Dan Pastorini was not “booted” from the NFL Alumni

A recent article posted on Dave Pear’s Blog entitled Dan Pastorini gets the boot from George Martin does not accurately reflect what transpired between the NFL Alumni and Dan Pastorini.

I spoke to Dan yesterday and he told me that this whole misunderstanding started when he tried to renew his membership with the NFL Alumni and found that the website would not allow his membership to be processed without checking a box stating “I agree to the Group Licensing Agreement.”

I also contacted the NFL Alumni and spoke to Ron George, the Chief Operating Officer of the NFL Alumni, and he gave me the following recap of the NFL Alumni’s interactions with Dan:

  • On 07/21/11 the National Office received a signed GLA from Mr. Pastorini
  • On 11/7/11 Mr. Pastorini expressed concerns that signing GLA would have an impact on the current lawsuit against the NFL and NFL Films
  • On 11/9/11 the National Office, along with Venable, LLP, responded to Mr. Pastorini’s concerns, stating “In speaking with our legal counsel, the NFLA GLA is specific to licensing retired players’ names and likenesses are not connected with any NFL intellectual property.  Also, the GLA does not give any rights in retired players’ names and likenesses to the NFL. If a retired NFL player signs the NFLA GLA, there is no impact (direct or causal) to the Dryer class-action lawsuit against the NFL and NFL Films.” 
  • On 01/04/12 Mr. Pastorini requested that his membership in the NFL Alumni be terminated, his GLA destroyed and the NFL Alumni not include his name in any licensing initiatives. The National Office provided Mr. Pastorini a full refund of his dues, as well as destroying his GLA, per his wishes. In addition, at that time Mr. Pastorini was informed that membership in the NFL Alumni Association was not predicated on signing the GLA. If Mr. Pastorini wished to continue his membership and not be a part of the GLA, such action would be gladly accepted

Dan told me that based on his discussions with the attorneys representing retired players in the Dryer class action lawsuit, he is still concerned that the NFL Alumni’s GLA could somehow hurt the class action lawsuit.

We disagreed on that issue, but I respect his opinion and told him I appreciate everything he and the other class representatives are trying to do on behalf of retired players.

George Martin clearly understood Dan’s concerns, and that is why he shredded the GLA and sent Dan an email letting him know that they were cancelling his membership. 

Dan was not “booted” from the NFL Alumni as Dave Pear and company would like you to think. Dan initiated the cancellation of his membership with the NFL Alumni. 

Dan also told me that he did not make the statement in his letter that “We don’t want to be paying for George’s new Escalade and we sure don’t want another repeat of Gene Upshaw’s GLA One-for-You-and-One-Million-for-Me deals.” 

Apparently, Dave Pear or Robert Lee took the liberty of attributing that quote to Dan and I think it shows a total lack of journalistic integrity.

Just for the record………George Martin does not have a new Escalade.

I like Dan Pastorini and even though we may not see eye-to-eye on everything, I think he is well respected in the retired player community because of his advocacy on behalf of retired players. I emailed Dan a copy of this article before it was posted, just to make sure he was ok with my description of what transpired. He emailed me back saying it was “good.” 

Ron George said the NFL Alumni was taking steps to change the online registration in light of this situation.

I hope Dan will reconsider renewing his membership in the NFL Alumni.       

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

When should you take your Pension and Legacy Benefits?

As you know, former players are beginning to receive the “election” forms for the Legacy Benefit from the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle Retirement Board and they will be making critical decisions about their benefits. The NFL Alumni Association has received a large number of phone calls with questions about this new Pension benefit. 

One of the most important questions that was asked – and the one that will help you the most in planning for your retirement – is “How is my Pension and Legacy Benefit affected if I take it early, or if I defer it until after age 55?” 

First, it is essential to know that you can only take the Legacy Benefit based on the new Legacy Credits if you are currently receiving your regular Pension. If you are not currently receiving your pension, then you were not notified about the Legacy benefit yet and you did not receive a letter from the Retirement Board.  If you want to take your Legacy Benefit based on Legacy Credits now, you need to apply for your other Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan benefits at the same time. 

Whether you are taking your Pension now or later, all vested players need to know certain information in order to make good decisions.  Also, as discussed below, it is important to know that the Legacy Benefit has two parts—a $600 Floor on the existing benefits, plus a new benefit based on Legacy Credits.  The $600 Floor will shortly be paid to those it affects who are now receiving retirement benefits, but the Legacy Credits benefit will not be paid until you apply for it. 

When you decide to take your Legacy Benefit, it will be actuarially adjusted using the same “Retirement Factor” that the regular Pension Plan uses in determining what your annual payout will be. The Retirement factor was not included in the recent letter and election forms that were sent out, but I have included it in this article. Keep in mind that the benefit payments are further adjusted depending on which “election” you decide to take. For example: Life Only Pension, Joint and Survivor Annuity etc. The total amount might also be adjusted if you took the “Early Payment Benefit.” 

If you have elected to take your Legacy Benefit, the Retirement Board letter will have a calculation of what your benefit will be depending on what election you decide to take. If you are not taking the Legacy benefit at this time, but would like to get a “projection” of what your Pension and Legacy benefit payment would be if you took it at a particular time, you should contact the Plan Office at 1- (800) 638-3186.  I suggest you write the Plan Office or e-mail them at lrose@nflpb.org if you intend to contact them in the near future because of the current heavy volume of calls about the Legacy Benefit elections. 

The NFL retirement plan defines normal retirement age as 55 years old, but many players begin drawing their pensions early. Retired players who left the League on, or after March 1, 1977 and have at least one credited season before 1993 may elect to receive benefits as of their 45th birthday. Those players can also apply for and receive an “Early Payment Benefit” – a 25% lump sum distribution of their pension. 

Players who begin drawing their NFL pension and their Legacy benefit before age 55 receive a reduced benefit because benefits are expected to be paid over a longer period and begin up to 10 years earlier. This is referred to as “early retirement”. For example, a player who begins drawing his pension benefits at age 45 would only receive 45.2% of the monthly benefit that he would receive if he waited to draw his NFL pension at age 55, but he would receive the benefit 10 years before he was 55 and for an additional 10 years (45 to 55). 

If a player waits until later than his 55th birthday to begin drawing his NFL pension, his monthly benefit will increase. This is known as “deferred retirement”. 

