How Lies Spread and How Revolutions Start on the Internet

Jul 31, 2011

EDITOR’S NOTE: 9:30 PM PST – Judy Battista’s story just posted on the New York Times – Click HERE to read this breaking story.
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On Friday afternoon, a small group of us were informed about the details a conference call that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had with the attorneys and a small team of retired players from the Eller class action lawsuit. All of us were shocked to hear the news that there was an additional $500 million offered to the retirees that had gone undisclosed to them. From what we understand so far, the money would supposedly be earmarked for “charities, medical research, etc.” and then “managed” under the auspices of the PA. We’ll continue confirm and report more details as the story breaks over the next few days.
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In the meantime, we want to talk a little about how the Internet and social networks have changed the world of communications for better and for worse. We’ve watched an entire revolution take place in Egypt with the fall of the Mubarek regime that started with social network Twitter. And that revolution continues to spread across the Middle East. But social networks like Twitter can also be used to spread gossip and misinformation. And that also seems to happen more often than people may imagine. Fortunately, there’s also a good side to that as well. Leaving a trail of crumbs behind you is not exactly a smart strategy.
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The story first broke on a site called Pro Player Insiders (click HERE to see where the whole thing started):
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But dig deeper and look at their About Us page (Click HERE to go and see it for yourself):
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So where did Pro Player Insiders get their story? It was fed to them by none other than Nolan Harrison III from the NFLPA. In fact, Harrison had been Tweeting about his calls all last weekend in a desperate attempt to convince a few Hall of Famers that they were “really, REALLY, REALLY working on a great deal for all retirees (but we can’t tell you about it now)”. You really don’t want to know what the majority of them told him when he called - just read a few of the comments showing up below to get some idea…
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Then he Tweets out the story he planted with Pro Player Insiders (it’s in the “media” so it must be TRUE!):
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So then Bleacher Report writes the same story slamming Carl Eller and quoting – who else? – a ‘report’ in Pro Player Insiders (Click HERE to read the full Bleacher Report gossip) and OMG we have a firestorm all over Twitter and the online gossips:
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Then CBS Sports picks up the story from Bleacher Report AND Pro Player Insiders so it MUST be real! (Click HERE to read the gossip-on-gossip reporting on CBS.)
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And, of course, then Nolan Harrison III can’t help himself. He’s wetting his pants by this point and just HAS to Tweet about it! So he Tweets about the Bleacher Report and CBS Sports posts:
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And he just can’t help taking one last shot – nice…:
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And that, my friends, is how rumors start. And also how easily it is to get caught spreading rumors, innuendo and lies. But now we have it all online for everyone to see and enjoy.
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As retirees, you have to ask yourself: Why are they so desperate to keep the real story from coming out and why are they now also trying to hide more money from all of you? Seeing as how Nolan Harrison III – SENIOR Director of NFLPA Former Players – loves to Tweet all about the PA’s great accomplishments on behalf of retired players, why wouldn’t he have been pounding his chest about an extra $500 Million that was supposed to be earmarked for retirees? Just what were they planning to do with your money anyway? And more to the point: Who was going to be managing all that money?
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Let’s close this long post off with a story that’s now breaking on the REAL mainstream media (with more stories to break on Monday morning. If THIS doesn’t get everyone fired up, we don’t know what will! Don’t let the revolution start without you!
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Carl Eller claims NFL Players Association ripped off retirees

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BY SEAN JENSEN sjensen@suntimes.com July 30, 2011 11:30PM
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The NFL informed Carl Eller’s legal team Friday that the NFL Players Association has taken $500 million that could have benefitted retirees, the Hall of Fame defensive end told the Sun-Times.
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“We would not have heard of this if we would have waited for the players association or Nolan Harrison to give us this information,” said Eller, the primary plaintiff representing retired players in an antitrust lawsuit against the NFL. “The NFL felt this is information we should have.”
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Harrison, a defensive lineman for 10 NFL seasons who is the NFLPA’s senior director of retired player services, was puzzled by Eller’s claim.
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“No one from the NFL has informed us of this, so we can’t comment on anything that we’ve got confirmation from the league itself,” Harrison said. “In turn, we have no idea what Carl is talking about. I have no idea where this is coming from.”
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Harrison’s comment speaks for itself (but umm – we always thought the old expression was “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”?
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Read the rest of the Sun-times article by clicking HERE.
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EDITOR’S NOTE: We are now getting ready to break 1,000 signatures on our Declaration of Independence. And that includes even MORE Hall of Famers than the NFLPA can call or contact..
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5 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Bruce Jarvis
    July 31st, 2011 at 3:56 pm #

    Bruce Jarvis

    Hi Dave,

    In mid-January, you were kind enough to publish a piece I wrote entitled “Bruce Jarvis: An Open Letter to De Smith & the NFLPA” in which I responded to an email sent to me by Mr. Smith which appeared to be a thinly veiled intimidation attempt for my “opting out of the process,” as Smith termed my published thoughts on the NFLPA, an organization which has been proven in Federal Court to have violated its fiduciary responsibility to thousands of NFL retiree’s (Parrish v. NFLPA).

