Clearing the Air… Again

Jul 23, 2009

Bob GrantHere we go again. After the latest rounds of making it clear that I continue to support the need for independence, several retired players have been calling and writing to inform me that my name is once again being used to imply support for the Fourth & Goal/Alumni Alliance. At least now I can understand some of the confusion: many of you guys must have been wondering why I would be publicly stating my decision not to join the NFL Alumni organization when it appeared that I had been endorsing it.

Apparently, Fourth & Goal sent out a letter at the beginning of June (right after The Summit) to an unknown number of retired players to enlist their support of the new Alumni deal. It appears that not everyone got this letter since I know that a large number of us who attended the Summit never received it (so much for including ALL retired players, fellas). Also included with the 2-page letter were 5 pages from a “Confidential Business Plan” that caught my attention. The two most interesting pages are attached below (click on each page to enlarge for easier reading.) Important sections are highlighted and worth reading carefully. Both Marvin Cobb and I are listed as “Key members of the New Alumni Advocacy Group” along with other members of the current Board of Fourth & Goal.

F&G Executive Structure PageF&G Founding Members (?!!)

Now we know. So for the record, let me state it once again in no uncertain terms: I AM NOT ENDORSING OR JOINING THE FOURTH & GOAL/NFL ALUMNI ORGANIZATION. It’s a free country and everyone is entitled to do whatever they want so I’m not telling anyone else what to do. I’m just personally disappointed to discover this ongoing tactic to make things appear to be more than they really are.

Most of you know from previous posts and comments that I – along with most attendees from the Summit – had elected to remain impartially independent at this time so we can be free to evaluate opportunities and changes as they come up.

Early in June, Marvin had also discovered that his name had been included in their marketing plan that he had not seen or endorsed. Marvin even sent them an e-mail graciously asking them to remove his name from their materials (attached below).

Marvin Cobb's Email

I just happen to believe that retired players are capable of making their own decisions and choices so long as all the facts are presented to them in a clear and honest manner.

7 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. John Hogan
    July 23rd, 2009 at 3:39 pm #

    John Hogan

    As legal advisor to, and board member of Fourth & Goal, let me apologize to you for any inconvenience or embarrassment you may have suffered for anyone thinking that you had endorsed us, or that you were going to join the new NFL Alumni Association.

    Please don’t take this as a personal attack – as it is not – but now that we have cleared the air, could you return to topic and answer the questions I posed last week?

    John Hogan
    Disability Attorney

  2. Robert
    July 23rd, 2009 at 5:42 pm #

    John –

    As most of you know, we’ve been trying our best to moderate the discussions and comments going back-and-forth. Certainly the fact that your comments are getting posted here on Dave’s blog should be clear evidence of that. But I do have some good advice: Don’t quit your day job as a great disability attorney – sarcasm isn’t your strong suit.

    That said, if you’re referring to your earlier questions about an “organization” to send checks etc., perhaps it might be better to NOT have a large, well-funded organization with fancy offices and well-paid officers, if it means things get so out of hand and disorganized that you can’t even keep the names straight on the business plans and documents you send out to the very people you’re trying to recruit.

    Many of us have been trying our best to give everyone the benefit of the doubt when stupid things happen once. But when it happens over and over again, you have to wonder if it’s just incompetence and poor management or if it’s how we can expect business and communications to be handled in the future. Unfortunately, neither option bodes well if this is how you plan on starting off.

    IMHO A real apology would have gone a long way…

  3. Jim Jensen
    July 23rd, 2009 at 7:13 pm #

    Jim Crash Jensen
    What a mess… We are so divided. Eventually we will all die off and that’s what they want.

    Jim Jensen
    Miami Dolphins
    1981 – 1992

  4. Larry Kaminski
    July 23rd, 2009 at 7:00 pm #

    Larry Kaminski

    When does this school girl mentality come to a stop? I was at The Summit and thought I participated in an open meeting with MEN who had but one goal and that was to further the benefits of players from the earlier years and take better care of our players and their spouses with serious health or mental health issues.