Here are the basics of how the “regular” NFL monthly pension benefit is calculated: 

(Sum of benefit credits) x (Early or deferred Retirement Factor) = Monthly pension benefit 

1. Find the sum of your benefit credits using the table below: 

Credited Season

Benefit Credit

Before 1982

$250

1982 – 1992

$255

1993 – 1994

$265

1995 – 1996

$315

1997

$365

1998 –

$470

If you played from 1982 to 1985 the sum of your “regular” pension benefit credits would be calculated as follows: 

$250 + $255 + $255 + $255 = $1,015 

Here are the basics of how the Legacy Benefit is calculated: 

The Legacy Benefit consists of two parts: a $600 floor and an increase in Benefit Credits. 

$600 Floor:  A player who is receiving a retirement benefit as of August 1, 2011 will have his benefit increased to $600 if it is less, regardless of when it began or the form that was selected. 

The $600 floor for a player who was not receiving a retirement benefit as of August 1, 2011 will be adjusted if the player receives an Early Payment Benefit after August 1, 2011, and/or elects a Social Security form of benefit. 

Legacy Credits Benefit:  A player vested prior to 1993 will receive new Legacy Credits as follows: 

        $124 per Credited Season before 1975

        $108 per Credited Season from 1975 through 1992

A player may elect to receive the Legacy Credit benefit increase at any time that he is receiving or elects to receive his regular retirement benefit. If elected now, benefits will be paid retroactive to August 1, 2011.  If the Legacy Credit benefit begins at a later date, the benefit will be actuarially increased from the later of August 1, 2011 and age 55 to the date of payment.  The Legacy Credit benefit payment will be reduced if the player is younger than age 55 when the benefit begins. 

The $600 floor and the increase due to the Legacy Credits are determined as if there are no Qualified Domestic Relations Orders or liens affecting the player’s benefits.  The total increase is then allocated according to the terms of the order or lien, if any. 

2. Find your early or deferred “Retirement Factor” using the following table: 

Age

Factor

45

0.452

46

0.487

47

0.525

48

0.567

49

0.612

50

0.662

51

0.717

52

0.777

53

0.844

54

0.918

55

1.000

56

1.091

57

1.191

58

1.305

59

1.431

60

1.573

61

1.733

62

1.913

63

2.118

64

2.352

65

2.619

3.  Multiply the sum of your benefit credits by your early or deferred retirement factor. 

Using the “Retirement Factor”, here are is an example of how much the regular monthly Pension benefit can vary depending on when you decide to take your pension. If you played from 1982 to 1985 and begin taking your pension at: 

Age 45: $1,015 x 0.452 = $458.78 per month

Age 55: $1,015 x 1.000 = $1,015 per month

Age 60: $1,015 x 1.573 = $1,596.60 per month

Age 65: $1,015 x 2.619 = $2,658.29 per month 

Using the “Retirement Factor”, here is an example of how much the Legacy benefit can vary depending on when you decide to take that benefit. If you played from 1982 to 1985 and begin drawing your pension at: 

Age 45: $432 x 0.452 = $195.64 per month

Age 55: $432 x 1.000 = $432.00 per month

Age 60: $432 x 1.573 = $679.36 per month

Age 65: $432 x 2.619 = $1,131.40 per month 

If you are currently older than age 55, the deferred retirement factor for the Legacy Credit increase cannot be calculated from the above table because the increase is calculated based on your age as of August 1, 2011, not from age 55. 

Under this example, a player taking the Pension and Legacy Benefit at age 55 would receive a total monthly pension of $1,447.00, whereas a player taking the Pension and Legacy Benefit at age 65 would receive a total monthly pension of $3,789.69. 

The monthly benefit amounts listed above are for a “Life only pension”, meaning that an NFL player will receive his monthly benefit until he dies. There are other elections that you can take for both the Pension and the Legacy Benefit. Those options will be provided to you when you notify the Retirement Board that you would like to begin taking your pension. 

Many players with families elect to receive a form of NFL pension that has a survivor benefit. If a player elects to receive a pension with a survivor benefit then the amount of the monthly benefit will be reduced. If the player dies before his beneficiary, the beneficiary will continue to receive a benefit from the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan for a certain period of time. 

The information provided in this article is my best understanding and interpretation of what I have been told and what I have researched. It should not be considered official and that is why I urge all vested players to contact the Retirement Board for the exact amount of your benefits with respect to the Pension Plan and Legacy Fund.  

Only you can decide what is best for you and your family when it comes to the question of “When should I take my Pension and Legacy Benefits?” but if you can wait until age 55, or defer your retirement benefits to age 65 you will see a significant increase over the “early retirement” payments. 

The NFL Alumni Association will be providing additional information in a website video about the Pension Plan and Legacy Benefit, but in the meantime, please feel free to post a comment or ask a question here at the Jeff Nixon Report and I will do my best to get an answer for you as soon as possible. 

Pro Football Player Deaths in 2011

Here is a list of the 126 pro football players that died in 2011.  The average age of death was 73.6 years. There were 15 players that died before age 55, the normal retirement age.

Let’s keep their “Legacy” alive in our hearts and minds!

I would like to thank Ken Crippen, the Executive Director Professional Football Researchers Association for supplying the information on player deaths. The Professional Football Researchers Association (PFRA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and, in some cases, reconstructing professional football history.

You can see their website at this link:  http://www.profootballresearchers.org/

Player Teams Death

Age

Ray Abruzzese 1962-64 Buffalo Bills, 1965-66 New York Jets 8/22, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

73

Tom Addison 1960-67 Boston Patriots 6/14, Bluffton, SC

75

Houston Antwine 1961-70 Boston Patriots, 1971 New England Patriots, 1972 Philadelphia Eagles 12/26, Memphis, TN

72

Ricky Bell 1996 Jacksonville Jaguars, 1997-98 Chicago Bears 2/17, Columbia, SC

36

Marv Berschet 1954-55 Washington Redskins 7/12, South Charleston, OH

81

Forrest Blue 1968-74 San Francisco 49ers, 1975-78 Baltimore Colts 7/16, Carmichael, CA

65

Chuck Boerio 1952 Green Bay Packers 9/30, Boulder, CO

81

Reed Bohovich 1962 New York Giants 10/1, Richmond, TX

69

Danny Brabham 1963-67 Houston Oilers, 1968 Cincinnati Bengals 1/23, Baton Rouge, LA

69

Johnny Brewer 1961-67 Cleveland Browns, 1968-70 New Orleans Saints 5/27, Madison, MS

