter 11, like, 27 credit score seconds ago, would probably have super high interest rates. So we’ll eliminate the possibility that he’s financing his face off with this thing.

Now, we know these things are complex, and you’d like to think a decent amount of savings would be involved in wedding planning — at least for one half of this Vick-to-the world comparison. Then again, for someone of Vick’s pay grade, that (or any) conventional wisdom doesn’t necessarily apply.

Without having a wealth of knowledge of Vick’s assets available — how much he owes for any real estate, cars, credit cards, everything — we’ll still assume that Vick has considerably more cash on hand than the rest of us, because the ceiling on his earnings relative to ours is so much higher than is the ceiling on real estate for anybody. Again: Pushing that aside for the moment…

In that vein: As recently as 2010, the average American spends about 50 percent of yearly earnings on housing, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Hard to think Vick spends $6 million a year on property. So yeah. Regardless, he’s got considerably more than us in his pocket.

But let’s play along with this for a second, if only to accentuate just how ridiculous this comparison (and the conversation that prompted it) really is. Let’s assume that (1) Vick’s saved absolutely nothing for this wedding (which may be true) and (2) that he spends half of his discretionary income on housing (which is all but definitely not true). How much was Vick’s wedding, then, in those relative terms?


According to the CIA World Factbook (last updated June 19, 2012), the average American rakes $48,100 every year, meaning (according to those DUH estimates) they spend about $24,000 on housing every year and have the same amount for discretionary spending. (Neglecting for a second everybody’s relative costs of food and gas and everything else, even though, again, what we spend on gas is considerably more than that for a guy who rakes $12.5 million –even if only definitely for one more year.) Average Philadelphian makes $21,117, according to U.S. census data, and so spends about $10,500 on housing, leaving another $10,500 to drop on weddings and Maroon 5 and nonsensities and stuff in Florida — the one fixed variable in this equation.

So, for you, $300,000 at the drop of a hat in South Beach would represent a 28.57 times of your yearly discretionary income. For Mike Vick — who, again, per our VERY liberal take on a few personal and market factors, we’re pretending has only $6 million of discretionary income per year — that same chunk is only 0.05 times that.

So maybe Vick did have the money to spend after all.

Should he have? Should he have been tighter with his money, his spotted financial past and iffy professional future considered? Maybe. I personally don’t care.

That the nature of his spending — in comparison to some other Philadelphians’ recent cash drops that were received a helluva lot better than this — shouldn’t be all that alarming. Really. Dude got married, tied the knot, an act signifying starting a new life, a new chapter, a new you. That Vick’s making this kind of redefining gesture now, with someone he’s known for quite a while (they engaged right before he went to prison in 2007), maybe even throughout the worst of his personal struggles, should be taken positively, as if to say that he’s moving past that chapter of his life in earnest.

Even if he did spent a copious amount of money that, really, no one should on anything, who the hell cares? Let the man do him, at least here. Really gonna bash the guy for how he gets married?

Is nothing sacred?


About Matt Hammond

I do various things for various entities at various times. Writer, talker, thinker extraordinaire.


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