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IFV 2013: Life Inside the Real NFL Family

May 10, 2013

Brain concussions. CTE. Alcohol and drugs. Take these issues that have only recently become more openly discussed along with 101 more ingredients in family life and you have a very complicated recipe for making a family work (or not). Family life isn’t easy at times as it is but when you stir in all these other layers from a career in professional football, life off the field becomes incredibly complex for most families. Watch as Brandi Winans (formerly married to the recently departed Jeff Winans – Bills, Saints, Buccaneers, Raiders 1973 – 1980; Jeff played with teammates Dave Pear and Gene Upshaw on the winning Super Bowl XV Raiders in 1980) and John Houser (LA Rams, Cowboys, Cardinals 1957 – 1963) share personal stories of family survival with the audience of their very different lives after football.
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YouTube Hints: You can enlarge the video to Full Screen mode simply by clicking on that Full Screen icon in the lower right hand corner of the video. You can also watch videos in HD (if available) by clicking that gear icon in the lower right and then selecting the highest resolution available. And each YouTube video can actually be paused or stopped at any point and you can also jump to any spot where you may have left earlier so there’s no need to watch through an entire video.
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Our good friend, Jennifer Thibeaux, (who can never be acknowledged enough for all of her advocacy work on behalf of retired players and who has managed to help us film each of our three Conferences so we can share them with the community at large) had declined our invitation to be up on stage with Brandi and John. But as she worked through the post-Conference task of editing and uploading all of this footage, her thoughts kept taking her back to her personal family experiences of having lived through the football life. Late last night, I received a personal message from Jennifer about how this has affected her own family and why she continues to help us get the message out to the other families in particular and to the fans in general.
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Here’s Jennifer’s message along with her audio comments:
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Robert,
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I took some time and collected my thoughts about my football experiences. This is by no means the end of my sharing…but it is my way to begin the process of getting it out of my head and into the universe properly. I have tried to characterize my own experiences so that I could give it the proper brand. The best I can come up with is, “Indefinite Hell“. While I was designing new bling tees for my Tee business, I was compelled to design this brand into a Tee (below – click image to enlarge).
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In Def Hell
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Has an interesting meaning both verbally and visually. After I made the tee, it was officially time to speak. I hope you can share these beginning thoughts with the DavePear.com family – my family – as we fight for human rights and against injustices. . Love you all with every ounce of my being …and I’m in this to win.
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Jennifer
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Click the PLAY button to listen to Jennifer’s personal commentary (13 minutes).
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2 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. George Visger
    May 11th, 2013 at 11:07 am #

    George Visger

    Brandi,

    Not only was it courageous for you to get up and tell your story with such candor. It is so important for all to hear “the other side of the story.” The ripple effects our injuries have on those around us – especially our loved ones – is immeasurable, as you well know.

    It’s hard for anyone not in your shoes to imagine but more and more of us players are finally being heard too.

    Thank you.

    George Visger
    San Francisco 49ers 80 & 81 Super Bowl XVI
    Survivor of 9 NFL-Caused brain surgeries
    (As I was forced to prove in a 1984 Work Comp court of law)
    Benefactor of ZERO NFL Benefits
    GeorgeVisger.com

  2. George Visger
    May 11th, 2013 at 11:26 am #

    George Visger

    Jennifer,

    I just listened to your audio. Your perspective as someone who first came in as a professional to do work to your evolution into one of us requires no explanation. We all understand and appreciate what you have done and there is no doubt you are one of us.

    Thank you for being a selfless teammate.

    George Visger
    San Francisco 49ers 80 & 81 Super Bowl XVI
    Survivor of 9 NFL-Caused brain surgeries
    (As I was forced to prove in a 1984 Work Comp court of law)
    Benefactor of ZERO NFL Benefits
    GeorgeVisger.com

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