74

Paul Briggs 1948 Detroit Lions 2/14, Santa Ana, CA

90

Bill Brown 1943-44 Brooklyn Dodgers 4/29, Moon Township, PA

92

Orlando Brown 1994-95 Cleveland Browns, 1996-98 Baltimore Ravens, 1999 Cleveland Browns, 2003-05 Baltimore Ravens 9/23, Baltimore, MD

40

George Buksar 1949 Chicago Hornets, 1950 Baltimore Colts, 1951-52 Washington Redskins 2/22, Solon, OH

84

Lewis Bush 1993-99 San Diego Chargers, 2000-02 Kansas City Chiefs 12/8, Tucson, AZ

42

Bob Callahan 1948 Buffalo Bills 3/10, Laguna Woods, CA

87

Len Calligaro 1944 New York Giants 6/15, Ironwood, MI

89

Justin Canale 1965-68 Boston Patriots, 1969 Cincinnati Bengals 10/11, Memphis, TN

68

Whit Canale 1966 Miami Dolphins, 1968 Boston Patriots 9/17, Memphis, TN

69

Ken Carpenter 1950-53 Cleveland Browns, 1960 Denver Broncos 1/28, Seaside, OR

84

Preston Carpenter 1956-59 Cleveland Browns, 1960-63 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1964-66 Washington Redskins, 1966 Minnesota Vikings, 1967 Miami Dolphins 6/30, Tulsa, OK

77

Don Chandler 1956-64 New York Giants, 1965-67 Green Bay Packers 8/11, Tulsa, OK

76

Lynn Chandnois 1950-56 Pittsburgh Steelers 4/19, Flint, MI

86

Lloyd Colteryahn 1954-56 Baltimore Colts 5/2, Dundin, FL

79

Clyde Conner 1956-63 San Francisco 49ers 12/12, Los Altos, CA

78

Terry Crouch 1982 Baltimore Colts 5/8, Dallas, TX

51

Doug Davis 1966-72 Minnesota Vikings 2/10, Brandon, FL

66

Hal Dean 1947-49 Los Angeles Rams 2/12, Midland, TX

88

Sam DeLuca 1960 Los Angeles Chargers, 1961 and 1963 San Diego Chargers, 1964-66 New York Jets 9/13, Pelham, NY

75

Paul Dickson 1959 Los Angeles Rams, 1960 Dallas Cowboys, 1961-70 Minnesota Vikings, 1971 St. Louis Cardinals 6/7, Minneapolis, MN

74

Dave Duerson 1983-89 Chicago Bears, 1990 New York Giants, 1991-93 Phoenix Cardinals 2/17, Sunny Isles Beach, FL

50

Jim Duncan 1950-53 New York Giants 1/5, Sunset Beach, NC

85

Pete Duranko 1967-74 Denver Broncos 7/8, Windber, PA

67

Gene Fekete 1946 Cleveland Browns 4/28, Columbus, OH

88

Ralph Felton 1954-60 Washington Redskins, 1961-62 Buffalo Bills 1/22, Midway, PA

78

Bernie Flowers 1956 Baltimore Colts 4/14, Bonita Springs, FL

81

Sid Fournet 1955-56 Los Angeles Rams, 1957 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1960-61 Dallas Texans, 1962 New York Titans, 1963 New York Jets 4/23, Slidell, LA

78

George Franck 1941, 1945-47 New York Giants 1/19, Rock Island, IL

92

Ben Fricke 1999-2001 Dallas Cowboys 2/21, Frisco, TX

35

Ed Frutig 1941 and 1945 Green Bay Packers, 1945-46 Detroit Lions 2/26, Vero Beach, FL

92

Greg Gantt 1974-75 New York Jets 10/26, Birmingham, AL

59

Peter Gent 1964-68 Dallas Cowboys 9/30, Bangor, MI

69

Cookie Gilchrist 1962-64 Buffalo Bills, 1965 Denver Broncos, 1966 Miami Dolphins, 1967 Denver Broncos 1/10, Penn Hills, PA

75

Gale Gillingham 1966-74, 1977 Green Bay Packers 10/20, Little Falls, MN

67

Ralph Goldston 1952, 1954-55 Philadelphia Eagles 7/9, Columbus, OH

82

Gene Gossage 1960-62 Philadelphia Eagles 5/1, Old Saybrook, CT

76

Otis Grant 1983-84 Los Angeles Rams, 1987 Philadelphia Eagles 5/29, Roswell, GA

49

Bill Gray 1947-48 Washington Redskins 8/18, Portland, OR

88

Garland Gregory 1946-47 San Francisco 49ers 4/28, Ruston, LA

92

George Groves 1947 Buffalo Bills, 1948 Baltimore Colts 7/23, Mexico, MO

90

Billy Hardee 1976 Denver Broncos, 1977 New York Jets 7/4, Phoenix, AZ

56

Jimmy Harris 1957 Philadelphia Eagles, 1958 Los Angeles Rams, 1960 Dallas Texans, 1961 Dallas Cowboys 8/9, Shreveport, LA

76

Richard Harris 1971-73 Philadelphia Eagles, 1974-75 Chicago Bears, 1976-77 Seattle Seahawks 7/26, Winnipeg, Manitoba

63

Joe Heap 1955 New York Giants 4/6, Covington, LA

79

Drew Hill 1979-84 Los Angeles Rams, 1985-91 Houston Oilers, 1992-93 Atlanta Falcons 3/19, Atlanta, GA

54

Glen Holloway 1970-73 Chicago Bears, 1974 Cleveland Browns 12/20, Corpus Christi, TX

64

Ron Holmes 1985-88 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1989-92 Denver Broncos 10/27, DuPont, WA

48

Kent Hull 1986-1996 Buffalo Bills 10/18, Greenwood, MS

50

Gerry Huth 1956 New York Giants, 1959-60 Philadelphia Eagles, 1961-63 Minnesota Vikings 2/11, Las Vegas, NV

77

Duke Iversen 1947 New York Giants, 1948-49 New York Yankees, 1950-51 New York Yanks 5/20, Petaluma, CA

91

Bill Johnson 1948-56 San Francisco 49ers 1/7, Ft. Myers, FL

84

John Henry Johnson 1954-56 San Francisco 49ers, 1957-59 Detroit Lions, 1960-65 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1966 Houston Oilers 6/3, Tracy, CA

81

Andre Jones 1992 Detroit Lions 6/22, Roswell, GA

42

Terry Joyce 1976-77 St. Louis Cardinals 6/17, St. Louis, MO

57

Jim Keane 1946-51 Chicago Bears, 1952 Green Bay Packers 3/8, McHenry, IL

87

Joe Krupa 1956-64 Pittsburgh Steelers 9/13, Chicago, IL

78

Ted Lapka 1943-44 and 1946 Washington Redskins 12/1, Naperville, IL

91

Shawn Lee 1988-89 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1990-91 Miami Dolphins, 1992-97 San Diego Chargers, 1998 Chicago Bears 2/26, Raleigh, NC

