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: Aug 23, 2006
Posted on: September 2, 2011 2:29 pm

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

Thank you for your service

Since: Jan 5, 2007
Posted on: September 2, 2011 1:27 pm

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

I know a couple of years ago Dan owned a Lamborghini racing team and he raced top fuel dragsters in the NHRA for several years after retiring from football.  I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that...  GOOD FOR HIM!  But, don't complain about what isn't being handed to you when you obviously have the means to live a the kind of live that 90% of 60-somethings would love to have.  It just makes you look like an ahole.    

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: September 2, 2011 1:05 pm

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

Super Bowl 46: Packers 42 Patriots 37

Since: May 4, 2008
Posted on: September 2, 2011 12:07 pm

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

How's it bad journalism if that's really how Dan Pastorini feels?  As an ex-reporter, reporters are schooled on how to use "off the record".  In short, when you speak to a reporter, you're always on record.  The only time you're off, is when you both agree to be off record.  Pastorini is just feeling guilty for saying something he feels he probably should not have.

Since: Jan 4, 2007
Posted on: September 2, 2011 9:57 am

Very bad journalism

I heard today from Dan Pastorini that the comments he made on this issue were OFF THE RECORD.

In fact, he said Mr. Katzowitz arranged to meet him to discuss an entirely different subject for a book Mr. Katzowitz was writing.

Good job, Josh.  Maybe there's a spot for you at Fox News / Newscorp where these sort of sleazy tactics seem to be about par for the course.

Since: Jul 27, 2011
Posted on: September 2, 2011 9:35 am

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

BTW  if $1700 doesn't even pay your rent, then stop living beyond your means.  It's a YOU problem.  

Since: Jul 27, 2011
Posted on: September 2, 2011 9:33 am

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

Sorry Dan Pastorini.  You should have saved your money when you were younger.  That'll teach ya.

Since: May 24, 2010
Posted on: September 2, 2011 9:28 am

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

The thing I find funny (and perhaps he was exaggerating) is that Dan Pastorini said $1,700 doesn't even pay his rent.  Now ladies and gents, I know those of us on here are not rich but I bet $1,700 would pay for your rent AND food each month.  The reality is maybe that's why he has financial issues, who says you have to pay that much for rent.  I was living in a nice place in Palm Beach for $1,000 a month and Ft. Lauderdale is even cheaper!  Of course I don't know where he calls home but if your expenses are to high that's a choice, move somewhere where it is cheaper and stop trying to live beyond your means because like it or not you don't have Drew Brees type money Dan!

Since: Jan 2, 2011
Posted on: September 2, 2011 8:36 am

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

Sorry, but you have to work. Nobody said they have to take care of you for the rest of your life. Sorry dan..welcome to the world we live in.

Since: Sep 2, 2011
Posted on: September 2, 2011 12:57 am

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

Served 9 years in the Marine Corps as an Enlisted man. I do get free college out of it, just as NFL players do for their skill. The difference is, since I only did 9 years, having served in Iraq , Afghanistan, and in the Gulf of Aden, I don't have a pension at all. I do not complain about this at all. I have risked life and limb, and I knowpeople who have lost both. Football players do take a lot of damage to themselves, but to complain about their pension for, in my opinion, doing less than people who have gone to war is pure greed. It really needs to be put into prospective. I completely agree with everything Brees said.

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