    Shortly thereafter I had the distinct honor of receiving a call from someone I idolized as a schoolboy, Sam Huff. Sam would call me again about three weeks later and during both calls Sam repeatedly urged me to “keep the pressure on” both the NFLPA and the League. There was no question that Sam Huff had strong feelings of solidarity with my published dissent and specifically my statement that “we retired players will never be intimidated” and my notes from that call highlight that point. Subsequent to our phone calls, Sam himself spoke out (as I had urged him to do) in what I recall was pure Sam Huff, directly speaking about the transgressions we all suffered at the hands of the NFLPA for four decades and with some not so thinly veiled comments about NFLPA Executive Committee member, Drew Brees.

    Now to have Nolan Harrison twist what I would suspect was Sam’s giving him an earful of the truth into “Just had the pleasure of speaking to…Sam Huff. He is a riot!” shows just how far Harrison and – in my opinion – everyone involved within the NFLPA will go to bend and “spin” the truth.

    The local NFLPA chapter president, Sam McCullum, has put out a steady stream of propaganda and biased information during the last few months. While that might seem to be a small thing, it is disconcerting to note that he appears to be taking the late Dave Duerson’s place on the “delay, deny and hope they die” Disability Board.

    For months, I have been receiving from Mr. McCullum slanted news articles with comments from Jim McFarland and Cornelius Bennett (non-voting retiree’s) none of which contain a word regarding what the NFLPA is bargaining for on our behalf. Not a peep. There is only one reason for that …none of them wants us to know until it’s a done deal after which the NFLPA and the NFL hope that we will all go away quietly.

    Well NFLPA, NFL Alumni and NFL ownership: Put your ears to the ground. Does it sound like the men who built the League are going away? In this case of real life imitating art, at least one memorable line seems wholly appropriate…”SHOW ME THE MONEY!

    And De Smith, Nolan Harrison, Sam McCullum, Richard Berthelesen, Dave Megessey, Doug Allen, all the NFL owners and all the other ghosts past and present who have participated in the colossal shafting of us pre-1993 folks many of whom have died from the wounds directly inflicted by the NFL, I ask one more time: Why would the men who bore the risks to build the NFL NOT be entitled to pension, disability and health benefits SUBSTANTIALLY GREATER than Major League Baseball? When any of you gentlemen think you have the guts to answer that question, a great number of us would like to hear it. And $1,000 or $2,000 more per month with status quo vesting at four years does not even come close to Major League Baseball’s benefit levels. I suspect that the truly great Sam Huff is aware of that as well.

    Bruce Jarvis
    Buffalo Bills
    1971 – 1974

  2. Barb Sandusky
    July 31st, 2011 at 5:45 pm #

    Mike Sandusky

    This shell-game with former players’ money has worried Mike (Pittsburgh 9 years) and me for many years. Beside the where, when, how and if (for starters), there’s the ‘F’ word. Not what you may be thinking! I’m talking about FUND. Money can go in and out or be “sat on” collecting $$$, etc. Will the so-called Legacy Fund $’s actually be used in a proper and timely manner?

    And who will be watching it?

    Mike & Barb Sandusky
    Pittsburgh Steelers
    1957 – 1965

  3. Billy Truax
    July 31st, 2011 at 7:14 pm #

    Billy Truax

    This is why we absolutely, positively must have legally established retired player representation on all of these Boards and probably why NFLPA doesn’t want any retired player representation. If it means breaking up the NFLPA and starting over again, then so be it. Apparently, these NFLPA guys see the way Upshaw ripped off Union funds so if they can show the dumbass active players how they saved them $500M, then they, too, can get their $15 – $20M bonuses. There must be a Federal RICO Statute investigation and disclosure about these negotiations and funds mismanagement by the NFLPA. Come on, guys – come clean!!! NFLPA guys have no entitlement rights.

    Billy Truax
    LA Rams, Dallas Cowboys
    1964 – 1973

  4. RobertinSeattle
    July 31st, 2011 at 10:21 pm #

    RobertinSeattle

    Bruce –

    You may have inadvertently left one more name off your list: Tom Condon. We certainly wouldn’t want him to feel left out, would we? Who benefited the most from all of this while manipulating things from behind Gene Upshaw’s throne all these years?

    Spencer Kopf will have even more to say about that in a new post tomorrow morning.

    Robert

  5. John Houser
    July 31st, 2011 at 10:31 pm #

    John Houser

    Well, lookie here! See what I found in the deep, dark catacombs of my filing cabinet. It’s a copy of the first attempt to form an NFL Retired Players Association…and look at the 3rd paragraph, page 1 – to wit…

    “The purpose of the new organization are many. Most significantly, the retired players now have a vote on the pension board which consists of two owners and two players, etc. This marks the first time that we have had equal representation on the committee which has complete authority to administer, amend, and regulate the pension plan,” and more etc., etc…

    If this was the case, why haven’t the NFL Retired Pensioners had any ANNUAL COST OF LIVING INCREASES all these years?
    My first suspicion: What kind of a deal did our good friend Gene Upshaw make with former NFL Commissioner, Paul Tagliabue?

    John Houser
    1957 – 1963
    LA Rams, Dallas Cowboys, St. Louis Cardinals