Bernie Parrish Makes A Point (or Two!)
Guys — This one is really for the Player Reps and particularly the 10 celebrities on the NFLPA Executive Committee.
Sounds important, doesn’t it? Executive Committee. It’s like they’re real executives with real fiscal responsibilities; like increasing pension benefits $1.63 per day for pre-1982 players ($50 per month divided by 30.5 days per month equals $1.63 per day) and operating a disability system that is designed to deny injured NFL players benefits. Only 121 out of the 13,000 who have played our violent game actually receive disability benefits according to tax records while 196 more receive retirement benefits, not disability benefits as claimed by Upshaw and Plan attorneys who in their usual double talk have also claimed for years that “the law” says a player cannot receive both retirement and disability benefits at the same time.
Washington Post reporter Michael Leahy used Upshaw’s own scandal manager lawyer Lanny Davis to debunk this myth. Davis told Leahy that “the law” does not say what Upshaw claims it says and the only reason the plan doesn’t pay both disability and retirement at the same time is because the union’s attorney, The Groom Law Group, drafted the wording and Upshaw and the owners’ negotiator, Harold Henderson, then implemented the clause, saying the plan would not pay both disability and retirement at the same time and it has nothing to do with the law, specifically not ERISA law.
Upshaw’s “It’s the law” myth is another NFLPA lie not only unchallenged by his NFLPA bosses, but also by YOU the Executive Committee who are responsible for all of the NFLPA’s lies whenever you tell them or one of your employees tells them. The NFLPA lawyer Doug Ell told the Congressional Committee that 317 (121+196= 317) retired players receive disability benefits when in fact 196 of the 317 receive retirement not disability benefits. Ell’s double talk about the number of disabled players is part of the Owner/Upshaw campaign to deny retired disable players disability benefits. Upshaw and Ell are trying to hold “the flood gates” of valid disability claims shut.
I wanted you guys to see this as well as the Player Reps. I encourage you not to kiss up to the active players or make the mistake of thinking that if they only knew the truth they would do the right thing. They have proven that they think $1.63 benefit increase and anything else Upshaw asks them to rubber stamp is the right thing to do. They don’t want to be educated about it; rather they’re “in on it.”
With the exception of Kyle Turley, Matt Birk, and a few others the vast majority of current players are only interested in grabbing every dime they can, while they let their clown Chad Johnson cheapen the game to the point of resembling a minstrel show as Spike Lee succinctly and accurately remarked. They have also changed the rules to keep from hurting a seeming psychotic T.O. with a horse collar tackle, and no more helmet-to-helmet hits, no head slaps, don’t touch the QB’s head, let the QB slide down instead of tackling him and no clothes lining or forearms to the head, let the receivers run after five yards, wear facemasks like snow plows to protect your pretty faces and — my favorite — you run out of bounds at every opportunity to keep from getting hit. NBA basketball has more contact than the game you pansy asses play today. You guys need to complain some more; maybe they’ll let you wear flags. You wouldn’t want to bruise a high-priced celebrity.
The game reflects the character of today’s players who block by pushing and shoving with their hands like 350 lb. steroid-pumped Sumo wrestlers surrounded by teammates who can’t tackle well enough to stop a Chicago Bears kick returner from running through them like they weren’t there. He is lucky he didn’t play when Chuck Bednarick, Sam Huff, Ernie Stautner, Bill George, Gene Hickerson, Sidney Williams, Pat Fisher, Mike Ditka, Gino Marchetti, Herb Adderley, Erich Barnes, Vince Costello, Galen Fiss, Bob Lilly, Leroy Jordan, Joe Schmidt, Alex Karras, Ray Nitschke, Willie Wood, Myron Pottios, John Henry Johnson, and hundreds of others who knew how to tackle and took great pride in our contact sport. Yes, I include myself among those having covered more than 100 NFL punts and kick-offs and none of which ever resulted in a touchdown for the return team and yes, I made the tackle over 60% of the time. According to Paul Brown and his staff, I carried out the details of my assignment as Left Cornerback 98% of the time and gave up an average of only 2 touchdowns per season playing every defensive down of every game — except for part of one quarter because of a concussion — for 7 seasons.