44

Jim Lipinski 1950 Chicago Cardinals 5/28, Sarasota, FL

85

Nolan Luhn 1945-49 Green Bay Packers 11/27, Coffeyville, KS

90

Lenny Lyles 1958 Baltimore Colts, 1959-60 San Francisco 49ers, 1961-69 Baltimore Colts 11/20, Louisville, KY

75

John Mackey 1963-71 Baltimore Colts, 1972 San Diego Chargers 7/6, Baltimore, MD

69

Lloyd Madden 1940 Chicago Cardinals 12/26, Midland, TX

93

Vaughn Mancha 1948 Boston Yanks 1/27, Tallahassee, FL

89

Jim Mandich 1970-77 Miami Dolphins, 1978 Pittsburgh Steelers 4/26, Wellington, FL

62

Norm Masters 1957-64 Green Bay Packers 4/19, Bloomfield Hills, MI

77

Ollie Matson 1952, 1954-58 Chicago Cardinals; 1959-60 Los Angeles Rams, 1964,66 Philadelphia Eagles 2/19, Los Angeles, CA

80

Chester McGlockton 1992-94 Los Angeles Raiders, 1995-97 Oakland Raiders, 1998-2000 Kansas City Chiefs, 2001-02 Denver Broncos, 2003 New York Jets 11/30, San Ramon, CA

42

Hal Miller 1953 San Francisco 49ers 11/21, Kingsport, TN

81

Fred Molden 1987 Minnesota Vikings 11/1, Moss Point, MS

48

Red Moore 1947-49 Pittsburgh Steelers 12/14, Palm Beach Gardens, FL

89

George Mrkonic 1953 Philadelphia Eagles 5/23, Kansas City, KS

81

Godfrey Myles 1991-96 Dallas Cowboys 6/9, Miami, FL

42

John Nisby 1957-61 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1962-64 Washington Redskins 2/6, Stockton, CA

74

Tom O’Malley 1950 Green Bay Packers 6/11, York, PA

85

Ken Payne 1974-77 Green Bay Packers, 1978 Philadelphia Eagles 8/1, Oklahoma City, OK

60

Lindy Pearson 1950-52 Detroit Lions, 1952 Green Bay Packers 3/9, Oklahoma City, OK

82

Joe Perry 1948-60 San Francisco 49ers, 1961-62 Baltimore Colts, 1963 San Francisco 49ers 4/25, Tempe, AZ

84

Pete Pihos 1947-55 Philadelphia Eagles 8/16, Winston-Salem, NC

87

Hank Piro 1941 Philadelphia Eagles 4/18, Iowa City, IA

93

Eli Popa 1952 Chicago Cardinals 10/14, San Diego, CA

80

Bruce Radford 1979 Denver Broncos, 1980 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1981 St. Louis Rams 5/23, New Orleans, LA

55

Joe Restic 1952 Philadelphia Eagles 12/8, Boston, MA

85

Floyd Rice 1971-73 Houston Oilers, 1973-75 San Diego Chargers, 1976-77 Oakland Raiders, 1978 New Orleans Saints 11/8, Natchez, MS

62

Lee Riley 1955 Detroit Lions, 1956 and 1958-59 Philadelphia Eagles, 1960 New York Giants, 1961-62 New York Titans 6/9, Chicago, IL

78

Andy Robustelli 1951-55 Los Angeles Rams, 1956-64 New York Giants 5/31, Stamford, CT

85

Ed Royston 1948-49 New York Giants 7/16, Seaside Park, NJ

87

Rocky Ryan 1956-58 Philadelphia Eagles, 1958 Chicago Bears 11/3, Urbana, IL

79

Lee Roy Selmon 1976-84 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 9/4, Tampa, FL

56

Harley Sewell 1953-62 Detroit Lions, 1963 Los Angeles Rams 12/17, Arlington, TX

80

Jim Seymour 1970-72 Chicago Bears 3/29, Highland Park, IL

64

Bob Shaw 1945 Cleveland Rams, 1946 Los Angeles Rams, 1949 Los Angeles Rams, 1950 Chicago Cardinals 4/10, Westerville, OH

89

Bill Shipp 1954 New York Giants 6/9, Mobile, AL

80

Paul Shoults 1949 New York Bulldogs 8/20, South Bend, IN

85

Bubba Smith 1967-71 Baltimore Colts, 1973-74 Oakland Raiders, 1975-76 Houston Oilers 8/3, Los Angeles, CA

66

Chuck Smith 1956 San Francisco 49ers 12/26, San Angelo, TX

78

Jerry Smith 1952-53, 1956 San Francisco 49ers, 1956 Green Bay Packers 8/6, San Diego, CA

80

George Speth 1942 Detroit Lions 8/24, Port Richey, FL

93

Ron Springs 1979-84 Dallas Cowboys, 1985-86 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 5/12, Dallas, TX

54

Art Statuto 1948-49 Buffalo Bills, 1950 Los Angeles Rams 3/2, Carrolton, TX

85

Bill Stits 1954-56 Detroit Lions, 1957-58 San Francisco 49ers, 1959 Washington Redskins, 1959-61 New York Giants 12/5, Palm Desert, CA

80

Herb St. John 1948 Brooklyn Dodgers, 1949 Chicago Hornets 6/29, Perry, GA

85

Skip Thomas 1972-77 Oakland Raiders 7/24, Kansas City, KS

61

Buddy Tinsley 1949 Los Angeles Dons 9/14, Winnipeg, Manitoba

88

Joe Tofflemire 1990, 1992, 1994 Seattle Seahawks 9/27, Coeur d’Alene, ID

46

Steve Trimble 1981-83 Denver Broncos, 1987 Chicago Bears 7/11, Ashburn, VA

53

Deacon Turner 1978-80 Cincinnati Bengals 7/10, Bakersfield, CA

56

Tommy Watkins 1961 Cleveland Browns, 1962-65 and 1967 Detroit Lions, 1968 Pittsburgh Steelers 10/29, Detroit, MI

74

Allan Webb 1961-65 New York Giants 7/18, Burlingame, CA

78

Bob White 1951-52 San Francisco 49ers, 1955 Cleveland Browns, 1955 Baltimore Colts 3/5, Southlake, TX

81

Norm Willey 1950-57 Philadelphia Eagles 8/18, Newark, DE

83

George Wilson, Jr. 1966 Miami Dolphins 8/6, Weeki Wachee, FL

68

Cal Withrow 1970 San Diego Chargers, 1971-73 Green Bay Packers, 1974 St. Louis Cardinals 7/3, Lexington, KY

65

Wally Yonamine 1947 San Francisco 49ers 2/28, Honolulu, HI

85

Frank Ziegler 1949-53 Philadelphia Eagles 3/6, Gainsville, GA

87

Bob Zimny 1945-49 Chicago Cardinals 8/11, Shelbyville, IN

89

Ron Jaworski: A great addition to the NFL Alumni Board

I was happy to hear the news that the NFL Alumni At-Large Association Board of Directors recently voted to have Ron Jaworski  fill a vacant position.  As an NFL game analyst for ESPN and a radio show host, he’s in a great position to talk about the issues facing former players.

