On draft day, do not wear the chartreuse three-piece suit with the burgundy bow tie. When you look at the pictures years from now, you will sob quietly, overcome with regret.
When you start dating an actress—and you will—hold off on the engagement ring for a while. Movie stars like being romantically linked to athletes in the tabloids for the same reason some players take performance-enhancing drugs: It's a quick way to boost a fading career. If her pet name for you is Stanozolol, it's probably not true love.
Before you take a self-portrait to text to that special someone, ask yourself a question: Am I wearing pants? If the answer is no, back away from the cellphone. If it's yes, double-check, just to be sure.
Keep in mind that if you say, "Do you know who I am?" when a cop pulls you over, not only is he unlikely to care, but he may also give you a second ticket under a little-known statute that makes it a misdemeanor to be a pompous gasbag.
Make a list of all the pro athletes who have ever successfully defended themselves with a gun. That didn't take long, did it? Now make a list of all the pro athletes who have hurt themselves or someone else or have found themselves in legal trouble because they were carrying a gun. Do you know what these two lists are telling you? That you should not own anything more dangerous than a Super Soaker.
It is bad form to complain that your old team hasn't erected a statue in your honor. Even if it finally builds you one, the inscription on the base will probably read, THERE. ARE YOU HAPPY NOW? GEEZ.
If you become a broadcaster after your playing career, it is imperative that you avoid making any off-color or otherwise offensive comments on the air, incurring any major gambling debts or being caught in any compromising situation. The only way to keep your job after such missteps is to be: 1) immediately and sincerely apologetic and remorseful; or 2) Charles Barkley.
Finally, if you have stayed true to the manual, there will be no need to subject the world to another athlete's autobiography. You will have nothing to confess, explain, reveal, retract or refute, for which the public will be grateful. You will have earned the right to do anything you want—except Dancing with the Stars. That's still a deal-breaker.