Be reminded that we — I and others of the late 1950′s and early 1960′s era — won the retirement plan and gifted it to you and all future players. You didn’t win it! Upshaw didn’t win it! WE won it! Without your help, we tore it out of the hides of the Halas, Mara, Brown, Rooney, Rosenbloom, Rozelle Cartel at the cost of blacklisting and reprisals. We then gifted it to you and all future NFL players. Now you and the thug you’ve hired have diverted — stolen, in our eyes — the funds originally intended to go to the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan to give yourselves 68% of the benefits of our Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan plus a Second Career and other Plans that cut us out entirely in violation of the original Plan Documents. 68% of the retirement plan ($470 per month per year vs. $250 per month per year) wasn’t enough for you greedy bastards or rather you pineapple-juggling executives, so you created other plans to cut us out entirely and grab all the money you can for yourselves.
Under a real labor leader, a competent labor leader, Marvin Miller, leading Major League Baseball followed their original retirement plan goals from the late 1950′s early 1960′s to today and it is 300% better for all baseball players than our current Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan even though we had originally modeled it after baseball’s plan but you guys have chosen to change the plan to divert the money available for funding to yourselves. Baseball’s gross income is less and its expenses are higher including its payroll the number of people covered is less than 20% difference. There is no excuse for our NFL retirement plan benefits not to be greater than baseball’s. The reason is the underhanded machinations of the owners and your Executive Director. You are responsible for them and “No,” we are not looking for your autographs.
An NFL player getting arrested was a very rare event when I played. Today, you need a program for every weekend to see who didn’t get arrested and who hasn’t violated parole or which Cincinnati Bengal got re-arrested. Jerry Jones wants repeat offender Pacman Jones on his team, while Bill Parcells says he intends to build a team in Miami without “thugs or hoodlums.” Good luck, Coach.
ALOHA! Lehman Brothers cost our Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan tens of millions on April 2, 2008. Lehman’s maneuver selling off a huge amount of secondary issues devalued the company by 10% according to market analyst today; today…today… one day 10% value loss.
Our retirement Plan’s Bear Stearns stock holdings were less than I was originally informed but is still causing a substantial loss to our Retirement Plan because the values measured to our Plan were based on a $97 to $99 per share price when it is now in fact a $10 per share price on approximately one million shares. That would exceed an $80,000,000 loss in one week. Another seemingly strange feature of “your” Plan audit lists hundreds of millions of shares, for example of Lehman Bros shares on page 8 at Par Value of $15,400,000, then the Cost listed at $15,400,000 and Proceeds of sale $15,400,000. How does our Plan buy and sell these shares without paying a commission on either the purchase or the sale? Having once been a stockbroker, I’ve never seen nor heard of “no-commission” trades before. Perhaps you brilliant executives should be trying to find out where our investments stand before your employee Upshaw and his cronies allow them to go in the tank.
Your plan auditors, the ones you just approved again, the ones you never heard of — Abrams, Foster, Nole & Williams — although next to invisible can be reached at (410) 433-6830. The Pension Plan office number is (800) 638-3186 and since they work for you, you might call them and ask what is going on. Mr. Joseph Ailinger is at Mellon Bank at (617) 722-7571 perhaps he can help you find out what is happening with the investment of the assets of our retirement plan. If you have to ask what Mellon Bank has to do with our retirement plan, then you don’t know enough to be doing what you are doing. You might also ask “your” auditors why they do not give any count, or accounting of how many people (retired players, survivors, and or disabled players) are paid benefits out of the $53,332,266 total 2006 Benefit Payments they list. The number and categories of people paid benefits are not described in your conveniently incomplete Abrams, Foster audit because those who control the Plan don’t want anyone to know how few disabled players receive benefits out of the 13,000 who have played in the NFL. You 10 Executive Committee members control the Plan but you think you pass off your responsibility by hiring Upshaw and allowing him to act on your behalf, rubber-stamping everything he does. Then he double talks and double crosses you in his “partnership with Tagliabue (and Goodell)” as described by Patriots owner Robert Kraft and by Upshaw’s former Assistant Doug Allen who talked about “holding up our end of the (1993) bargain (we) made with the owners.” Allen of course is gone and Troy Vincent is expected to succeed Allen on his way moving up to take over Upshaw’s big money scam that he helped to create. Vincent has been thrown under the bus by his mentor, benched but probably not waived, with a revealing rant from Upshaw about how number two’s “always think they can do it better and push to be number one.”
