Friday Funnies: NFL Alumni Press Conference

Feb 2, 2012

The Super Bowl show is now in full swing and today, George Martin and the NFL Alumni Board showed up for a full-court press conference to show unity behind their beloved leader. FOX Sports was in attendance and A.J. Perez covered it (comic book version at the bottom of the post) :
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NFL alumni board defends director

by A.J. Perez
Feb. 2, 2012
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Members of the NFL Alumni Association board of directors voiced their support for executive director George Martin at a news conference Thursday, a week after a FOXSports.com report revealed possible mismanagement of the financially strapped organization.
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“People can write whatever they want to write,” said Harry Carson, a former teammate of Martin’s on the New York Giants who pushed vigorously for Martin’s appointment in 2009. “You see all the individuals sitting here. We are backing this man 150 percent. We are his teammates and we are doing everything that we can to help our team, the retired players community, be successful.”
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FOXSports.com reported that the NFL Alumni Association — which began to advocate for retired players in conjunction with Martin’s hiring — has slid deeper into financial disarray and has been propped up by NFL loans totaling more than $4 million over the past two years. Martin also funneled contracts to family members, according to the report, and the charity he founded received free Super Bowl tickets.
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Five board members spoke on Martin’s behalf when asked about the report during the news conference. Afterward, one of the board members, former Baltimore Colts running back Tom Nowatzke, told FOXSports.com that the NFLAA ethics board addressed one of the conflict-of-interest claims made in the article: Martin’s use of his wife and daughter-in-law’s catering firm.
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Read the rest of the FOXSports article – click HERE.
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Or you can read all about it in the comic book format it deserves with actual quotes and clips from the article (click on the comic to enlarge in a new window for easier reading) :
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8 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Friday Funnies: NFL Alumni Press Conference – Dave Pear's Blog
    February 3rd, 2012 at 2:04 am #

    [...] Excerpt from: Friday Funnies: NFL Alumni Press Conference – Dave Pear's Blog [...]

  2. Fred Hoaglin
    February 3rd, 2012 at 6:56 am #

    Fred Hoaglin

    Received my Legacy Benefit check 1/17/2012 = $7,992 with letter promising $1,332/mo. to be added to my monthly benefit of $3,588.75 = $4,920.75/ month for my service in the NFL 1966 thru 1976 = 11 seasons. I started receiving the pension when I retired after my 58th birthday (1/28/2002). I also was accepted into the Transamerica Insurance Long Term Care Plan & I’m not whining, I think what was achieved was remarkable and I’m thankful to the NFL, NFLPA, and NFL Alumni. In my playing career, I was paid $355,133.38 including 1 Pro Bowl and 4 Playoff Bonuses. By the end of 2010, I had received $346,673.25 in pension benefits from the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan.

    Why all the complaining???

    Fred Hoaglin
    Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Colts,
    Houston Oilers, Seattle Seahawks
    1966 – 1976

  3. John Hogan
    February 3rd, 2012 at 9:28 am #

    John Hogan

    I wanted to submit some comments in response to the NFL Alumni press conference at the Super Bowl:

    1. It would appear those gentlemen were paid to attend (or at least their expenses were taken care of) and they get to stay and party in Indy for a few days. Pretty good gig!

    2. Who got the Alumni’s allotment of Super Bowl tickets this year?

    3. The way the Alumni governance was set up is that George Martin reports to the Board of Directors. They set policy. Martin carries it out. Tom Nowatzke’s statement clearly indicates that Martin acted outside of the Association’s ethical guidelines in hiring family for Alumni activities. The fact that he did this without their permission, and the fact that they “took him to the woodshed” for it, helps to corroborate the type of problem that the FOXSports report pointed out. It is all the worse because the Atlanta Alumni chapter was deactivated over two years ago for the same type of behavior.

    4. I did not hear the entirety of Jeff Nixon’s comments and I hope that they were not taken out of context; but what was reported clearly indicates that the Alumni is not happy with all of the retired player lawsuits against the NFL. Jeff knows better than most – because I worked closely with him to try to get the advocacy side of the Association up and running – that the single biggest barrier to that effort was a perception on the part of many retired players that the Alumni was nothing but a League set-up as they went into the CBA. Jeff and myself – and others – did all we could to counter the notion that if you joined the Alumni, you would not be able to sue the NFL. His comments – taken solely as reported – completely nullify that effort.

    5. While these members of the Board of Directors (there are many more than the five who spoke on his behalf – where are the others?) clearly and unequivocally voiced their support for Martin, it does not appear that the press conference did anything to rebut the original problems and issues raised in the original Fox Sports article and, as set forth above, may have actually caused more damage.

