NFL Announces New Benefits Plan

Jun 21, 2013

Roger Zero Fund

In a bold move, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announces another new Plan to end all plans to benefit retired football players.
In a press conference held in New York earlier today, Roger Goodell, declared, “We’ve always had so much undeserved criticism for each of our past efforts to assist retired players. So today, we decided to announce the development of a totally new benefits plan with a completely new approach to providing assistance directly to each and every player who has never qualified for benefits in the past. And to make it even more significant, we’ve decided to name this plan the NFL ZERO Fund after retired player, Jim Zero. While many of you may have never heard of Zero, like most players, he played in the League for over 10 years with little recognition among his teammates and the fans. And, like so many of his retired brethren, Zero somehow never managed to qualify for any pensions or benefits for one reason or another. So for that, I am proud to stand here before you today to announce that we’re naming this new plan, The ZERO Fund!
“As a matter of fact, we’re so excited about this new program that we’re considering the ZERO Plan as a replacement for that Greater Good Fund we offered as part of the NFL Films Settlement. Now – as always – we’re still working out the details of how the new Plan will actually work and who will qualify for it. But if you’re like Jim Zero then I can assure you that you will qualify for it. All you need to qualify is to have played for the NFL in the past 50 years and you will definitely qualify for ZERO! In keeping with tradition, we are also hereby retiring Jim Zero’s number and jersey.
And also in keeping with their other tradition of lining up sponsors to pay for most of their grand programs, the NFL announced that they have just signed a deal with Coke Zero as the soft drink of choice for the NFL ZERO Fund.
Not to be outdone by the NFL, NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith also announced another new golf tournament to benefit retired players: The Gene Upshaw Mini-Golf Tournament. At the press conference held in Washington DC today, Smith declared, “We’ve ignored retired players for too long and what better way to honor and help them than to create one more golf tournament in a faraway place that none of them can get to?” The Gene Upshaw Mini-Golf Tournament will be held in the Caymen Islands and all donations will be held there along with all their other hidden assets under management on behalf of retired players.
EDITOR’S NOTE: To any lawyers too stupid to realize this is JUST A JOKE, get a life!

17 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Troy Johnson
    June 22nd, 2013 at 9:07 am #

    Troy Johnson

    This makes it so easy to see that we are still getting dumped on with nothing but promises and more promises!

    God Bless!
    Troy Johnson
    Chicago Bears, New York Jets, Detroit Lions
    1989 – 1992

  2. Thomas Henderson
    June 22nd, 2013 at 9:55 am #

    Hollywood Henderson

    This ZERO post is the funniest post I’ve ever read concerning the NFL and NFLPA!

    Like most of you, I get all their beautiful brochures with paragraph after paragraph of nothing. I had been receiving non-football disability from 1982-2000. Broke my neck on the field but with the help of Gene Upshaw and a wink-and-a-nod that I’d better take non-football disability or I wasn’t getting nothing, I accepted it. In 2000, I won the Texas Lottery and on my first day of mail service, the Benefits office had already sent me a letter telling me my disability payments would end! I wondered, “When did I stop being disabled?” Neck still broken and issues still existed.

    In our CBA, the terms ‘profit’ or ‘remuneration’ disqualifies us all from collecting benefits. Over these years I’ve read the brochures carefully and I found one benefit: That discount medical prescription card.

    The latest offer of long-term care was a joke. I called and was asked about my health and all the medications I was taking. I stopped the process and realized it was a medical history hunt on all of us. Why on earth would one have to qualify for his last days? They actually wanted me to qualify for long-term care. That’s insane. So once again the NFL was offering nothing and was actually mining us for medical history.

    My trash can is now the permanent resting place for all NFL scams posing as benefits.

    Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson
    Dallas Cowboys (San Francisco 49’ers, Houston Oilers) Miami Dolphins
    1975 – 1982

  3. Gordon Arnold Wright
    June 22nd, 2013 at 10:25 am #

    Gordon Wright - NY Jets

    This is so funny it hurts. I’m at a loss for words.