Do you executives know who Legg Mason Capital Management, Inc or Neumeier Investment Co. or UBS Global Asset Management, Turner Investment Partners or Chartwell Investment Partners or Pacific Investment MGMT Co. or Smith Barney or Brandywine Asset Management, Inc or Western Asset Management Co. or State Street Bank & Trust or what they do or who they work for? Or why you are paying them millions in fees? Do you even know what an IRS Form 5500 or an LM2 report or Form 990 or an LM30 report is? Did you approve them before they were filed each year? Since you executives are ultimately responsible for the content of those Government reports you had better know what is in them and why. Your Hawaiian honeymoons are over.
Being on the NFLPA Executive Committee makes you ten uh…guys, you brilliant highly-educated, qualified executives, fiduciaries with very substantial financial responsibilities to decades of retired players and their families, whom you simply consider a bother, like your fans are a bother sometimes, be assured we are not your fans. We are on the path and we will get the truth, the answers you don’t have guts enough to demand from Upshaw and his cabal of insiders. The cabal shrunk by one in Hawaii showing there may be a little trouble brewing in Paradise.
Upshaw thinks it is OK for your management to tape record your actions and conversations in and around the locker room and you members of the Executive Committee don’t think that disqualifies him as a union leader, not just your union but any union. No other union leader or union would allow management to secretly tape their employee/union members.
Upshaw also recommends his agent/financial advisor crony Tom Condon as the best, which is an SEC violation since the SEC has issued a “No action” letter warning the NFLPA/Upshaw not to make any such recommendation of one agent/financial advisor or company over any other. Upshaw has violated the SEC’s “No Action” letter calling Condon the best agent/financial advisor. This is a serious SEC violation, as are all SEC violations that Upshaw may have also incurred in the Sean Jones/Amarouq Investment Manager situation and the Kirk Wright Ponzi scheme situation.
The NFL Management Council’s (now stepped down with more trouble brewing) Harold Henderson (another Upshaw crony who also works for the owners) attests in a letter to a retired player friend that he personally oversees the Retirement Plan on behalf of Roger Goodell and the League. Do any of you know Henderson (why does he makes $2.8 million a year) other than to shake his hand (the one without the knife in it)? Does anyone oversee the retirement plan for your Committee? How about you executives, since it’s your job?
Does it concern any of you union executives that The Washington Post and the Charlotte Observer (major newspapers) and New York Times went to great lengths and into detail to show that Upshaw lied to their reporters about retired and current player issues?
Now that we have a brand new Executive Committee, the Aloha Executive Committee and you have added investment banking and ERISA law expertise to the Committee ranks in the persons of Kevin Mawae, Domonique Foxworth and Mike Vrabel, we can now expect sound fiscal oversight. Rumor has it that Mawae and another Upshaw selection didn’t want the job, but Upshaw managed to talk the Hawaiian Mawae into it to help him defeat anticipated reverse discrimination suits against him, Vincent, (NFLPA) and Henderson (the NFL).
Of course you Executive Committee members, must now be held responsible for any and all losses that your hiring of Upshaw who hires Duerson, Van Note, and Condon who hire Callan (Pay-to-Play kickback) Associates, Aon (conflict-of-interest) Consulting and “others” to invest and manage our Retirement Plan assets and since the NFLPA website reported that you “…board of player reps reviewed the activities and finances of the NFLPA (including Callan, Aon, Upshaw, Groom Law Group and all other legal fees, and Players Inc.’s 79% and 21% operations, Upshaw et al expenses) over the past year and adopted a budget for the coming year (2008-2009)…” meaning you have thereby accepted responsibility for those expenditures.
I am still wondering how you “experienced” executives did all that in just four fun-filled days? I’ve been researching those activities and finances for two years now and I am still not finished but you “experts” can do it in four days while surfing, beaching and volcano watching between luaus. You celebrity executives certainly display remarkable abilities having acquired your vast business knowledge and financial acumen while holding down a full-time job playing in the NFL. Did your agent-financial advisors attend the Executive Committee meetings with you?
Oh, yes — Domonique Foxworth’s executive expertise includes protecting Upshaw from public criticism because he is tired of hearing it, something like what Lanny Davis, Upshaw’s $55,000 a month scandal manager was doing for a while before he and the “Truth Squad” disappeared.
