Joe D.: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?

Aug 9, 2011

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Annual Hall of Fame ceremonies were held in Canton Ohio this last weekend. Joe DeLamielleure was among the Hall of Famers in attendance along with several other players who are part of the Eller Class Action suit (including Carl and Paul Krause. A surprise guest showed up – Joe D. provides some notes on the event:
This dinner is always strictly for Hall of Fame players and the new inductees only. So most of us were wondering – some loudly – Who invited Smith?
When De Smith walked into the room to speak, around 12 of the guys actually walked out.
When Smith spoke, it was obvious that he had no idea that this audience consisted mostly of pre-1993 players.
An informal count indicated there were at least 40 Hall of Fame players who were each receiving less than $200 a month ($176) in pensions and Smith was asked what their increases would be in the new CBA. Smith said that their pensions would increase to $1,000 to $1,500.
Paul Krause and Carl Eller asked about pension increases for retired players and never received a straight answer.
Carl Eller also asked if retired players could represent themselves and Smith answered, “I would not be opposed to that” in front of the group.

8 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

    August 10th, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

    Dan Bunz


    Thank you for fighting for us pre-’93 players.

    If only a majority of Hall of Fame Players could make a group statement that they will not put the gold coats on again until the owners (and the Union) fix and make the retirement, medical and disability benefits easier to access and receive. Bring it up to baseball standards with retirement starting at age 55. That would have to be at least 4X the amount we’re supposed to be getting now; checkups and physicals once a year, address all injuries that are football-related and set up a real prevention program.

    Dan Bunz
    San Francisco 49ers & Detroit Lions
    1978 – 1985

  2. John Charles
    August 10th, 2011 at 7:16 pm #

    John Charles

    The CBA Agreement 2011:

    Article 57 – page 229

    Section 3. Cost: The NFL and its Clubs shall make an aggregate contribution of approximately $620 million to the Legacy Benefit over the term of this agreement, 49% of which shall count as a Player Benefit Cost.

    What does this mean?
    49% of which shall count as a Player Benefit Cost.

    John Charles
    Boston Patriots, Minnesota Viking, Houston Oilers
    1967 – 1974

  3. Billy Truax
    August 10th, 2011 at 9:30 pm #

    Billy Truax

    We can never, ever give in to the NFLPA’s neglect of retired players and the NFLPA’s miscarriage of justice and fairness with regard to economic benefits accruing to its retirees. How do they account for the genesis of what they have today? Give us a break!

    Hello? Supreme Court? Congress? Media? NFL owners? District Courts? Federal Court? What’s the deal?!!

    How can a small inner circle of NFLPA executives run up their wages and rip off over 13,000 retirees?

    Billy Truax
    LA Rams, Dallas Cowboys
    1964 – 1973

  4. Lou Piccone
    August 11th, 2011 at 5:34 am #

    Lou Piccone


    Did you read the alleged Bobby Mitchell comment regarding Carl Eller posted by NH III on the NFLPA site? This is more “he said – she said” and “keeping up with the Joneses.” One guy decides to crash a party and give his views to HOFer’s who are the Elite of the NFL receiving less than $200 a month in pension and can’t comment on any improvements, so why is he even there? And the other a group of Retired Players possibly using bad judgement at a charity event that obviously was not affected on the giving side still ponying up $500 thousand dollars+ for Bobby’s Charity. That’s between the Host and his honored guests. Let’s remember our Court is largely the Court of Public Opinion.

    Let’s keep our eyes on the prize. Yeah, Bobby – it may have been inappropriate. However, don’t you think what is happening to the Retired Players is inappropriate and why should we act as though EVERYTHING IS PEACHY KEEN. Remember that all of us represent the NFL and the NFLPA just by what we all accomplished on the field – every time we go out it’s not just Carl Eller. It’s ‘Remember Carl of the Minnesota Vikings’ of the NFL and look what the NFL is doing in our community.

    So with that in mind, keep on making things uncomfortable out there and soon people will understand just how uncomfortable we really are.

    And here’s the final piece: We The Retired Players have been doing charitable work in our communities for years, under both monikers, the NFL and the NFLPA-RP. And What do we receive in return? The satisfaction of Giving Back. I would say that millions of hours of our time and millions of dollars of our fans and supporters have helped make a difference to the less fortunate in our communities. I would like you to know that many of our Brothers are the less fortunate in our communities now and that is truly sad. Take a page from Baseball – see what they get and how they were represented by their Union Leaders. Maybe there is a model there that can be used in this case.

    Hey, Joe. Care to share the personal gain side of things regarding how a specific Retired Player specifically gains from this new CBA? Could make for interesting dialog.

    Thanks for all you are doing for our Group, Joe. Gone – but not forgotten. And still “Kickin Butt!

    Lou Piccone
    New York Jets 74-76
    Buffalo Bills 77-83

  5. reggie rucker
    August 11th, 2011 at 7:43 am #

    Reggie Rucker

    The improvements to our pensions – whatever they are – should arrive in our next checks. The active players have their money, so why shouldn’t we see ours in a timely fashion as well …like this month!!!

    Reggie Rucker
    Cowboys, Patriots, Giants, Browns
    1970 – 1981

  6. Burt Grossman
    August 11th, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

    Burt Grossman Cover

    Just read the new CBA. There are no improvements in our pension checks coming that I can find.

    Burt Grossman
    San Diego Chargers, Philadelphia Eagles
    1989 -1994

  7. Henry Bradley
    August 12th, 2011 at 12:20 am #

    Henry Bradley

    I agree with Reggie Rucker about getting paid now. The active players are getting paid and I’m happy for them. I’ve paid my dues by playing 95% of the defensive plays as a Brown. I was glad to do that for all of my Brown family. I also encourage the retired players to set up a fund to help college kids of retired players, because I have two children in college myself and another one going in 2012. So I know just how hard it is for pre-1993 players.

    Henry Bradley
    Cleveland Browns
    1979 – 1982

  8. Tom DeLeone
    August 15th, 2011 at 6:05 am #

    Tom DeLeone

    Do as I did. Make a firm suggestion that your offspring should join the United States Coast Guard and then after four years, the GI bill will send them to school! Call me – I would be happy to hear from you. TDD (435) 655-1754.

    Tom DeLeone
    Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns
    1972 – 1984