FanDuel - WFBC

May 10, 2007

Ex-players to picket HOF: Some former NFL'ers, wanting to draw attention to the inadequate retirement benefits of some, and their dissatisfaction with the NFLPA leadership, are hoping to make a statement in Canton, Ohio this summer.

posted by steelergirl to football at 05:38 PM - 53 comments

While the article states it is unclear whether this will happen, I, for one, hope they have a large number of former players show up for this. The pitiful benefits of some former players are pathetic. I would like to know what my fellow SpoFites think. Is this a good idea and will it do any good?

posted by steelergirl at 05:42 PM on May 10

Also, this is my first FFP. Please be gentle.

posted by steelergirl at 05:43 PM on May 10

Herb Adderley gets $125.00 a month? Gee,NFL,are you sure you can afford that?

posted by sickleguy at 06:22 PM on May 10

Great post, steelergirl. I happen to agree with disgruntled players. $126 per month from an organization that benefits millions of times more than that per year? Pitiful.

posted by hawkguy at 06:22 PM on May 10

I haven't read the article (yet), but I wanted to comment on what a good example of a post this is. Steelergirl found a link that isn't from AP/Yahoo/ESPN, etc., reported mostly facts in the front page part of the post, and reserved her opinion for the inside of the thread.

posted by scully at 06:32 PM on May 10

It is a good article and articulates my opinion pretty well. I am NOT a fan of Gene Upshaw, and I think something should be done to help the players who paved the way for the NFL being the cash cow it is now. Well, done Steelergirl.

posted by scully at 06:33 PM on May 10

Nice post steelergirl. It's from a nongeneric site and your summary is to the point. Retirement benefits of $126 a month is ridiculous. A buisiness as successful as the NFL should be able to do better than that.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 07:03 PM on May 10

I sure hope present-day agents or financial planners counsel their NFL player clients about retirement planning (health care, savings, etc.), because it's clear the NFL is not doing a lot for their players. I guess on the one hand, it seems ludicrous that these players are treated so poorly, particularly when they are represented by a union that you would expect should make a number of these benefits non-negotiables in collective bargaining and when the league is swimming in money. On the other hand, for better or worse, the concept of employer-sponsored pensions and post-retirement healthcare plans is a dying one in America today and in that respect the NFL is (perhaps sadly, depending on one's point of view) in many ways mirroring the nation at large. On the protest front, I think something that might get more play would be a player newly voted into the Hall refusing to go to the induction ceremony and/or to acquiesce in his enhshrinement (not sure if that's even possible) until the issue is satisfactorily addressed.

posted by holden at 07:03 PM on May 10

Good post, bad job by the NFL of covering the men who sacrificed themselves to further the sport. Picket away....

posted by dlopez916 at 07:14 PM on May 10

On the protest front, I think something that might get more play would be a player newly voted into the Hall refusing to go to the induction ceremony and/or to acquiesce in his enhshrinement (not sure if that's even possible) until the issue is satisfactorily addressed. The Football Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational facility that operates quite separately from the NFL. While the relationship is certainly symbiotic, a protest of this sort would likely hurt the museum more than the league, punishing an institution that is not involved in the issue at all. I would guess (without having an answer) that there have to be means of protest that directly influence the league without pulling the HOF into the mess.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 07:25 PM on May 10

Thank you for the compliments, Terrapin. I'm glad you liked it. My google search for Gene Upshaw's salary turned up this: In 1997 he signed (combined for a total of 11.2 mil over 7 years) contracts with the NFLPA and Players. Inc. assuring him of an imcome of 1.6 mil a year! I realize these contracts have expired, but GEEZ LOUISE!!! Imagine what he makes now! If anyone has any info that is more current, please post. (my googlefu is weak) Sousepaw, I see your point, dragging the Hall of Fame inductions and festivities into this isn't fair to the Hall (and the induction). However, it would definitely guarantee a large (nationwide at least) forum for the protesters to make their statement.

posted by steelergirl at 07:39 PM on May 10

It does seem absurdly low; OTOH, it's $126 a month more than most American workers will get for a pension, so...