Your NFLPA has paid Groom Law Group (Doug Ell) over $30 million since 1993, to defeat and diminish the interests of retired and disabled NFL players, Upshaw is being paid $6.7+million per year, attorney Jeffery Kessler and Dewey (Ballatine, now Leboeuf) are paid $4 million+ per year to defend Upshaw and the union from retired and disabled players. Meanwhile, the NFLPA’s in-house legal staff (headed by Richard Berthelson at $659,592 a year) is paid over $1,834,325 (and by the way — Berthelson doesn’t have a license to practice law in Washington, DC) to help Upshaw and the NFL and the NFLPA defeat retired player disability and retirement issues. The NFLPA and Upshaw et al pay attorneys Joseph Yablonski $400,000, Wiel Gotshall, Akin Gump Strauss etc, and the ever-present law firm of Covington & Burling millions more to defeat retired and disabled players’ efforts to get their benefits.
Your ever-changing NFLPA web page report on your Executive Committee’s Hawaiian vacation in part said the following:
“The three newly elected Executive Committee members are Domonique Foxworth, Denver Broncos; Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints; and Mike Vrabel, New England Patriots.
Current Executive Committee members who were re-elected to the board include Brian Dawkins, Philadelphia Eagles; Jeff Saturday, Indianapolis Colts; Mark Bruener, Houston Texans; Tony Richardson, New York Jets; Kevin Carter, Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Keenan McCardell, free agent (with Washington Redskins in 2007); and Donovin Darius, free agent (with Oakland Raiders in 2007).
In addition to the elections, the board of player reps reviewed the activities and finances of the NFLPA over the past year and adopted a budget for the coming year.
Andy Feffer, Executive Vice President and COO of NFL PLAYERS, emphasized the successful year that the company had across many categories, telling the players that it operates “for the players, about the players and owned by the players.”
“When I tell you today that your wages, benefits and pensions are unmatched, that’s real,” Feffer said during his presentation.”
Mr. Feffer seems unaware that MLB (baseball) average salaries are over $2.8 million and NBA salaries average over $5 million while the NFL’s average contracts are only $1.6 million. The NFLPA only owns 79% of Players Inc. (so the players “union” controlled by Upshaw basically controls 79% of Players Inc.) under some secretive subterfuge about who has owned — and who now owns — the other 21% of Players Inc. (and which is still without a satisfactory explanation). Oh — and NFL pensions are 1/3 of Baseball’s and the NBA’s.
Is being able to lie “enthusiastically” a requirement to work for the NFLPA or Players Inc?
The fact is that the players’ 60% of the Gross is smoke-and-mirrors, no matter how many times Upshaw or the owners or ESPN’s Chris Mortenson say it. 60% of the gross is another lie. No audit has ever been performed that would substantiate that the owners have ever paid you intellectuals even close to 60% of anything. The owners could have 200 phony employees on every club payroll or have every member of the owner’s family and friends on the club payroll, jets, yachts, race horses, mansions and other businesses could all be on club books and you brilliant business men have no idea, no clue and neither does your leader since 1983 whose education qualifies him to teach shop in junior high school while his business experience is getting his brain pounded by 300-lb. defensive tackles for 15 years then selling out to Al Davis and Allen Glick. Adding up the NFL players’ salaries published by Forbes at $1.6 million average with 53 players on 32 clubs and $15 million of benefits per each of 32 clubs as published by the NFLPA newsletter, you get a total a bit over $3 billion. If $7.1 billion is actually the league gross, $3 billion is only 42% of the gross NOT 60%. Simple arithmetic.
“Average NFL Salary“
The median salary in the NFL in 2007 is roughly $770,000. In 2006 it was about $720,000. The Steelers have the highest median salary at $1.1 million, the Packers the lowest at $440,000. The Redskins have the highest payroll at $123 million. The Giants have the lowest at $76 million.
The average (arithmetic mean) NFL salary in 2006 was $1.4 million.
Source: USA Today.
