Blog Entry

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

Posted on: August 31, 2011 8:26 am
Dan Pastorini is upset with the way he feels been treated by the NFL and the NFLPA (US Presswire).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Dan Pastorini is mad. He’s mad at the NFL owners. He’s mad at the NFL Players Association. And he’s mad at Drew Brees.

“F--- Drew Brees,” Pastorini said.

Pastorini is mad at the way he feels he and his former NFL compatriots have been treated, and though Brees isn’t the true villain in this movie, he’s also an easy target for something he said two years ago.

Pastorini looks at the new CBA deal and figures out how much more money he’ll receive as a player who retired before 1993. He remembers how much he made when he was playing quarterback for the Oilers, Rams, Raiders and Eagles from 1971-82. Then, he thinks about the NFL Players Association and the NFL owners -- and the labor fight for which he couldn’t participate -- and his blood boils.

He gets mad, really mad, and he lets loose on a rant in which he places blame on both sides who he believes simply doesn’t care about the men who helped build the NFL into what it is today.

The $620 million “Legacy Fund” added to the new CBA for the players who retired before 1993 that will be used to increase pensions? And the $300 million in other benefits, including those for health? It’s simply not good enough for Pastorini. Not good enough for how much he says he sacrificed.

“I’m going to get an extra $1,000 a month. Big f------ deal,” the 62-year-old Pastorini told recently. “I think it’s a travesty the way they treat the older players. I’m part of that group. They’re throwing us a bone with the $620 million. By the time they get to a new CBA after 10 years, they won’t have to worry about us pre-93er’s. It’s sad, but it’s their M.O. They want to wait for us to die.

“What they’re talking about now is to give us a bone and to shut us up. It’s just wrong. It’s damn wrong. And the players association is just as greedy as the owners are, if not more so. The players don’t go to bat for us, which makes us ashamed.”

And what Brees said in 2009 when discussing retired players who complained about their benefits -- as recounted here by’s Mike Freeman -- really upsets Pastorini.

“There's some guys out there that have made bad business decisions,” Brees said then. “They took their pensions early because they never went out and got a job. They've had a couple divorces and they're making payments to this place and that place. And that's why they don't have money. And they're coming to us to basically say, 'Please make up for my bad judgment.' In that case, that's not our fault as players."

It might have seemed Brees was talking directly to Pastorini, who’s had to declare bankruptcy twice and has been divorced after ending his one-time Pro Bowl career. Clearly, Pastorini feels that Brees -- who is making $7.4 million this year and could be the next quarterback to win a $90 million contract -- made it personal.

“My first year’s salary was $25,000, then $30,000, then $35,000,” Pastorini said. “These guys make my first contract in a game. Look at (former NFLPA executive director) Gene Upshaw and what he left his wife when he died? How did he leave her $15 million? They’ve been screwing us from day one. My pension was $1,100 a month, then $1,200, then $1,400, and now it’ll be $1,750. No medical, no disability -- $1700 doesn’t even pay for my rent.”

Not surprisingly, the NFL has a slightly different opinion.

Said NFL spokesman Greg Aiello in a statement to “We respectfully disagree with Dan.” The NFLPA declined comment on the issue.

But let’s look at the other side of the story. Before the newest CBA, the Legacy Fund didn’t exist. The NFL and the NFLPA are both contributing at least $300 million over the next 10 years to add more money for former players. If it’s $1,000 more a month for a retiree, that’s $1,000 more than that former player had before.

And though Brees’ statement continues to backfire on him and the union, those close to Brees says he was one of the retired players’ biggest advocates in trying to give back to the players who came before him -- and to get everybody to understand the importance of doing so. Witness a radio interview he gave last April to XX 1090 in San Diego.

“I know that I’m fighting for so many people here, for former players in the form of improving their pensions and disability benefits to take care of those guys that built this game for us and future players too,” he said. “To be honest with you, this is one of those things that when a settlement is reached, that settlement is something that I’m probably never going to benefit from. It’s guys before me, it’s guys that are going to come after me. So for me, there’s so many guys that made sacrifices before us to make this game better.”

Dan Pastorini with Bum Phillips, Wade Phillips and Bob McNair (Getty). Pastorini (second from the left in the photo to the left) has good reason to want better medical benefits as well. With so much newly emerging information about chronic traumatic encephalopathy, Pastorini is worried that he’s going to be suffering from the dementia-like condition if he lives long enough.

“I’ve been to clinics. I’ve been put on vitamin regimens. I find myself not remembering people’s names,” said Pastorini, who said he sustained at least a dozen concussions when he played. “I’ll go to the kitchen for a cup of coffee, and I can’t remember why I went in there. It’s possible I have that. I won’t know until they cut my brain open.”