    What is with all this politicking and grand standing. I never received any letter. It’s time for all of you who are trying to follow our new administration and become a czar to give it up. If you were a team player, you should remember the saying that “together every one accomplishes more.”

    Thanks for the time and forum.

    Larry Kaminski
    Denver broncos

  5. Dave Pear
    July 23rd, 2009 at 10:21 pm #

    Dave Pear - Ring
    Who is Frank Krauser?

    NFL Alumni Restructure: “The Board will consider an appropriate transition role for Frank Krauser given his distinguished service to the NFL Alumni for many years.


    Distinguished by definition is, “marked by excellence.”

    Does that mean Frank is still on the payroll? What about his Super Bowl tickets? Expense account? Cigar allowance?

    In its 2005 tax return, the NFL Alumni had $3.7 million in revenue and gave out only $800 to one former player in “verified dire need.”

    Would you call this behavior “distinguished”?

    Dave Pear

  6. Ange Coniglio
    July 24th, 2009 at 5:52 am #

    Ange Coniglio
    The NFL Alumni Association’s new mission is “providing for the well-being of retired players”. What was its OLD mission?

    “Our intent is to move forward with the league in lock-step.” Sounds like a real independent organization!

    Ange Coniglio

  7. Bob Grant
    July 24th, 2009 at 11:51 pm #

    Bob Grant
    “Freedom of speech” is one of the rights that we have that has made our country great. Even Congressmen and Congresswomen observe it and they go at it pretty good sometime. People who don’t want to get hit should not go on to the field. As old gladiators, we all know that.

    I have no problem at all with anything that anyone has to say about me. I only hope that we will all continue to fight and do what we can for Retired Players. A few of us may not live to see the next round of lawsuits through but that’s no reason for us not to fight in every way that we can for those of us who do make it. You yourself know that you have to be willing to play a full four quarters, win or lose, and every game that’s scheduled to get to the playoffs. It’s almost unbelievable but that’s the way that we always went at it. I guess that, that’s why the Fans cheered for us. We were doing what the average person is never able to do.

    This darn thing is about “Pride” as much as it is anything else fellas. It’s about “Right” more than anything else. We deserve better than we’ve gotten and we have every right to fight for what we’ve earned. All of it! We earned it! We earned it! And the most profitable Sport in the history of civilized man was built on our backs. We ABSOLUTELY deserve better consideration via pension, disability and the film that they still sell to advertisers showing our play. If you were a singer or an actor, you would still be getting paid a few dollars every time they show an old game. They legally don’t have to do it but they morally should.

    I was against Gene Upshaw and his practices but I have never been against the Players and the Union, “As It Should Be Run.” The Union has our money, Boys, and I’m not going away until the active players give both us and themselves a “Vote For Life.” It is in their good interest to vote to do so because they don’t want to find themselves shut out in the future the way that we’ve been in the past. The Constitution of the United States Of America has been amended many times and the NFLPA’s can be as well.

    If you don’t want to give the “New Man” a chance, that’s your business. If you want to hold him responsible for the things that Upshaw did and didn’t do, go right ahead. But I’m not going to help the Owners stop him and I’m not going to help them roll the advances back that we’ve made over the last 60 years. You know, the changes that you went on strike for and went to Court for.

    I may be mad-as-heck old Colored Man but I can’t apologize for that. I’ve been that way since the 1960’s and I am going to keep on being an ACTIVIST for retired players for as long as my health holds up.

    You will have to play the future games as you see best. It’s your right to do so because this is America. You know. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Jackson, FDR, General Patton, General McArthur, Martin Luther King, Justice Marshall and all of those “Boys.” None of them were afraid of a good fight and they neither asked for or gave quarter. Neither will I!

    Bob Grant