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:26 PM on May 10

Retirement benefits of $126 a month is ridiculous. A buisiness as successful as the NFL should be able to do better than that. It's not the NFL that should do better YYM. Pensions are based on how much money you made while working. Also, in this case, the pensions are controlled by a union, not the NFL. These are the guys that some might claim played for the love of the game and not the money. Now, some of them are simply a little pissed that they weren't born forty years later. It's kinda like sayin', "Damn, I worked for Apple for a couple of years in the late 70's...made $300 a week doing the same shit that people are getting paid big bucks for now." "Somebody owes me." My google search for Gene Upshaw's salary turned up this: In 1997 he signed (combined for a total of 11.2 mil over 7 years) contracts with the NFLPA and Players. Inc. assuring him of an imcome of 1.6 mil a year! I realize these contracts have expired, but GEEZ LOUISE!!! No offense, steelergirl, but if that's what the NFLPA thought he was worth it... what's the problem? I guess the union could take more money out of today's athlete's checks to take care of the one's that helped build the union. It would be a great gesture if the union could get it's current members to vote on something like that. Picketing the Hall of Fame? Bark up the wrong tree much?

posted by tselson at 10:16 PM on May 10

The way the NFL treats its retired players has been a travesty for a long time, and honestly, I find I care less about the NFL because of it. Gene Upshaw's salary shouldn't be an issue (1.6 million a year for the head of a big-time players union actually sounds about right), but his inability to find a place anywhere in the CBA to address the heavy bias against former players, and his inability to provide for the general health and welfare level of his clients, past, present and future, is a real sticking point with me.

posted by chicobangs at 11:31 PM on May 10

I see both sides of this issue. First, the retired players should be taken care of, and Upshaw should try to find a way to get them more money. However, Upshaw really isn't the villian. The pension system that was in place when Herb Adderley retired was underfunded and obviously did not have cost of living allowances built into it. As tselson stated, the pensions are based on how much you earned, not how much players are earning now. Players before the 90's almost always had to go to work in another field after retiring from football. Very few made enough to really retire. So the pension plan was never intended to be a true pension in the way somebody that works 40 years for a company views one. Side note: For awhile I sold business forms in Minnesota, Vikings RB Bill Brown worked another firm, I met him numerous times. Great guy, and I'm sure he made a lot more money selling paper than he ever did running the ball.

posted by dviking at 01:08 AM on May 11

That's all true, dviking, but the multibillion dollar business the NFL has become was built on these players' backs, and for them to not be even adequately taken care of and have their hospital bills covered just smacks of greed, shortsightedness and selfishness. Upshaw may not have set up this system, but he's been in a position to change it for many years, and the fact that he's ignored this issue so completely while retired players are unable to get proper medical (let alone psychiatric) care for injuries clearly sustained on the field of play (Earl Campbell, Conrad Dobler, Andre Waters, Mike Hampton, et cetera et cetera ad absurdum), in my mind, borders on criminal. (And yes, he absolutely shares that blame with Mr. Tagliabue.)

posted by chicobangs at 02:28 AM on May 11

I think the treatment of ex-players has been disgusting, bordering on felonious. "Not my job" is the rallying cry of those who can affect change, but have decided not to. Put it to a player vote. The sheer weight of PR will force the issue, and likely will at least result in some medical benefits. That these guys worked in pro Football and have such terrible medical coverage is just completely criminal. They were used. And this isn't just a union problem. This is an NFL problem. It's the sports' great shame.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:31 AM on May 11

That's all true, dviking, but the multibillion dollar business the NFL has become was built on these players' backs The same thing is true of Microsoft, no?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:15 AM on May 11

I don't think too many NFL players have contributed source code to Windows or Office.

posted by yerfatma at 10:11 AM on May 11

Are they not eligible for Social Security and Medicare? Do they expect that a part-time job most of them only held for a few years should support them for life? Why should they be treated any differently than a singer or a mail carrier? Or come to think of it, if they had become singers or mailmen after they weren't good enough to play football anymore, they wouldn't be whining for special treatment now.