    Thanks for the humor!

    Gordon Wright
    Philadelphia Eagles & New York Jets
    1967 – 1970

  4. Janet & Michael C. McCoy
    June 22nd, 2013 at 11:51 am #

    Mike C. McCoy

    I called to apply for long-term benefits for my husband only to be told he did not qualify. With a diagnosis of dementia, I guess there is too much risk of max benefits being paid. They were happy to let me know they would cover me if I wanted to pay for the benefits.

    Here’s a perfect example of a benefit that just doesn’t benefit anyone.

    Janet Brown-McCoy
    for Mike McCoy
    Green Bay Packers
    1976 – 1983

  5. Michael Attardi
    June 22nd, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

    Michael Attardi

    I laughed so hard when I read this spoof! You hit it right on the nose!

    If only the players were more organized and not so divided, we’d get more things done. The NFL and NFLPA do not want us to be organized. This is why the NFLPA will not allow the chapters to create their own websites. If they allowed us to create our own sites, it would allow US to communicate with EACH OTHER. And this is also one reason why the NFL has stopped funding for the NFL Alumni.

    We need to stand together and not be like the Tea Party who have great ideas but 20 different people running in 20 different directions.

    We need to be smarter and start listening to Dave Pear. Dave faces these issues head on and never quits! Just like a great NFL player – Never quit!!!

    Michael Attardi
    LA Raiders
    1991 – 1993
    Dream Balloon Studios

  6. Joe Steed
    June 22nd, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

    Joe Steed

    Don’t lose focus! Stay on target! We’re in the red zone!

    We were entertainers and provided entertainment to the public – simple as that. No different than WWF, WWE, MMA, etc. This requires a mental shift: The Screen Actors Guild case law or entertainment law applies to us! This is the precedent for billions of dollars in previous royalties and potential revenues!

    A new lawsuit needs to be filed based on SAG/Entertainment case law! We will get various actors/actress involved with our cause! Somebody give me a High Five plee-eease! Lol! Give me credit for at least one nice play!

    Let’s push for those final 20 yards!

    Joe Steed
    Pittsburgh Steelers
    1992 – 1999

  7. Mark Cooper
    June 22nd, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

    Mark Cooper

    I guess it’s appropriately named “0”…ZERO …sadly.

    Mark Cooper
    Denver Broncos, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    1983 – 1989

  8. Len Dawson Jr.
    June 22nd, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

    Len Dawson

    This year is the 50th anniversary of the NFL Hall of Fame. I know it’s a huge honor to be a part of it.

    How do you think the NFL and NFLPA would react if none of the retired Hall of Fame players came to the event? Cite poor health due to the lack of healthcare benefits provided to them and their brothers they played with. It seems they only care about you guys when they want something. I think it would create a lot of attention for your cause. The media would have to report it and every football fan would hear about your dilemma.

    Len Dawson Jr.

    Len Dawson
    Hall of Fame 1987
    7-time Pro Bowler
    Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns
    Dallas Texans, Kansas City Chiefs
    1957 – 1975

  9. Cody C. Jones
    June 23rd, 2013 at 2:51 am #


    Great idea, Len Dawson! Wonder how many Hall-of-Famers do you think would go along with it? We should get a running tally. As for the Commissioner’s Zero Fund – I love it! He has a great sense of humor. ;-)

    Wonder how much money they could actually con Coke into shelling out to the NFL?

    Cody Jones
    Los Angeles Rams
    1974 – 1982

  10. John W. Griffin
    June 23rd, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    John Griffin

    Len Jr.,

    That is a great idea and I think the retired players who are invited should protest this display of “gratitude” to us in such a big entertainment avenue! If you don’t show up, they wouldn’t have your pictures or your names to use over and over again and continue to make money from you and us.


    Great comment, Len Jr.

    John Griffin
    LA Rams & Denver Broncos
    1963 – 1967

  11. Noland Super Gnat Smith
    June 23rd, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

    Noland Smith

    First of all I want to say that I agree with all of the other retired players who have made statements regarding benefits for retired and disabled players.

