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 CBSSports.com 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 CBSSports.com’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 CBSSports.com: “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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Comments

Since: Jan 10, 2008
Posted on: September 4, 2011 6:25 pm
 

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

"$1700 doesn’t even pay for my rent"

Oh, I'm sorry the league doesn't support the level of living you are accustomed to living.  What a douche bag.
Maybe you should have planned better or taken time to learn some transferable skills for life after football......the ONLY person at fault is yourself. 
Talk about entitlement.......
Pastorini has had EVERY chance to make his life more stable - if he didn't think it was important to play ahead, why should the new generation?



Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: September 4, 2011 6:00 pm
 

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

Yes, it is fair "to expect an employer ( NFL Owner) to continue to increase benefits for a former employee (Player) after their contribution to the cause is past."

Unfortunately, Anti-union and anti-labor policies have been put into place in American Life that nobody bats at eyelash at the true cost of such institutionalization.

"At-will" employment is a ginned-up framework devised by management and its lawyers and lawmakers to strip workers of every possible opportunity for redress. This is a truly anti-democratic paradigm and is part of the overall "race to the bottom." It is dressed up in a false framework of "libertarianism" that only solidifies ecomomic power in the hands of ownership and management.

"You don't like it? Leave." is a pi** poor way to treat anyone, in virtually any social situation.
Perhaps Corporations, now defined as a "person" could take the responsiblity upon itself to act like a person in a civil society. Fat chance.



Since: Jul 22, 2007
Posted on: September 4, 2011 5:41 pm
 

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

In life, timing is everything. You're SCREWED, Pastorini-- just like lots of others for a lot of other reasons.  Go find something else to make money with. Why don't you write a book about how the NFLPA screwed you-- and make $millions that way.  At least you have a vehicle.



Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: September 4, 2011 5:31 pm
 

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

These pre-93 players deserve better treatment, penisons and especially healthcare. 

I guess the average football fan who posts here is either a Limbaugh dittohead, a millionaire, or a deluded libertarian. Get a clue. Read up on general labor history, read up on the health prognoses of former pro footballers. 

Drew Brees is a fine QB, but he should really have shut up about other people's lives. Who is he to judge?



Since: May 5, 2011
Posted on: September 4, 2011 5:03 pm
 

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

Get a job you waste of human life.  It looks like your pension is about half your working income after only putting in eleven years.  Those of working in the real world can't say that, so be grateful for what you are getting.  What have you been doing for the last 30 years anyway? 



Since: Aug 21, 2008
Posted on: September 4, 2011 1:18 pm
 

Dan: YOU ARE A LOSER

DAN, No one is responsible for your life BUT YOU - YOU IDIOT!!!!!!!  Opportunities exist every single day.  My guess is that YOU didn't take advantage of them.  It was your choice to play football, it was your choice to financially plan appropriately, it was your choice to save money and invest - YOUR CHOICE. 

YOU ARE A LOSER.   



Since: Jan 25, 2011
Posted on: September 4, 2011 12:03 pm
 

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

The old players didn't make the equivalent of a lotto or powerball jackpot every bleeping year like the current players do, and they are dying in droves of CTE complications.  Those who don't die are having episodes, chronic headaches, and depression symptoms.  And their wives, who loved them when they had money, desert them just when they are needed the most and try to get what little they have left in the divorce "settlement."

The players should take care of their own and the owners should be held responsible for lying about CTE.

What the players make today compared to player pay yesterday is not a valid argument for the leagues responsibilty to take care of them now. Owners made far less years ago than they do now.  The overall revenue has just grown, part in thanks to you and I who buy tickets, watch on television, buy jerseys and other parafanalia.  I earn a good income, but someone who was doing my job 15 years ago was making half that. Is it fair to expect an employer ( NFL Owner) to continue to increase benefits for a former employee (Player) after their contribution to the cause is past?


Like all companies, the NFL is an "at will" employer, and any player from any era has agreed to play in return for the compensation the owner has agreed to pay. If the player is not content with the extent of the job offer, then he is certainly within his rights to decline that offer and go find a different opportunity.  Nobody put a gun to their head and said you will play football, it is a choice they made and like everyone else, they must live with their choices.   



Since: Jul 11, 2008
Posted on: September 4, 2011 11:50 am
 

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

He DID work in another industry.  He drove dragsters.  Where was the CTE when he was doing 300 mph in a quarter mile?  He's so full of it his eyes are turning brown.



Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: September 4, 2011 11:13 am
 

Players and owners are too greedy

The greed on both sides is why the lockout happened, and the greed on both sides is what is causing ex-players to die early.  Every ex-player should get together for a class-action suit to the tune of about $10 billion.  Nearly every retired NFL player has some degree of CTE.  The league knew about concussions for years and hid the effects.  This issue alone makes Pastorini 100 percent correct here.  
 
The old players didn't make the equivalent of a lotto or powerball jackpot every bleeping year like the current players do, and they are dying in droves of CTE complications.  Those who don't die are having episodes, chronic headaches, and depression symptoms.  And their wives, who loved them when they had money, desert them just when they are needed the most and try to get what little they have left in the divorce "settlement."

The players should take care of their own and the owners should be held responsible for lying about CTE.  
 



Since: Jun 6, 2007
Posted on: September 4, 2011 10:42 am
 

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

F___ Dan Pastorini. When will people wake up and take responsibility for their own lives? He retired in 1982. That's 29 years to work in another industry and save for retirement. I agree the NFL may need to take special consideration regarding health benefits for former players, but increasing pensions when the rest of the world (that doesn't work for the government) is losing them? How much did the players in Dan's era increase pensions for the players from the 30's and 40's? While Drew Brees' statement may be unpopular, it doesn't make it untrue.
exactly.  29 years is an entire second career (like regular folks).  Also, im a graduate student, i make less than $1700 a month and get by, its called budgeting.  if thats all he has each month its more his fault than anyone and doesnt deserve a thing. 


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