posted by hankjones at 10:20 AM on May 11

thanks for the support lil_brown_bat! The truth is, the exact same scenario has played out in numerous industries. The airlines, the railroads, the automotive industries....the list goes on. The unions are really not set up for long term care of their workers, and after a while they become so entrenched as a "business" that they start making decisions that protect the long term survival of the union (as opposed to the union members). The old players did not have much clout, and they did not earn very much (in relative terms to today's dollars). That, coupled with what has to be a lack of COLA provisions leads us to the plight of the older players. Imagine Social Security without COLA provisions...Grandpa would be getting the equivilant of Adderley's $126.00 as well.

posted by dviking at 10:27 AM on May 11

Bad example. Early Microsoft people got paid partially in stock. If you worked for Bill Gates in the 80's, you're living large now, or if you're not, it's not M$'s fault. hankjones, we're not talking about 65-year-olds. These people are out of football at 30 or 35, and with a vastly higher rate of injury (and thus a higher need for long-term health care) than even your average manual laborer. These people need doctors and medicine and, in cases of brain injury or other infirmity, basic living needs. Conrad Dobler isn't going to take his pension money and buy himself a hoopty with gold rims. He's needs his knees rebuilt so he can walk. Look, if the money wasn't there, then no one would be expecting them to get paid out of a pool of money that didn't exist. But the fact is, there is a pool of literally billions of dollars, a tiny fraction of which would make the lives of every living former player a lot easier. I understand the need for everyone to look out for their own best interests, but to shut the players whose lore is constantly celebrated while they're often doing without basic human needs, when there is such a huge pool of money just sitting there for them, is wrong. The other leagues have made their peace with this issue over the last 25 years. The NFL's continued negligence on this issue really sours me on the sport.

posted by chicobangs at 10:59 AM on May 11

Chico - Yes, that's the point. They are out of the sport at 30 or 35, if they're lucky. That should be plenty of time to use their (usually) free college education to get a decent career going. As for the rate of injury, yes, it's a fact. Maybe they should have taken the free college diploma and run like a bandit to try their luck in the real world. Nobody forced them to play ball.

posted by hankjones at 11:10 AM on May 11

hank, many of them do. But when these people started, there weren't any studies about the amount of damage an NFL career can exact on a body, and also, you think it's being swept under the rug now. (Well, maybe you don't.) This was completely non-existent thirty years ago. Even now, people refuse to acknowledge the existence of these people once they take off the jersey. A college degree is a wonderful thing, but if you received multiple concussions or your body is broken down, whatever you might have had in mind for a career might not be an option anymore. If you can't sit down for more than ten minutes at a time without your body seizing up, or if you've sustained enough concussions that you have headaches or can no longer concentrate on basic tasks, then that business degree is useless. Once again: no one's looking at million-dollar payouts here. It's health care costs and a living wage for a pension. It's literally the absolute least the NFL can do.

posted by chicobangs at 11:22 AM on May 11

On the flip side, some of these former players only have themselves to blame for this situation. The problem is that the retirement deals cut back in those days were only reflective of the fiscal reality of those times. No one could've predicted that the NFL would become a $6 billion industry. I agree that Gene Upshaw should not have let this situation gotten so out of hand considering he is a former NFL player himself so he should know what kind of pain these guys are in. If he chooses to not do anything about it, obviously there's a reason for it. We may not agree with it but then again, he is the one that's been in that position for over 20 years so he should know a little something about his priorities, right or wrong.

posted by BornIcon at 11:30 AM on May 11

Chico - Again, in the real world, people who are disabled get government checks, and so do their children. It doesn't matter if they were unlucky in birth, unlucky in life, took too many drugs or chose a profession that involved being beaten over the head. Emphasize "chose." I feel bad for the people who are in bad situations through no fault of their own, and happily turn over my tax dollars (under threat of imprisonment) to help support them. Why should NFL players with addled brains be treated any better than coal miners with black lung? Don't coal companies make a lot of money? After availing themselves of enough advantages early in life to become the one-in-a-million who makes it to the NFL, they demand that the special treatment last a lifetime. Why are they better than everyone else?

