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Article: Casualties of the NFL


BlueSky

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We all know and accept that football, especially at the NFL level, can be a brutal game on and off the field. You're golden as long as you can perform, and gone when you can't. It's naive to think it should or ever would be otherwise.

But does the game - the NFL and/or NFLPA - owe anything to players who end up with debilitating injuries? I don't mean guys who limp a little, I mean guys who can't function in life. The plight of these players has been in the news recently but the following story in this month's issue of Men's Journal really put the problem in perspective. It's quiite an eye-opener, especially for anyone who thinks every NFL player made and/or has millions or that they just should have planned better or made better financial decisions.

If you're on this board, you're into sports, so it'll be interesting to discuss this and hear different points of view. It's long but a great read:

Casualties of the NFL

There's more on Brian DeMarco and his family, including video, here.

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This is all on the NFLPA Gene Upshaw has done nothing for former players, and the current players are too greedy thinking of the now to realize this may happen to them

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The answer to this is actually a yes... and a no.

Does the NFL/NFLPA owe anything to older players, say, pre-1982? Absolutely. These are the men who helped build the National Football League into the product that exploded into the national consciousness, then cemented itself there. Once the league reached a point where its players were assured a wage in their short careers well beyond those of the common man (which is why I pick the 1982 date) would make in his lifetime, it became if nothing else a moral obligation to those players to ensure their solvency in cases where they encountered mounting medical expenses which could be related to their days on the gridiron.

To the modern player, however, the NFL/NFLPA owes virtually nothing. Since the 1982 strike, and particularly after 1987's CBA extension, the players have collectively made mountains of money alongside the owners, with average NFL salaries now approaching $2 million per player, per year. In this type of environment the onus is clearly on the players - to make what they can during their NFL careers, and thereafter to save that money in case the situations that befell players such as John Mackey hit them as well. For modern players I will bear no sympathy - they know the risks, both physical and financial, and they accept them willingly.

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The answer to this is actually a yes... and a no.

Does the NFL/NFLPA owe anything to older players, say, pre-1982? Absolutely. These are the men who helped build the National Football League into the product that exploded into the national consciousness, then cemented itself there. Once the league reached a point where its players were assured a wage in their short careers well beyond those of the common man (which is why I pick the 1982 date) would make in his lifetime, it became if nothing else a moral obligation to those players to ensure their solvency in cases where they encountered mounting medical expenses which could be related to their days on the gridiron.

To the modern player, however, the NFL/NFLPA owes virtually nothing. Since the 1982 strike, and particularly after 1987's CBA extension, the players have collectively made mountains of money alongside the owners, with average NFL salaries now approaching $2 million per player, per year. In this type of environment the onus is clearly on the players - to make what they can during their NFL careers, and thereafter to save that money in case the situations that befell players such as John Mackey hit them as well. For modern players I will bear no sympathy - they know the risks, both physical and financial, and they accept them willingly.

Part of the problem is many of these players spend money like it grows on trees and dont think of the future, then career ending injury bam they have nothing and end up in this mess.

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And that's their fault, Tank. The older players never had that opportunity really. When the season was done, they sold insurance, drove cabs, became liquor salesmen, just to meet the mortgage and pay the bills.

What NFL player today has a job outside of football? Virtually none, because they don't need to.

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My main problem is the union denying disability claims because they claim the injuries aren't the result of playing football. Right, a guy just coincidentally suffered 12 concussions, had nothing to do with playing in the NFL for years. :rolleyes:

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What a player makes now is really irrelevant to whether they're covered by the league's insurance. As an entertainment venture, the players deserve their cut of the overall revenue.

If players squander the money they've earned, then they're idiots. However, the league should step up and provide the medical coverage for long-term game-related ailments. But medical coverage is where it should end for players of the last couple of decades. For older players, the league should be more forthcoming and do the right thing by these guys. Of course, modern players seem to forget that it is a brotherhood and that they need to campaign for their predecessors.

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Don't most of these players get help from the NFL or NFLPA (or any league for that matter) about how to manage their money? How to make investments or run a business if they wish to do so? I don't know if the NFLPA is legally obliged to pay the these retirees benefits, but I do hope they do something just as grand gesture to players of the past because after all, the NFL is in much better shape than GM... :oops:

This issue notwithstanding, Gene Upshaw is the best union boss among the pro sports leagues right now. You have labour peace, players making money and owners making money. It is important that the owners make money as well because too often when a company loses money, workers become insecure about their jobs and when negotiations take place, a heat debate takes place. When there's labour peace, you're assured that there will be football during that time and sponsors can invest in your product and more money comes in.

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Don't most of these players get help from the NFL or NFLPA (or any league for that matter) about how to manage their money? How to make investments or run a business if they wish to do so? I don't know if the NFLPA is legally obliged to pay the these retirees benefits, but I do hope they do something just as grand gesture to players of the past because after all, the NFL is in much better shape than GM... :oops:

This issue notwithstanding, Gene Upshaw is the best union boss among the pro sports leagues right now. You have labour peace, players making money and owners making money. It is important that the owners make money as well because too often when a company loses money, workers become insecure about their jobs and when negotiations take place, a heat debate takes place. When there's labour peace, you're assured that there will be football during that time and sponsors can invest in your product and more money comes in.

If they dont they should

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