I disagree with Forbes average salary figure of $1.6 million. I believe it is, in fact, less than $1 million. The owners are pulling Upshaw’s puppet strings and you brilliant executives are paying him outrageous amounts — $6.7+million a year for being in the owner’s pocket. ESPN’s Chris Mortenson lied about Upshaw’s compensation saying he makes $4 million a year. Mortenson is obviously another owners’ suck-up trying to save their puppet’s rear to hold the cabal together. Upshaw et al plays you Executive Committee members for adolescent fools.
From your NFLPA 2007 LM2 Report on the last page 800+ it says: During the year ended February 28, 2007, the NFLPA and Players Inc entered into a new employment contracts with the Executive Director and Chairman, respectively, that employs him for the period of January 1, 2006 through December 31, 2010. The employment agreements stipulate bonuses of $3,600,000 and $2,400,000 from the NFLPA to the Executive Director and from Players Inc to the Grantor Trust, respectively, described below during the year ended February 28, 2007. The bonus amount paid during the year ended February 28, 2007 from the NFLPA is included in Schedule 11, Column (D). The employment contract with Players Inc established a Grantor Trust, which will be funded on an annual basis with the Players Inc salary and bonus amounts. The Grantor Trust assets are included in investments on Schedule 5 and the liability is included in deferred compensation on Schedule 5 and the liability is included in deferred compensation on Schedule 10, Other Liabilities. Upshaw’s compensation is $4,405,241 plus $3,600,000 plus $2,400,000 equals $10,405,241 for 2007. YOU BONE HEADS ARE PAYING UPSHAW $10,405,241 plus whatever Troy Vincent gave him in “secret sideletters” plus whatever Upshaw has coming out of the $14,501,843 of NFLPA deferred compensation. Doug Allen and his wife were paid over $1,900,000 of deferred compensation while Upshaw has always been compensated at approximately 5+ times what Doug Allen was paid. Therefore, based on that formula, Upshaw has another $10,000,000 coming out of the $14,501,843. So it is reasonable to assume that Upshaw is screwing you brilliant business Executives for at least $20,405,241 for 2008.
Can Kevin Mawae read a balance sheet? Have you ever hired a CPA firm to audit a company? Any company? Have any of you ever written a million dollar check to pay a bill? Has Mawae or any of the ten members of the Executive Committee ever run a business or had any employees? I doubt that any of you Executives could run a lawn maintenance company let alone a $200,000,000+ union and doubt any of you could build 6 hotels, a shopping center and 2 dormitories and Officers’ quarters and a sewage treatment plant for the government all at one time. I have stated several times that I have had over 3,000 construction employees (actually I’ve employed over 9,000 employees). I sent out over 1,920 W2 forms in one year. You Executive Pretenders have more in common with my laborers than the cost estimators, engineers or project managers who worked with me — yes, worked “with me” — in my company, not “for me.” You guys are drinking Upshaw’s Kool-Aid while Jeffery Kessler and the owners laugh all the way to the bank.
Since you hired this guy to play with the union’s money and according to his own reports he has caused a $480,000,000 asset loss from 93% funding to 51.2% of $1.2 billion, then that means each of you have cost us at least $48,000,000 each plus other losses. One strategy that has been suggested is to sue you Executive Committee members individually for the damages you have caused with your hiring practices plus punitive damages and do it one Executive Committee member at a time starting with the biggest contract, ability to pay or perhaps the biggest Upshaw advocate, biggest whatever… first.
All the new Goodell/Upshaw theatrics, saber-rattling over an owner lockout, with Goodell saying, “the CBA isn’t working.” Upshaw says there will be a strike or lockout or a union desertification, the sky is falling, the sky is falling, so keep me employed at $10.4+million a year… nothing more than orchestrated PR melodrama, to scare you heroes and keep you in line like the mushroom cloud if you don’t vote for Bush. And the owners are pushing to get Congress to look at the shiny object in this hand, while they use Upshaw et al to help pick everyone’s pockets with the other hand — again. Congress is not going to go for it again. Goodell’s insultingly dumb June 26, 2007 $500 political contribution shows he should still be an intern rather than representing any organization. And Upshaw’s luau is nearly over.
The biggest problem you bright guys have now is that the Giants won the Super Bowl with the lowest payroll in the league — the LOWEST. That means the rest of you turkeys are overpaid. Run that fact around your brilliant little business minds and see what you come up with. Gee Whiz – can I have your autogra…? Well maybe your fingerprints! Any of you guys get arrested in Hawaii? ALOHA!