posted by hankjones at 11:39 AM on May 11

Bad example. Early Microsoft people got paid partially in stock. And so? They got lucky -- it wasn't a pension. I've been paid "partially in stock" by companies and not had it amount to bupkis, let alone something that could keep me in catfood in my old age. As I said earlier, $126 a month seems absurdly low -- but you need to also consider a context where most people get nothing at all. Pensions are pretty much a thing of the past within the private sector, and even in public employment they're coming under heavy pressure (understandable given that they require funding by a taxpayer population who do not themselves enjoy any pension guarantee). Private industry has backed out of pension promises many times over. You may argue that ex-NFL players have extraordinary health care needs, but I'm sure ex-miners do as well, or anyone who's had to do hard physical labor all their life. So, yeah, go for it, ex-NFL players, protest away. Maybe the rest of us should do the same, but I'm not sure who we're going to squeeze it out of.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 11:47 AM on May 11

Why should NFL players with addled brains be treated any better than coal miners with black lung? Don't coal companies make a lot of money? Because NFL players have leverage. Coal miners do not. There are only so many people capable of playing football at a level that would make it watchable, so the NFL Union could, but does not, push for better conditions. some of these former players only have themselves to blame for this situation Whom, and how so? They didn't have as much leverage in the past because the money wasn't there.

posted by yerfatma at 11:59 AM on May 11

You're right, Miz Bat. I don't expect I'll ever get a pension. There is no doubt in my mind that any Social Security or 401k money I pay out in these my productive years will be liquidated and long gone by the time I'm old enough to qualify to get any of it back. It's just a not-being-a-baby-boomer-or-a-member-of-the-power-elite tax that every wage slave under the age of 40 pays. Ex-miners (or construction workers, or farmers) all have greater health care needs than your average office nerd, and I would eagerly support the same actions for those industries that I am for the NFL. What the NFL has that those other industries don't have are (1) a pool of money with which to address this inequity, and (2) the attention of the sporting world. Unlike the mining industry, the NFL is in the entertainment and PR business. The optics of this situation are horrible, but it's in the NFL's best public relations interests (and, more than any of those other industries, within their ability) to do something about it. Which makes their negligence more disgusting. Also, on preview, what yerfatma said.

posted by chicobangs at 12:02 PM on May 11

I feel bad for the people who are in bad situations through no fault of their own, and happily turn over my tax dollars (under threat of imprisonment) to help support them. I don't understand the relevance of this. I don't think anyone is asking for your tax dollars for ex-NFL players. We're examining why the league isn't taking care of their own. Why should NFL players with addled brains be treated any better than coal miners with black lung? The article isn't about the treatment of coal miners, it's about the treatment of football players. Coal miners may well be getting the shaft (so to speak) but whether they are or aren't shouldn't influence how anybody feels about the handling of these players. Personally, I don't think the NFL should take care of these guys out of an obligation. I think they should do it because by appearances they have the means and it's the humane thing to do. If you and I made a pact that in the unlikely event one of us is drowning in a river the other has no obligation to attempt a rescue, would you look at me in the water with your seven life vests, twelve life preservers and eighteen pairs of water wings and just hold up the contract? "Sorry, dude. You signed it."

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 12:16 PM on May 11

I'm just going to play devil's advocate here and throw this into the mix: What if, in 50 years, the NFL isn't in quite as good a position as it is right now? Suppose that MLB resurges, NASCAR keeps growing, the NHL gets sprinkled with pixie-dust and becomes a big-time American sport, and the NBA and golf hold their own. Can the NFL/NFLPA decide to SHRINK the pensions of players that retired between 2000-2040 because the league/union isn't doing as well? If the revenues drop, and the salaries fall, would retired players be supportive to the idea of cutting their existing pensions by 40% in order to keep the union/NFL alive (or to help build the pension fund for future players)?

posted by grum@work at 12:18 PM on May 11

When I first read the headline i thought it said " Ex-players to pickout HOE." I was picturing Jack Lambert with Carmon Electra.

posted by TelamarketersBeware at 12:24 PM on May 11

Suppose that MLB resurges Not to undermine your point, but you did not just say "MLB resurges." Resurges from what?