"Jaws" gets the smelling salts and the "how many fingers am I holding up?" test before going back into the game

Ron had an outstanding 17 year career in the NFL, but he paid price for his success – including multiple concussions and numerous broken bones. Despite those injuries, he displayed remarkable durability, starting 116 straight games, a record at that time for quarterbacks.

“After I retired,” Jaworski recalls, “(trainer) Otho Davis told me he had logged 32 concussions for me. Some more severe than others. In those days, you came to the sidelines seeing stars, they snapped smelling salts under your nose, you went back in.”

Concussions affect players differently. Fortunately for Ron, he has been able to lead a very productive life since his playing days were over.

I don’t know all of Ron’s positions with respect to retired players, but from what I’ve read, he is concerned about the issue of concussions.  Ron participated in the NFL Youth Football camps attended by 40,000 young football players and coaches. Ron Jaworski, George Martin, Herm Edwards, Matt Ryan and Saints coach Sean Payton hosted free camps last summer. As part of the camp program the USA Football Coach Smart youth health and safety awareness initiative provided coaches, parents and players with information regarding concussion awareness and management as well as heat and hydration preparedness.

As part owner of the Philadelphia Soul Pro Arena Football Team, Ron utilized the Sports Concussion Center of New Jersey to conduct the ImPACT baseline and post-concussion assessment on members of the football team.

Will “Jaws” make a good retired player advocate? Absolutely!

Does Ron care about the problems that affect us and is he willing to give his honest opinion? Absolutely!  If you don’t believe me, read this article and make up your own mind: Ron Jaworski: Current players don’t really give a damn about older players Here are a few Q&A’s from the interview:

Q: So do you believe the players union is doing a good job representing former players once they’re out of the game?

A: That part does disappoint me. I’ve been around long enough to understand that present-day players, they don’t understand what the guys went through in [the previous work stoppages of 1987, ’82, and ’74]. . . . Quite honestly, I don’t think they really give a damn about the guys that laid the foundation for the game. I think it’s a lot of verbiage, but I don’t think they really care.

Q: Can more by done for former players, especially in terms of their post-football health?

A: I see these guys limping around and the physical handicaps they’re now living under. These guys deserve something. . . . They deserve some compensation for that, and they deserve medical benefits, and they deserve treatment for all the issues that former players are now dealing with. We all know the life expectancy of former NFL players is less than a normal human being.

Could we have a better spokesman?  Absolutely not!

In my opinion, we got a first round draft pick with Ron – a seasoned public speaker that has the ability to carry our message like no one else.

Ron has been a strong advocate for a number of different causes. A couple of years ago he testified in front of Congress regarding the issue of childhood obesity. He’s been involved in the issue since 1989, when he fought a proposal in New Jersey to stop requiring gym classes in public high schools. Here is a link to the article regarding his testimony: Ron Jaworski Testimony: Childhood Obesity ‘Startling!’ 

In announcing the news, Joe Pisarcik, the Chairman of the NFL Alumni Board said “Mr. Jaworski is actively involved in the Philadelphia Chapter, where he played 10 seasons for the Philadelphia Eagles. In addition to his new role of advocating on behalf of all retired players, Ron Jaworski will also actively support the NFL Alumni Foundation’ s motto, “Caring for Kids” through his own foundation, Jaws Youth Playbook. Mr. Jaworski will bring great value and knowledge to the Board of Directors, and we all welcome him to our esteemed organization.”

NFL Alumni Executive Director George Martin said “Our Board members know that Ron Jaworski will be an effective advocate for former players and that is why they selected him for the position. Having played against Ron for many years, I know him to be a fierce and capable competitor and someone who I have grown to respect immensely throughout the years, That same self-determination and success model has been replicated in his off the field accomplishments as well. I look forward to working with him as we strive to accomplish the goals we have set for our organization.”

I hope former players will give Ron Jaworski a chance to prove himself a worthy addition to the NFL Alumni Association Board of Directors.

If you’d like to send him a welcome message, please feel free to do so here at the Jeff Nixon Report.  I’ll make sure he gets a copy of all the messages that are posted.

The NFL Alumni Association advocates “exclusively” for retired players

In looking back on 2011, one thing should now be crystal clear to every former player – the NFL Players Association represents active players and the NFL Alumni Association exclusively represents former players. I talked about this in a March 29, 2011 article entitled: DeMaurice Smith serves active players first…..and foremost!

When former players won a $28 million class action lawsuit again the NFLPA, it only solidified the fact that the Union was not working in our best interest. Not long after the lawsuit was filed, the NFLPA dropped its GLA (Group Licensing Authorization) program with most former players. Of course, they still offer GLA’s to the Hall of Fame players, but the average former player is S.O.L unless they are computer savvy and can make a few bucks on the S.O.T.L.

Some retired players say the Union stiffed them. In their federal complaint, plaintiffs Ronald Brown, Charles Detwiler and Dwight Hicks say they were improperly excluded from the settlement in Adderley vs. NFLPA, brought in 2007 by a class of more than 2,000 retired NFL players who had signed a group licensing authorization (GLA) form with the players union.

There is another class action lawsuit against the NFLPA that is working its way through the courts. The lawsuit, filed by 28 Hall of Fame players and other retired player advocates, is seeking “to readjust the [CBA] deal to better reflect the interests of the retirees which would’ve been done by the retirees themselves,” according to Michael Hausfeld, the lead attorney in the case.

Mr. Hausfeld also said “This deals with the rights of retirees and how they were shortchanged by a process that negotiated their rights without input from them and then [how the decertified NFLPA] reached an agreement without the retirees’ right to be heard.”