    I played back in the 1960’s and unvested with NO benefits. During that time period, you could bring a player down by any means other than using a double-barrelled shotgun. So I left football due to a broken facial bone, concussions and eighty-five percent hearing loss. I would be shocked if the NFL would now be proposing to look out for players who have been in dire need of medical care for the past fifty years!

    Noland Super Gnat Smith
    Kansas City Chiefs, San Francisco 49ers
    1967 – 1969

  12. Doug Beaudoin
    June 24th, 2013 at 8:07 am #

    Doug Beaudoin

    Len Dawson,

    That’s a great idea and would be a wonderful show of solidarity. I’ve been to the Enshrinement ceremonies several times and it’s truly amazing to see 75 Hall of Famers gathered in one place. It’s also unfortunate to see many needing help just to get up on stage. Although it may seem unjust to the 7 new inductees, the amount of publicity it would garner for the cause would be substantial and extremely embarrassing to the league.

    It would be great to see no HOF’ers at the Enshrinement Ceremonies.

    Doug Beaudoin
    NFL: New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, San Diego Chargers
    1976 – 1982
    USFL: Tampa Bay Bandits
    1983 – 1986

  13. John Hogan
    June 24th, 2013 at 11:24 am #

    John Hogan

    Len’s idea has a lot of merit but is rather drastic. Perhaps y’all can still show up and make a statement. How do we get some lapel pins made that are the outline of the jersey above – with the number “0” on it? That way, you HoF’ers can be there to talk to the media – surely they will ask about it.

    John Hogan
    Disability Attorney
    Retired Player Advocate

  14. Dave Pear
    June 25th, 2013 at 10:13 am #

    Dave at Home

    The league (NFL, NFLPA & Bell/Rozelle disability board) continue to have a rapacious disposition towards retired players who are the makers of this sport.

    The only justice we will receive is in front of a Judge in a court of law which include:
    1) Concussion lawsuits
    2) Riddell Helmets lawsuit
    3) NFL Properties lawsuit
    4) NFL Films lawsuit
    5) Bell/Rozelle disability plan Audit by the Department of Labor.

    This audit would expose the fraud being perpetrated against disabled players who have been – and continue to be – swindled and cheated by the NFL with their fancy lawyers and their crafty schemes.

    Oh, and I almost forgot:

    The NFL’s attempt to disallow workers comp benefits for retired players.

    How can the league get away with discriminating against their former injured employees? In Corporate America, this would never happen.

    But only for a $10 BILLION a year business known as the NFL which has Non-Profit status and an anti-trust exemption (and the government pays their medical bills through medicare)!


    Dave Pear
    1978 Pro Bowl
    1980 Super Bowl
    Social Security disability and medicare at the age of 50

  15. Gregg Bingham
    June 26th, 2013 at 8:56 pm #

    Gregg Bingham

    John Hogan –

    The lapel pin idea with the ZERO jersey on it is a great idea and I can assure you it would really work: Pre-planned with “blasts” and “heads ups” just before. The media would be falling all over themselves trying not to get out-scooped! IMHO – it could go viral!

    Gregg Bingham
    Houston Oilers
    1973 – 1984

  16. Andy Frederick
    June 29th, 2013 at 10:57 am #

    Andy Frederick

    I guess the thinking is that if all former NFL players buy Obamacare (and go broke doing so), the NFL won’t even have to pitch in any pennies to assist them with healthcare.

    Sebelius in talks with NFL on promoting ObamaCare insurance plans

    (Mrs.) Andy Frederick
    Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland Browns
    Chicago Bears
    1977 – 1985

  17. Henry Bradley
    July 1st, 2013 at 6:21 am #

    Henry Bradley

    I am not a friend of the NFLPA; Andre Collins told me about a year ago that they would no longer pay the co-pay for my medication. Whatever you try to do to me, I will overcome. I do not have any love for them to speak of.

    And if anyone has an old car, I will take it off your hands and drive it.

    Henry Bradley
    Cleveland Browns
    1979 – 1983