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 12:27 PM on May 11

This may sound callus (sorry about the spelling) but I don't really see this as an issue at all. Plenty of people work hard to build up a company for larger portion of their life and don't even see $126 a month. The only money I'm going to have for retirement is money that I have put away myself. The sad reallity of the situation is that there is a whole generation of workers caught between the days of solid pensions and todays personal retirement planning. There is really nothing that can be done. Its not just the NFL that treats its ex-employees like crap. If the NFLPA decides to do something about it (which is probably not even fiscally sound) I would hope that it would set a precident for all occupations. But I think I'm dreaming now.

posted by Steel_Town at 12:34 PM on May 11

Crafty - the point is that NFL players also are eligible for government disability payments. Should they be entitled to demand more money because they happened to entertain some of us while getting disabled? Sure, they have every right to try and public opinion might even be on their side. Still, there are hard-luck stories everywhere. It's tough to work up much sympathy for someone who got a free college education for the use of their physical skills, then got a high-paying job and some measure of fame for those same skills. Following that path could have been a good choice or a bad choice, but any way you cut it, it was their choice. Paul Hornung wants our sympathy? Boohoo. Stop whining, Golden Boy.

posted by hankjones at 12:39 PM on May 11

grum, there will come a day, maybe not in the next fifty years, but it will eventually happen, where the NFL will not be the alpha league in North America. All empires eventually fall into the ocean. sic semper tyrannis or whatever. At that point, can the NFLPA shrink pensions? Sure. But for them to have to do so would mean they'd have to horribly mismanage the capital they currently have. There is fuck-you money for everyone concerned right now, and with even just this much money management, it should never come to shrinking the pensions as long as the capitalist system itself doesn't collapse. I really don't understand people getting caught up in whether the NFL/NFLPA are "legally bound" to do something for retired players. It's inhumane, insensitive, selfish, pointless and unbelievably bad PR to not do something. Who cares about whether they're legally bound to do something? It's the right thing to do, and it's nothing to them to do it. Earl Campbell can't walk. He needs a wheelchair to get around, and he lives in a tenement. For all he did to promote the league, is that right? Conrad Dobler can't concentrate from all the undiagnosed concussions he got. He can't hold down a job. He's too injured to sit still. And he was famous. They built the modern NFL on his back. Is it right that he can't afford basic physical therapy? Basic human decency. Not zillions of dollars. Fucking health care. Show some respect.

posted by chicobangs at 12:45 PM on May 11

I dunno, Hank. Sounds like the "eat your vegetables -- there are people starving in Africa" argument* to me. I guess I have an easier time working up sympathy for somebody living with constant pain regardless of how celebrated and pampered their lives used to be. *Which raises a separate issue: what is up with broccoli soup? Broccoli is a punishment, an obstacle to ice cream. Who came up with the idea to make it a flavoring device? That's just silly, and a bit sadistic. Next thing, they'll be making bread out of zucchini, or cake out of carrots. Blech. On preview: what Chico said, exactly.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 01:01 PM on May 11

Got to go. Thanks for the argue, folks. I don't think I changed anyone's mind, but it sure is nice to have a friendly debate with people who spell correctly and write in complete sentences. It beats the heck out of the political discussions.

posted by hankjones at 01:08 PM on May 11

hank, if you're still here or whenever you get back: who's interests are you defending here? The owners? Who?

posted by chicobangs at 01:10 PM on May 11

Plenty of people work hard to build up a company for larger portion of their life and don't even see $126 a month. Right, but most of them haven't risked their health during their time working.

