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Blog Entry

NFL Alumni wants to be heard

Posted on: February 2, 2011 9:04 pm
Posted by Josh Katzowitz

DALLAS – George Martin, the executive director and president of the NFL Alumni, had made his speech this afternoon and had highlighted his points in front of a small gathering of NFL media and former players during a news conference.

Before he took questions, though, he pointed toward the video screen in a third-floor ballroom at the Sheraton-Dallas Convention Center.

Up popped a video of coaching and playing legend Mike Ditka – who’s been an outspoken critic of how the current NFL establishment treats the players who competed 40, 50 and 60 years ago.

Ditka – who seemingly can inspire the person listening to him to do something or anything in any setting – punctuated his interview with this: “The pension is not fair. Period.”

And from there, some of the former players in attendance – Pro Football HOFer Mike Haynes, Carl Mauck and Tom Nowatzke were a few of them – perked up, and the rest of the NFL Alumni got into the rhythm of the presser.

Nowatzke was nearly moved to tears and had to compose himself when talking about a former colleague who died after his brain had turned to “mush” from taking so many hits during his playing days. Mauck exclaimed, “We are not going away. When one of us dies, we’re going to pick up the baton and keep trucking.” And Martin discussed how Ditka receives no health care from the NFL and remarked, “That, to me, is telling. That, to me, is troublesome. That, to me, must change. … If not now, when?"

The wishlist for Martin and the NFL Alumni includes an increase in pension benefits and long-term health care for its former players. And he wants to continue drawing attention to his group, particularly when commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith are not talking about issues that affect the NFL Alumni.

That’s why he’s sending a GPS device to Smith and Goodell with the address of the NFL Alumni’s office preprogrammed into it. Sure, it’s a stunt, but Martin also is trying to send a message.

“Anytime they want to add us to the discussion, they know where to find us,” Martin said. “Or call us, and we’ll be there.”

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 16, 2012 10:49 pm

NFL Alumni wants to be heard

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 10, 2012 1:04 am

NFL Alumni wants to be heard

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 26, 2011 11:15 am
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Since: Nov 28, 2011
Posted on: November 29, 2011 7:27 am
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