Pastorini isn’t alone in his thoughts. During Super Bowl week in Dallas, the NFL Alumni held a press conference that featured former players who were fighting -- and outspoken in their demand -- for better pension benefits and long-term health care.

But in reality, what can the NFL and the NFLPA say to fully satisfy the league’s alumni? Probably nothing, and to their credit, both sides feel like they’ve tried to improve the conditions for the retirees. But to Pastorini, it’s just not good enough.

“There’s a lot of greed in this business,” Pastorini said. “We’re the guys on the outside looking in, and we’re never going to be compensated for what we do. We built the game, and these guys should be kissing our ass now. But they’re not.”

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Since: Jul 23, 2008
Posted on: September 1, 2011 1:58 pm

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

@nepatfan67:  AMAZING POST!!  Too many people are narrow-minded and uneducated to understand what you have stated, so eloquently.  The game is played for the MEDIA & it is "pussified", if that's even a word.

Since: Jul 23, 2008
Posted on: September 1, 2011 1:02 pm

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

@easywomen:  Thank you for your intelligent and clear explanation for why current players DO owe something to past players.  Pastorini may sound like an idiot because he is one.  But that doesn't take away from the fact that todays game (players & owners) benefit from players from the past that busted their a&&, head, legs, etc.  Former players are not looking for a handout.  They are looking for a little recognition and respect for what they help build.

Since: Jun 24, 2008
Posted on: September 1, 2011 12:06 pm

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

See article in Sports Illustrated...."I think I shot my wad in this town".  It'll give you a little insight into the mind of this egotistical assbag..."we built this game"  what an idiot! 

Since: Jun 24, 2008
Posted on: September 1, 2011 12:03 pm

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

Dan Pastorini was a bitchy assbag when he played and it seems that hasn't changed

Since: Nov 21, 2006
Posted on: September 1, 2011 11:50 am

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

Sounds like Brees was right on. I guess he touched a nerve with the old dude, truth hurts buddy. You had like 12 years in the league, stop crying and be a man. 

Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: September 1, 2011 11:45 am

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

Dear Dan,  You are a self righteous greedy and bitter man.  You should stop blaming Drew for your lot in life.  I mean he just got you an extra thousand dollars a month.  Do you even understand what that would do for the everyday working man.  And here you are bitching about it.  Maybe you should look at your life style and think about cutting back.  If $1700 wont cover your rent you should reevaluate your living arrangements.  How many games  have you paid to get in over the ast 20 years?  Less you forget it is the fans paying these current players salaries as well as your pension.  The fans that pay to get into a game or buys hats and jerseys.  Every generation thinks the ones that come after them owes them something.  Seems to me you are just as greedy as the people you are complaining about.  The game is bigger and better than it was in your playing days.  It is the current players that make it that way.  So their piece should be bigger.  Did you ever look up the players that came before you and fight for them to get more?

Since: Sep 1, 2011
Posted on: September 1, 2011 11:43 am

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

Pastorini is a Biatch!  I risked my life (willingly, just like Dan signed contracts willingly) for 20 years in the military and get $1800 a month before taxes.  I didn't have a union to get me more money while I was in, nor do I rely on current military members to negotiate a raise in my pension.  I have a job after retirement, just like Dan needs to get out there and get a job.  But no, he wants to live off a pension after working for 10 whole years, and he blew all his money he made during his 10 year playing career.  Another spoiled athelete, but this time it's an old school athelete pissing and moaning.

Since: Sep 23, 2006
Posted on: September 1, 2011 11:40 am

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

Pastorini is on welfare.  He should be happy he is getting a pension.  Quit taking and do something for yourself instead of asking for handouts  

Since: Dec 9, 2008
Posted on: September 1, 2011 11:34 am

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

This is why players should stay in college til they graduate. Get a degree then go play football. Is it possible they could get hurt they're senior year and lose millions? Sure but at least they have something to fall back on. Most players are out of the NFL by their thirties. And very few make it til their fourties. That leaves them with 25-35 years of other work they could be doing elsewhere. Not to mention all the money a few of them make over their careers. If Pastorini can't make rent with 1,750 a month than he needs to downsize. I have no problem with football players making a bunch of money, because it's a rough business. But that doesn't make them any different in life as the rest of us. You can't plan on making a bunch of money from retirement. You have to plan ahead when the money is coming in. Brees is not a lawyer. He's a football player. The fact that he fought for retirees at all is good enough. Was his words 2 years ago harsh? Sure, but there is truth in those words and he was speaking objectively. Typically any finger pointing can be done in front of a mirror. Good call Pastorini. Way to make an ass of yourself.

Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: September 1, 2011 11:32 am

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

>>>Do you deserve a full retirement for a job you held for less than 10 years????

Again, forget the target put on Pastorini's back by this article.

It's about old players with health issues who need medical help because of what happened to them during their playing days, and millionaires who waste their money on bling and bang who could help out but won't.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or