posted by yerfatma at 01:38 PM on May 11

Crafty - the point is that NFL players also are eligible for government disability payments. Should they be entitled to demand more money because they happened to entertain some of us while getting disabled? I would consider this a bit of a misdirection. The fact that others have it bad doesn't defend continuing such behaviour. The current NFL players have it good (not great). They can afford to support those that laid such foundations. I'm sure coal miners would like to be in the same position. Following that path could have been a good choice or a bad choice, but any way you cut it, it was their choice. Choice is key, I agree. The current players can choose to ignore the problem because it's an option that can be defended, callously perhaps, but as you have shown it can be defended; or they can choose to do what I'm sure all of them know is the right thing.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:06 PM on May 11

Plenty of people work hard to build up a company for larger portion of their life and don't even see $126 a month. Right, but most of them haven't risked their health during their time working. Roofers, Brick layers, Carpenters, drywall installers, people that worked with Abspestos, the list goes on and on. All of these occupations have huge risks and lifelong impacts on thier bodies. They get no pensions, no retirement benefits and the pay sucked while they were employed so retirement planning was probably not very effective. The only reason we hear about so many ex NFL players not getting treated fairly is because they are in fact ex NFL players. Its not that I don't feel bad, I just don't see why football players should get special treatment over anyone else. They can afford to support those that laid such foundations. I'm sure coal miners would like to be in the same position. The coal mining industry makes NFL money look like pocket change. In fact due to the recent events, this might be one area were progress is thankfully being made.

posted by Steel_Town at 02:35 PM on May 11

The coal mining industry makes NFL money look like pocket change. In fact due to the recent events, this might be one area were progress is thankfully being made. Not to the actual coal miners it don't. That's the difference. The NFL players are doing a little better.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:41 PM on May 11

Right, but most of them haven't risked their health during their time working. Insofar as that's true, I don't think it's all that relevant, because pensions, in general, are mostly not contingent on disability. If they want to make the case for disability payments, they should do so -- IMO it's a stronger case than arguing for a pension.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 02:42 PM on May 11

I don't get the coal miner comparison. Its actually pretty inaccurate because they have had to do special compensation to them in certain circumstances of disability and injury: "The Black Lung Benefits Act (BLBA) provides monthly payments and medical benefits to coal miners totally disabled from pneumoconiosis (black lung disease) arising from employment in or around the nation's coal mines. This Act also provides monthly benefits to a miner's dependent survivors if pneumoconiosis caused or hastened the miner's death. The Division of Coal Mine Workers' Compensation (DCMWC), within the U.S. Department of Labor Employment Standards Administration's Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP), adjudicates and processes claims filed by coal miners and their survivors under the BLBA." Now, I don't know what compensation runs (as to amount) in these cases and its not a pension but special compensatory action for dead and disabled people that got that way because of their work. In the NFL circumstance (not the coal miner one) are we talking just pensions for everyone or specific problems of severely fucked up people, like Mike Webster, who got that way because of their work? How many NFL players are all fucked up because of their playing and come before that multi-millionaire era? I know that in the article Ditka seems especially pissed about the Webster example and how Webster's case was handled.

posted by chris2sy at 02:51 PM on May 11

Sorry for the confusion weedy, I wasn't trying to argue against you, I was just trying to bring a little good news to this thread.

posted by Steel_Town at 02:55 PM on May 11

The pension should be raised for all who need help. They need to "means test" to see who the truly needed are. You probably don't want to see the pensions raised for Joe Montana and Steve Young. They made big bucks and surely are comfortably fixed. By the way, my monthly social security is $120.00. It should calculate to more than $400. a month but Uncle Sam has others ways to get you. He got me.