    John Hogan
    Disability Attorney
    Retired Player Advocate

  4. Dave Pear
    February 3rd, 2012 at 9:50 am #

    Dave Pear

    In response to Fred –

    First, thanks for posting a comment so others will know that the Legacy Benefits have finally started arriving. It’s a good thing we now have all of the wonderful communication tools today. They allow us to share information and opinions so more of us can know what’s going on in an instant.

    We’re happy to see that you’ve been fortunate enough to have played the years you did in the League and you’ve been receiving what may seem to be a decent pension compared to what many of our men from the pre-93 days have gotten so far. In fact, if you take some time to read many of the personal stories on this and other blogs, you’ll realize that you’re among the lucky ones. Men like George Visger underwent multiple life-threatening brain surgeries as a direct result of his injuries on the football field even as he helped his team the 49ers get to a Super Bowl win in 1981. Wouldn’t you think that George should have gotten a half-decent pension for his good work? But no – George didn’t play long enough under the Plan’s Byzantine rules and qualifications to qualify for any pension or disability benefits. And neither did Johnny Unitas, one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. You can also read his story here and in numerous articles that covered his sad treatment.

    Here’s the part you should really hate: If you had played as long as you did for Major League Baseball, you would be receiving a pension well over $100,000 a year! And that’s just the start of MLB’s package to its veterans. Even a retired professional basketball player receives more pension than a retired football player of our era, Fred. All this from the most lucrative sport on the planet, charging $3.5 million for a 30-second commercial this year on Super Bowl! A $10 BILLION industry!

    There are currently more men NOT receiving any pension or disability that you can possibly imagine. Count your blessings that you are receiving something but please consider the others who receive nothing after giving this game their all.

    The NFL – and our so-called Union – have done as little as they can for most of our brothers-in-arms who have left the field.

    Dave Pear

    P.S. – Your $346,000+ figure may sound like a lot of money but I received a little less than $600,000 (before taxes) over my career including Pro Bowl and a Super Bowl ring. However, after leaving football, my out-of-pocket expenses for surgeries and medical care exceeded $600,000 with two rejections from the Disability Board for benefits, eventually ending with me applying and receiving Social Security Disability. Since then, SSI has already paid out another $300,000+ in additional surgeries and it’s still climbing as I prepare to have my right hip replaced in a couple of weeks. So that $346,000 is nice if you don’t have to spend any of it on fixing all the problems you got from playing football. Guess it depends a lot on your position.

  5. Burt Grossman
    February 3rd, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

    Burt Grossman Cover

    Do you believe this? It’s been two months and I still haven’t got my second letter, let alone my check like Fred has gotten already!

    Burt Grossman
    San Diego Chargers, Philadelphia Eagles
    1989 -1994

  6. John S. Pergine
    February 3rd, 2012 at 4:09 pm #

    John Pergine

    I haven’t received my forms for the Legacy Benefits yet. I did get the first letter which I completed, signed and sent it back to the APPROPRIATE address. I assumed that after the letter was sent that I would be receiving the form letter in the near future.

    I’ve been calling the NFLPA by phone and leaving messages on their voicemail to get back to me concerning the Legacy Benefits forms and when I will start receiving my money. It seems that every other player that I’ve spoken with has already received their forms to fill out and some of them are already receiving their checks. I’m really getting frustrated about the way that the NFLPA is handling the whole situation. They haven’t responded to any of my calls. What can I do to get some kind of satisfaction concerning my situation?

    Can anyone please let me know what I can do?

    John Pergine
    LA Rams & Washington Redskins
    1969 – 1975

  7. Thane Gash
    February 4th, 2012 at 11:17 am #

    Thane Gash

    Easy Solution 2012,

    Will everyone that the NFL Alumni has helped, please raise your hands. For those who are employed in any way at all, you need not say anything because your 1099 will be questioned.

    I can’t say they’ve helped me at all!

    Thane Gash
    Cleveland Browns (1988-1991)
    San Francisco 49ers (1992-1993)

  8. Steve Wilson
    February 6th, 2012 at 8:47 am #

    Steve Wilson

    Dave,

    I was President of the Tampa Bay NFL Alumni Chapter for 8 years. The Bucs were always ready to jump in with the former players to help the youth charity that was to be the recipient of the proceeds with $5000 – $10,000 sponsorships. I was also President of the NFLPA Chapter for a couple of years and they had no interest in that.

    NFL Alumni makes the owners look good, NFLPA makes owners look bad, which they are…. Enough said.

    These guys are nothing but puppets being supported by the Owners.

    Thanks.

    Steve Wilson
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    (1976-1985)