With all that said, I’m still mystified when I see some former players still clinging to the notion that being affiliated with the NFL Players Association is preferable to being a member of the NFL Alumni Association.

DeMaurice Smith’s smear campaign against George Martin and the NFL Alumni Association was, to a certain degree, successful in taking the focus off what the Union was – or should I say – wasn’t doing for former players. This all started when the NFL Alumni announced that it was adding “advocacy on behalf of former players” to its mission.  Mr. Martin has done his best to achieve that goal even though there was intense resistance by a few of Chapter Presidents in the early stages of implementation.

Just for the record, the advocacy idea wasn’t something George Martin came up with. That was a policy decision that came from the Board of Directors before Mr. Martin was even hired.  

It is no secret that since its inception, the NFL Alumni has had contractual agreements and received financial assistance from the NFL, but during the CBA negotiations, the Union wanted to make that an issue instead of concentrating on the number #1 issue for most retired players.

And what was that? 

Better pensions for the pre-1993 players.             

During CBA negotiations, Nolan Harrison, the NFLPA Senior Director of Former Player Services said he was wary of the business ties George Martin had with NFL ownership and the belief that the NFLA’s main benefits push focused on older retirees. He said “You can’t just focus on one group. That’s the point we’ve been trying to get across to everyone. George knows what it’s all about over here, but we do have issues when it comes to trying to segment our group.”   

Yes, George Martin does know what it’s all about over there – taking care of the active player group at the expense of retired player group.  

The NFLPA Former Player Chapter presidents and their members all across the United States said that increasing the pension plan for older retired players was their highest priority! The NFL Alumni Association members also said that that was their number one goal.

So who was really trying to segment retired players?     

After taking office, George Martin wanted to meet with DeMaurice Smith one-on-one to see where they could find common ground and collectively work on behalf of former players. Some former players close to the Union actually said that George Martin had not earned the right to meet with DeMaurice Smith.   

Unfortunately, the one-on-one meeting never happened. Why?  In my opinion, Mr. Smith didn’t want the perception that the NFLPA and the NFL Alumni were in basic agreement on the key issues and concerns of retired players. Mr. Smith needed a boogeyman – an imaginary monster to frighten retired players……someone he could point to and say “He was the problem. He is why you didn’t get what you wanted.”    

None of that stopped Mr. Martin from forging ahead with his own advocacy efforts. In his meetings with the owners and key members of the NFL Management Council, George Martin put forth specific proposals based on recommendations and feedback he received from NFL Alumni members and the board of directors. The NFL Alumni’s Pension proposal alone was estimated to add $1.2 billion in liabilities for the owners. Compare that to the $320 million ($32 million annually) that DeMaurice Smith and the Union were proposing and then tell me who had your best interest at heart.

Former players should be pleased with the fact that the NFL Alumni Association has taken on the new mission of advocacy. In my opinion it was instrumental in boosting the Pension Plan for the pre-1993 players. It forced the NFLPA into a position where it had to do much more than it originally intended to do for the pre-1993 players.   

George Martin knew that the only way former players could achieve any significant increase in retired players pensions would be through the establishment of a Rookie Wage System, so he made that a big part of his advocacy platform.  That was something that DeMaurice Smith was totally against when he became the Executive Director of the NFLPA.   

George Martin also pushed to increase pensions for players who took early retirement and the Social Security election. That wasn’t even on the NFLPA’s radar.  

George Martin and several other retired player advocates also tweaked the NFL and NFLPA’s proposal for distributing the Legacy Benefit.

He also created the NFL Alumni’s first Group Licensing Program for former players and pushed the NFL to establish a Long Term Care insurance program, new business and career programs, increases in the 88 plan and other services and programs that fall under the Former Player Life Improvement Plan and maybe the most important advocacy effort of all………………….getting more money from the NFL owners for our organization!

That’s right, we need more money from the owners, not less…… and in my opinion it shouldn’t be in the form of a loan, it should be an outright grant for the marketing and promotion we provide the NFL.

As ambassadors for the NFL we have gone out in our communities and raised hundreds of millions of dollars for charities and programs. Those activities are being organized and planned by both the NFLPA and NFL Alumni Chapters. Our local Buffalo Bills NFLPA Former Player Chapter just went over the 1.2 million dollar contribution amount.  These events and activities also promote the NFL and build up its image, its history and dare I say – the “Legacy” of the NFL!

If the NFLPA and the active players can get $44 million annually from the NFL owners to market active players and promote the NFL, and another $22 million annually for additional former player benefits over the next ten years, then what is wrong with the NFL Alumni getting a small slice of the pie?  For all we do, I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

As the only “national organization” that works exclusively on behalf of former players, I encourage you to become a member of the NFL Alumni Association by paying your dues with a credit card at this link:  Join now!

NFL Long Term Care Deadline extended to December 30, 2011

If you have not submitted an application for the NFL Long Term Care Insurance program provided by Transamerica  please do so as soon as possible. The window to apply for this benefit has been extended to Friday, December 30, 2011. 

New York was recently approved for this LTC program, so former players residing in that state have until January 30, 2012 to submit an application.   

I should note that New York, Colorado, Washington and Minnesota have a paper only application process.  This means you cannot do an online application.  You will have to call Transamerica and get the application mailed to you and then send it back. 

When the NFL Alumni first began petitioning both the union and league in October 2010 for a long term health insurance benefit, George Martin along with other alumni including Mike Ditka and Mike Haynes instituted a letter writing campaign, visits to Congress, and public awareness in support of long term health insurance benefits.

When told of the NFL’s decision to fund the program, Mr. Martin said “I’m excited that after years of neglect, the NFL has responded by instituting a well-deserved benefit for retired players. However, this is only a small fraction of the solutions needed to address retired player issues. I am grateful the NFL made this gesture, yet disappointed the NFLPA was not a part of this agreement.”

Even though they did not partner with the NFL on this benefit, I am calling on the NFLPA to help us get this LTC deadline information out to all its members as soon as possible. Any problems or issues they may have had with the NFL Alumni Association need to be set aside so that we can all do what is in the best interest of former players.    

I spoke to a Transamerica representative who told me that over 1,000 eligible former players have not submitted an application. If you miss the deadline you will not have another opportunity to apply until next year, around this same time.  The representative also told me that it will be more difficult for players that miss the original deadline to qualify at a later date, because they will have to go through a much tougher underwriting process. 

