In the midst of contract negotiations with his team, Matt Forte was unable to close on a $6 million neoclassical mansion in the North Shore suburb of Kenilworth. Shortly after the deal fell through, the Bears running back was spotted sitting on a milk crate at the corner of Clark and Lake in Chicago, looking dejected.

“Man, things are tough all over,” Forte said. “This recession’s really hitting me hard. All I got to my name is a three-bedroom condo in Streeterville, a 4,000 square-foot oceanfront house in South Beach, a gated-community residence in Atlanta next to a golf course, and 17 cars — five of which are used. I can barely even go to one of my homes to face my wife and kids.”

After putting up a sign telling Loop pedestrians that he would run screen routes for spare change, Forte pulled out a harmonica and played a bluesy rendition of “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime.” At press time, he’d collected $10.65.

By Brian Summerfield

Brian Summerfield