posted by rchugh at 03:38 PM on May 11

Upshaw, can't be blamed here because he is working with a group of owners whose bottom line is how much don't I have to spend.. What everyone has to reminder here is the owners don't care about anything but the profit margin and what can they put into their pockets. Gene Upshaw, should take this program up with the players assoc. and what they will be wanting to give to the older players instead of their increased payroll. The new money era or as one of you put it multi-million era, got there due to the blood sweat and tears and pain of all the others before them. The players deserve anything they can get because it is the owners who are making millions and have been for years now. With the money from radio and television and memoab/liscensing sponsors it is truly unbelieveable to look at what the owners make today in comparison with the players/coaches/managers/trainers...etc..... You can't or shouldn't compare the Coal Miners Retail Clecks,Teamsters etc to sports because it isn't really comparable in the sense the money difference from labor and management is so great that just looking at the figures gets you madder than hell. Hell, look at the price of gas and figure how with the price of a gallon of gas costs 4.5cents(gas is a by product of the refinement of crude oil) do the gas companies get almost 3.60 cent a gallon and if you look at there profits for last quarter at over 19billion talk about a pile of you know what. The owners and players should really start to realize they must protect the older players econoically and medically because they down right earned it. In the 60's NFL game tickets averaged about 15.00 per game today it is over 150 dollars a game and the money coming in from other things puts the profit margin so high that it can't be compared. A good labor cost ratio is less than 20% but I bet that the ratio in the NFL is far less than 10% only because the profit margin is so great. Mike Ditka is old school and he was especially pissed off about the Webster situation and rightfully so. During Ditka day he didn't have to face 300lb+ on every play like today. But the equipment wasn't as refined as todays' nor were the players as big. Still the NFL pension should take all the past players by injuries as well as length of service in the game. The players have to make the first move on this and force the owners to follow along with them by showing to the fans they are willing to give something back are the owners willing too.

posted by The Old Man at 03:46 PM on May 11

Not to undermine your point, but you did not just say "MLB resurges." Resurges from what? Well, there is some weird public perception that baseball is languishing in America. Something about "World Series ratings", "steroid scandals", "lack of star power", etc. It might mean something if their attendance numbers weren't through the roof, or people ignored merchandise sales. I personally don't believe there is any real problem with MLB, but I wrote that in case someone was paying attention to only the negative stories about baseball. That said, I'm surprised someone didn't chirp in with "but soccer will be HUGE in America in 50 years!".

posted by grum@work at 04:04 PM on May 11

Didn't mean to post and vanish, my son wanted on the computer and I had to study. chicobangs, your eloquence on this subject is beyond brilliant! I agree with so many of your statements. I made the point of Upshaw's salary, I suppose, to possibly show his (seems to me) "let them eat cake" attitude towards former players who are hurting. (maybe a bad way to express what I meant) To all who think the former players shouldn't get anything: I don't think they want to be made millionaires, just some decent health care and a little more money that puts them above the poverty level. To qualify for disability in the NFL, you have to be determined so by an NFL doctor. Whose side do you think he/she is gonna favor? Kinda like trying to get Soc. Sec. Dis. a S.S. doc have to examine you and make the determination, that is why there are lawyers who specialize in sueing the Soc. Sec. Admin. And I think Mike Webster's family is sueing the NFL for just a partial amount of what he would have received if he had lived. And as stated several times in this thread, the NFL has the money to be a little generous to it's retirees who don't have it so good.

posted by steelergirl at 05:59 PM on May 11

chicobangs, your eloquence on this subject is beyond brilliant! He's awful hunky too, with a lovely smile, and he smells like fresh cut grass.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 01:40 PM on May 12

He's awful hunky too, with a lovely smile, and he smells like fresh cut grass I knew that was a John Deere I saw.

posted by BornIcon at 07:02 AM on May 14

even in public employment they're coming under heavy pressure (understandable given that they require funding by a taxpayer population who do not themselves enjoy any pension guarantee). I am a member of a public retirement fund in Ohio. The Ohio police and fire pension, we have one other one in Ohio for cops and firefighters its called PERS. Don't forget that we also pay a percentage of our wages(pension contribution) into this system, for us it is 10%. It comes right off the top of our pay checks. The city also pays only a certain percentage of the employee's wage into it. I don't know what that is. Some CBA's use their pension contribution as a barganing tool.

posted by jojomfd1 at 12:12 AM on May 15

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