Blog Entry

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

Posted on: August 31, 2011 8:26 am
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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: Apr 9, 2010
Posted on: September 2, 2011 12:43 am
 

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

You are exactly right, ZydecoKingpin. Pastorini is behaving like the rest of the greedy athletes he is dragging through the mud. Even almost 30 years later, he says he needs more money. It's unbelievable to me the sense of entitlement of these former and current athletes have. Pastorini was blessed with plenty of money during his playing days and had the opportunity to earn a degree from Santa Clara. If he had utilized his education, lived within his means, and was smart about the money he earned playing football, driving, and whatever else, then this monthly payment he is complaining about, would all be gravy for him. He could be using this money in a number of different ways. By the way, I know of plenty of places where I live where $1700 will more than cover your monthly rent for a nice apartment.



Since: Sep 2, 2011
Posted on: September 2, 2011 12:40 am
 

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

  seriously are you complaining about $1700 pension...How bout this>>>My Dad served in vietnam, lost a leg and now gets a pension from the VA for $1200,, which he has to use to pay rent and put food on the table...So lets see if the People Serving in the Military now will give him some of their pension...I have never heard my dad complain about his pension...Seems Like a whiney baby Pastorini...Please



Since: Apr 10, 2010
Posted on: September 1, 2011 10:10 pm
 

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

I can see the retirees being upset at the way their end of the deal was bargained, but, as a rookie coming into the league, i would feel as if i got pissed on as i walked in the door!!! These guys got a raw deal and were sold out by the same guys who are going to be lining up sise by side with them.



Since: Apr 29, 2007
Posted on: September 1, 2011 8:08 pm
 

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

How's ole Jim Otto doing these days?  He has had multiple surgeries during and after his playing days.  I don't think he's too bad off financially.  He worked in the offseason and parlayed his money into a bunch of Burger King franchises, etc. 

Dan Pastorini isn't even in the same conversation as Otto and alot of other players. 



Since: Sep 1, 2011
Posted on: September 1, 2011 7:22 pm
 

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

Hey Dan - your career would have been nothing without Earl Campbell who is suffering more than you ever will. How much of your new benefits are you sending to Earl for keeping you in the league so long?



Since: Jul 28, 2007
Posted on: September 1, 2011 6:14 pm
 

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

Ok so let me get this straight:  Because of football you were able to get a full scholarship to the University of your choice, and were supposed to learn a trade.  You were able to make a pretty good salary playing football for 12 years.  You've been getting b/t $1200 and $1750 a month retirement from the league for the last 28 years.  Your fame allowed you to star in two low budget movies and marry a playboy model after retirement, and also have a pretty decent career as an NHRA driver.  Where'd all your money go, Mr. Pastorini?  I don't think the general public will be too sympathetic to your cause if they knew the answer to that question.



Since: Mar 15, 2008
Posted on: September 1, 2011 4:50 pm
 

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

"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."



thats the greatest quote i've heard in a  LONG time....Drew Brees is my new favorite player and Im not even a Saints fan. 



Since: Mar 15, 2008
Posted on: September 1, 2011 4:35 pm
 

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

why do the current players owe retired players anything?  They had their time and got what the market paid then AND they chose to play in the NFL....a very good living even back then. They get the retirement benefits they accepted in their own collective bargaining agreements and contracts. 

What happens today is really irrelevant. Its stupid. I dont owe the guy who had my job before me part of my salary and neither do current players.



Since: Aug 4, 2011
Posted on: September 1, 2011 3:34 pm
 

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

greed is alive and well in the NFL



Since: Oct 30, 2008
Posted on: September 1, 2011 2:03 pm
 

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

"$1700 doesn't even pay my rent."  Talk about poor financial management.  I don't believe anyone twisted his arm to live in a place he can't afford.


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