Do yourself, and more importantly, your family, a big favor, and make every effort to obtain this coverage before the deadline. To date, 1,642 former players and spouses have taken advantage of this opportunity and have been approved for the NFL’s Long Term Care insurance program. 

As I said in a previous article, we don’t know what the future holds for us. In the blink of an eye, we could be incapacitated by an accident or ailment. If we don’t have the proper insurance, our family’s financial security could be put in jeopardy. For those players that have been approved for this coverage, it is good to know that you have a policy in place that will assist you with the financial burden of in-home care and out-of-home residential nursing care.

If you are vested former player between the ages 50 and 75 and want to apply, or you would like more information about the NFL Long Term Care insurance program offered through Transamerica, please contact them at this toll free number: 1-800-260-7512

When can you expect your Legacy Fund benefit payment?

Many retired players have contacted the NFL Alumni Association with regard to the Legacy Fund benefit and have asked when they can expect to receive the pension increase in their monthly checks.  

Commissioner Roger Goodell asked Joe Browne, the league’s executive vice president of communications and government affairs, to respond to retired player concerns regarding this issue and Mr. Browne has asked the NFL Alumni Association to share the following information with former players.

In a recent email from Mr. Browne to a former player he says:

Commissioner Goodell asked that I respond to you regarding the December 2 email that you sent him and several others regarding the Legacy Fund increase to your pension.

You asked when you will start receiving the increase; it is a legitimate question.

In the November 11 letter to you that was signed by the Commissioner and the six leaders of retired player groups, they stated that the increase would be reflected in checks that you would receive in December or January.

The Benefits office in Baltimore now tells us that you should begin receiving the additional money (retroactive to August 4, 2011) in mid to late January.

The primary reason for the delay is that the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle Player Pension Plan is required by Federal law to contact you. That office needs  to give you and the other retirees an opportunity to elect how -and to whom – the increased pension checks with the Legacy Benefit will be paid and for retirees to make any changes in their status, e.g. marital status.

We expect this form will be mailed to you this week.

When you return the completed form, the Benefits office in Baltimore will then offer you your individual choices for pension payment. As soon you make that final decision, the checks which contain the Legacy Fund increases should begin being mailed in mid to late January.

Somewhat complicated? Yes, but necessary.

We appreciate your patience and your anticipated cooperation in returning the form.

Best Wishes,

Joe Browne 


I should note that the letters and forms were went out on Wednesday, December 7th so hopefully, you will start to see them arriving in your mailboxes very soon.  The letters are only being sent to former players that are in “pay status” or currently receiving a pension payment. 

Make sure you are fully aware of all of the options that are available to you. You can elect to defer your Legacy Benefit. The NFL benefits office gave me the following example: If you are 60 years of age and your Legacy benefit would be $1,000 a month, but you defer the payment for five years until age 65, the payment would be $1,665 a month. Under this example, it would take approximately 7 ½ years to recoup the $60,000 you would have received over the 5 year period from age 60 to 65. 

We are still waiting to find out if the Legacy Benefit can be accessed separately from the regular Pension benefit. In other words, can a player that has deferred his regular pension file for the Legacy benefit and start receiving that payment now? This would allow former players to let their regular pension continue to grow and still receive money via the Legacy benefit. 

The NFL Alumni Association will be working to answer these and other questions regarding the Legacy Fund benefit as more information becomes available.

 

Former Players: Get diagnosed if you have signs of cognitive impairment

Here is an excellent article that all retired players should read: Mike Curtis strives for Canton facing new foe

It reminds us that there is help available through the 88 Plan, but sometimes it takes family members and friends to get that help for former players.

I believe that the older generation of retired players were, and still are, more reluctant to admit that they have any problems and might need help. It came from the mindset that “you play with pain and you don’t complain.”

According to a study published in the Journal of Athletic Training, and sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, college players sustain more total hits to the head in practices than in games, with teams averaging 2,500 total hits to the head that measured as significant blows (50 to 79 g’s of force) and about 300 hits to the head that were considered in the concussion-causing range (80 to 119 g’s). Some collisions measured above 120 g’s, which experts have likened to crashing a car into a concrete wall at 40 miles an hour.

Add those collisions to all the head hits a player has during their NFL career and you can see why it is important to get diagnosed – especially if you feel you may have some cognitive impairment.  

If you know a former player that is showing signs of Alzheimer’s or Dementia then please encourage them to get diagnosed.

To qualify for the 88 Plan, you don’t have to show that your impairment came from playing professional football. You don’t have to show that you sustained multiple concussions during your career and you don’t have to suffer in silence.

Please read the 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s Disease at this link: The Forgetting: A Portrait of Alzheimers and The 10 warning signs of dementia.

Mitchell Welch, who is mentioned in the article, has done a tremendous job traveling around the country lecturing about TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and has provided the NFL Alumni with information about the process of applying for the 88 Plan. To get more information, you can contact the NFL Player Care Plan at 800-NFL-GOAL (800-635-4625).

NFL Alumni team-up with active players to give the gift of “Caring”

Thanksgiving and Christmas remind us that the act of giving is one of the most rewarding experiences we can have in our lives. The NFL Alumni’s motto of “Caring for Kids” and giving back to our communities during the Holiday season exemplifies that act. 

We must always remember that society – and young people in particular – look for us to be role models in our communities. That is an honor and privilege that no one can put a price tag on. I truly believe that our ability to make a positive impact on the lives of young people enriches us more than any Legacy Fund could ever accomplish.   

Left to Right - Aaron Williams, Mike Caussen, Jeff Nixon, Ruvell Martin,Tyler Thigpen, Adam Lingner and Mark Brammer with children and their "Pillow Pets"

This past Tuesday, I and a few other retired and active Buffalo Bills players had an opportunity to be part of an event called the “Gift of Warmth Celebration”.  The Buffalo Bills Alumni Association supported the program by helping the children decorate picture frames, make red, white and blue fleece scarves and other Christmas gifts.  We also shared our favorite holiday moments with them and  ended the celebration by giving “Pillow Pets” to all the children that were in attendance.

George Martin and the NFL Alumni Association Board of Directors, staff and select members were instrumental in coordinating the acquisition and delivery of thousands of these gifts to Chapters all across the country.

This is just one of numerous activities and events that are being held and planned by local Chapters. I encourage all former players to get involved and work to make a difference in the lives of children and families by actively participating and showing them you really do care.  Every time we encourage a child to fulfill their dreams, reach for the stars and do all they can to achieve their goals in life, we ourselves become a little richer.             

Former NFL Player Adam Lingner gives the gift of "Caring for Kids"

The smile on the face of a child keeps us all young at heart!    

