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: Nov 18, 2008
Posted on: September 3, 2011 12:21 pm

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

Something tells me that the people on here unsympathetic to Pastorini.......are under age 40!! If you are over 40, we remember just how much these 'Old Timers' meant to the game of football. We remember the beatings they took. We remember the days before football became SOFT!!

The old players deserve more.....MUCH more!!

Since: Dec 2, 2006
Posted on: September 3, 2011 11:53 am

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

Agree and as a big Steeler fan in the 70s you still had to love Dan Pastorini. He was a poor man's Kenny Stabler and lived a wild life just like 'the Snake'. Yes  - he wore the first 'Flak' jacket and had no fear....sadly though he let life happen with reckless abandon. To laugh at an extra grand a month tells the Shakespeare said: 'Me thinks thou doth protest too much." Over a grand a month in your pension  is the same as today's players tossing you 150k today....this way though you can't blow it my ya Dan....chill!

Since: Jul 3, 2007
Posted on: September 3, 2011 9:49 am

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

Pastorini played with broken ribs. He is the reason that flap jacket was invented. He refused to sit with broken ribs. You can call him a whiney baby now but to say he was a whiner during his playing days would be incorrect. But in the 70's there was no twitter, facebook, social media, ten thousand sports shows on the tv and radio, etc....

Since: Sep 3, 2011
Posted on: September 3, 2011 9:45 am

How do you spell greedy . . . Dan Pastorini

I really hope that somewhere, when I am old and grey, someone comes up to me and says, "here's an extra $1,000 a month, you don't have to do anything for it."  Of course, naturally, I would respond, "this is ridiculous, you should have given me way more than that."  What a jerk this guy is.  Any one of us would be thrilled to get an extra $12k a year without doing anything for it.  I don't know about you, but I work hard for my money, and I don't expect a handout from anyone.  And if I got one, I would be incredibly thankful, and not piss all over the people who gave it to me.

Since: Jul 3, 2010
Posted on: September 3, 2011 5:00 am

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

Pastorini needs to move to another to live if 1700 a month does not pay for the rent??????????  People should save their money - in all walks of life.  Pastorini made a Hollywood movie....and he likely has lived a drug ridden induced life?????  That is where the money went????  Get real...who built what....the fans built the freaking league.  Get real Dan youu be looking like a chump and a fool.

Since: Aug 27, 2011
Posted on: September 3, 2011 4:19 am

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

Pastorni , you should've saved some of your money , it's nobody's fault but your own you had a bad buisness deal and two costly marriages .... She if you had been Gay you'd still have your money. Haha. It's true ever see a poor gay guy .?

Since: Jan 5, 2010
Posted on: September 3, 2011 1:28 am

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

Am I right in recollecting that Pastorini also was involved in some form of auto racing? Seems like he wanted to court disaster and feel that exhilaration but doesn't want to accept the consequences of that lifestyle. Life is a balancing act. You gain something and you give something up.

Since: Sep 26, 2006
Posted on: September 2, 2011 10:33 pm

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

"$1700 doesn’t even pay for my rent"

Uh Dan, maybe you need to shake yourself! People don't feel sorry for you!! I have a good sized home in Cincinnati, OH and I don't pay much more than $1000 which includes interest and mortgage! Get a clue you woman!!  

Since: Jan 20, 2008
Posted on: September 2, 2011 10:07 pm

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

Pastorini was just a little before my time (I got into football during the 1980 season AFTER Plunkett had taken over as Raiders QB), so I'm just wondering:

Did he whine this much when he played?

Since: Sep 2, 2011
Posted on: September 2, 2011 10:02 pm

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

Don't be such a hater. Wouldn't any of us trade what we do for a chance to play in the NFL? These guys are often crippled for life and the least the active players and owners can do is cover their health care.

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