By the way, next time you see a volunteer Salvation Army worker standing in front of a store with a collection pot, give them a reason to ring the bell.  Just try to imagine that a deceased player gets his new knees in heaven every time the bell rings.

Have a Merry Christmas!    

   

NFL Alumni: Where do we go from here?

Now that the NFL and NFL Players Association have reached an agreement on how the $620 million Legacy Benefit will be distributed to former players, it’s time to reflect on what we have accomplished and what still needs to do be done to reach our goals of improving the lives of former players.

The NFL Alumni’s advocacy efforts on behalf of former players established some specific goals that were outlined in the Campaign 2011. They included the following priorities:

  • Legacy Fund and Rookie Wage Scale that would provide substantive increases in alumni pensions and benefits
  • Increase in pensions for those who played prior to 1993
  • Increase in pensions for players that took early retirement and the Social Security Election
  • Establishment of Group Health Insurance Plan
  • Substantive reforms to the NFL Disability Plan including the administrative and adjudication process
  • Additional benefits that assist alumni in their post football career life
  • Group licensing programs and marketing programs that compensate retired players for activities that promotes the NFL

What have we accomplished?

First and foremost, the substantial increase in the Pension Plan for pre-1993 players was a significant victory for retired players. This was the number one goal expressed by retired players and the membership of the NFL Alumni.  Our push to get the owners and the players to establish a rookie salary system that reigned in the enormous salaries and bonuses was instrumental in producing a revenue stream to fund the Legacy Benefit. We were also successful in helping the players that took early retirement and the social security election.   

Could the NFL and NFLPA have agreed to a larger contribution?  Of course, but that would have reduced the pool of money available for active player salaries and benefits. This was DeMaurice Smith’s first CBA negotiation and he needed to bring home the bacon for the active players. That was his number one job, because he represents them. Let’s face it, if he didn’t, his days would have been numbered. He didn’t just bring home the bacon, he brought home the whole hog! Every single benefit in the new CBA had substantial increases for active players.    

As for retired players, we still have issues that were not adequately addressed in the CBA, including our calls to remove the 15 year deadline to file for T&P disability, establishing a COLA (cost of living adjustment) for the Pension Plan and providing group health insurance for retirees. Nonetheless, there were some reforms that should be mentioned. In particular, the new disability plan language states you do not have to prove that your disability arose from injuries sustained while playing in the NFL. That was a hurdle that has now been knocked down.  

Even though we still don’t have a COLA built into our Pension Plan, the establishment of the Legacy Benefit will increase our pensions which in essence will act as a COLA.

If you are 55 years of age and are in a position to wait until 65 years of age, by all means do it. Your pension will be actuarially adjusted and increased by more than 2.5 times what it would have been if you took it earlier. For example, if your regular Pension and Legacy Benefit will total $2,500 at age 55, it will increase to over $6,250 a month at age 65. Well worth the wait!

In my opinion, the biggest disappointment in the new CBA was our inability to get the NFL and NFLPA to provide group health insurance for the former players that need it.  There’s an important distinction here. Keep in mind, there are many former players that don’t need health insurance because they are covered by an employer policy or Medicaid and Medicare. But what about the men that are not covered by an employer policy and are unable to obtain one due to football related injuries that make the cost of health insurance unaffordable? This is one area that we all need to continue to advocate for and push for inclusion into the NFL Player Care Foundation’s program and services. In the new CBA, they are now calling this the Former Player Life Improvement Plan. I can’t think of a better way to improve a former player’s life than to make sure they have basic health care insurance.  

I should note that the active players were able to continue their 5 free years of medical insurance after retiring and they also maintained the HRA (Health Reimbursement Account) which, for eligible players can cover premiums and other basic medical costs long after the 5 years have expired. In addition to that, they were able to get the owners to agree to allow them to continue to be covered under the current NFL group health insurance policy after they retire, thereby making it much more affordable to them.

Could the NFL and NFLPA have allowed former players to join the NFL’s group health insurance plan? What would it cost? I don’t know the answer to those questions, but I do know that the current retired player lawsuit against the NFLPA seeks to address the medical needs of retired players.  Maybe the 22 million in annual funding that the NFLPA has at its discretion for former players can provide some type of group health care insurance coverage for retirees.

Speaking of medical needs, another victory for retired players was achieved even before the CBA was signed. George Martin and the NFL Alumni spearheaded the effort to establish a LTC (Long Term Care) Insurance program that has approved the applications of 1,335 former players and 232 wives of former players.  Hopefully, most of us will never need this type of insurance. It is only available in the event that we cannot take care of ourselves, but as with most insurance policies, it’s nice to know that it’s there if we need it.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of former players that have been denied the LTC coverage because, according to the insurance company, they have pre-existing conditions that disqualified them. As I’ve stated before, there is a gap between the LTC is program and the 88 Plan. Some players are too injured – physically and/or cognitively – to qualify for the LTC insurance, but not enough to qualify for the 88 Plan.  We need to find a way to fill that hole.

I would be remiss if I didn’t say a few words about another key goal that the NFL Alumni achieved; the NFLA Career & Business program. This program has assisted younger NFL retirees with the transition into society after their pro football career. The program includes Continued Education, Internships, Financial Advise, Diverse Player Activations, Resume Writing, Interviewing Skills and other courses that prepare former players for the world of work and starting their own business.

One of the most important goals of the NFL Alumni was achieved when George Martin announced that GLA (Group Licensing Agreements) are now available to all retired players. This is a major step in the right direction, but in order for us to maximize the power and effectiveness of the GLA, we need all retired players to execute the agreement. There is strength in numbers and we need to take advantage of that.  

Although we have been slowly chipping away at it, we still need to obtain additional property rights from the NFL in order to effectively market players, products and merchandise. Increasing our revenues through the sale of merchandise and apparel to the public is an area that will eventually give the NFL Alumni the earning power it needs to become totally independent of owner funding. At present, we are only selling merchandise to our own members and that will need to change if we expect to have any significant increase in revenues.

In closing, I want to wish all of you a happy Thanksgiving. 

Lets’ not forget that there are a lot of folks in our communities that are having a difficult time making ends meet.  Many families are served by the activities and events that take place through the local Chapters all across our great nation.

Do what you can to get involved in your Chapter activities during the holidays and let’s make a positive impact in our communities. 

“I don’t think you ever stop giving. I really don’t. I think it’s an on-going process. And it’s not just about being able to write a check. It’s being able to touch somebody’s life”

– Oprah Winfrey –