Rick Eber: Why I’m Opting Out

Jun 11, 2013

Peanuts Not AgainDave,
Here are my thoughts and decisions related to the Publicity Rights settlement proposal.
I have decided to exclude myself from the proposed settlement for the following reasons:
1. I detest the emotional extortion or guilt built into the settlement.
2. What will I receive in exchange? More over-branded NFL charity? Still waiting for clarity on this issue.
3. The math bothers me. Let’s see: $50 million minus $13 million for the NFL’s exclusion legal fees minus $7 million for attorneys’ fees minus fees to Jim Brown and others minus Board operating costs, minus each charities’ expense ratio of approximately 35% = Just peanuts for retired players.
4. BUT, whatever the real dollars are from #3 above, the NFL talking point will always be about their HUGE $50,000,000 offer (!!!) – nothing more than bloated PR for the NFL to impress the uninformed public. I am tired of this fodder!
5. Their player publicity agency aspect does not impress me. And just how did that work out for the NFL Alumni?
6. Players will be giving up their “collective” and individual publicity rights “in perpetuity” for basically nothing. HELLO?!! This is forever, people!
7. NFL films markets “The Ice Bowl” between Green Bay and Dallas, not Bart Starr etc. They market the game to promote the NFL with our collective images then “line item” us as just individuals of no value. Our value should be framed as if the unknown individual was not in the film to snap the ball or let the NFL show a film of Bart Starr sneaking over the goal line alone! NFL sells the game as a whole then changes the focus to the individual when it comes to what our publicity values are. I would rather get nothing and fight another day!
8. At one time, lawyers took the case thinking we had a good one. Now attorneys are telling us to take $50M that will be reduced to crumbs because we don’t have a strong legal case – define the class, individuals’ real value, etc. What happened between day one and today? I think we still have meat on the bone that the fundamental structure of a contingency agreement with representation must always face.
9. I have other reasons but I want to keep it short.
And I have now also decided to change my representation in the Concussion Litigation for the following reasons:
1. I strongly oppose the Publicity Rights settlement which my Concussion Litigation representatives happen to strongly support and promote.
Rick Eber2. I understand that the Publicity and Concussion lawsuits cannot be legally combined but the spirit of our fight for relevance, respect and credit for our contribution can be brought together in a moral, strategic and spiritual manner. In my opinion, this is not a time for episodic thinking – it’s all connected.
3. How do I know this kind of settlement conflict won’t happen in the Concussion Litigation? All of us have looked at game films and what we saw is basically what we played against the next Sunday; the Publicity Rights game film is not one I ever want to see played over again!
Thanks for listening.
Rick Eber
Atlanta Falcons, San Diego Chargers
We’ve also posted a short poll to get an open view of how everyone feels about this Settlement. We hope each of you will also take a moment to express your opinion. Click HERE to go to our NFL Films Poll.

5 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Jerry Sherk
    June 11th, 2013 at 10:22 pm #

    Jerry Sherk

    I agree with Rick Eber’s points that he made in opposition to the NFL Films settlement.

    I was at the Independent Football Veterans Conference in Las Vegas a few weeks ago to hear both sides. Ron Mix, whom I know and respect personally, was the only pro-settlement voice in the room (at least that I noticed). And from where I sat, Ron lost the argument in a landslide. In fact, the other pro-settlement attorneys that were scheduled to appear no-showed and left Ron to go it alone. Could it be that these attorneys knew that their actions (and inactions) were so obviously open to criticism that they didn’t want any part of this forum? I believe so. As I understand it they have been let go by the original plaintiffs but somehow continue to be part of the lawsuit and they are still in line to be rewarded their fees – $7 million – after being fired! What’s wrong with that picture? Please correct me if I’m wrong but with this settlement, fired attorneys will receive $7 million dollars and there will also be a fund of $13 million set up for NFL attorneys for future litigation – but no player will be guaranteed even 1 dollar.

    We former players may not win this lawsuit but I would rather we lose standing upright and with dignity intact than to chase a few crumbs thoughtlessly tossed in our general direction.

    Jerry Sherk
    Cleveland Browns
    1970 – 1981

  2. RobertinSeattle
    June 11th, 2013 at 10:52 pm #


    Jerry –

    If anyone manages to find the time to pore through the pages and pages of motions in the Dryer vs NFL paperwork, you will see this tidbit from Hausfeld’s motion for attorney’s fees (and I quote):

    “But for the addition of Hausfeld LLP to this case, the parties would very likely not be before the court today.”

    I swear you can’t make this stuff up!

  3. Ron Pritchard
    June 13th, 2013 at 5:02 am #

    Ron Pritchard

    Yesterday I mailed my “Opt Out notice” to the NFL Settlement people. I feel great! I am 66 years old and the world is passing quickly for me. I do not want to leave this world with any regrets. If I would not have gotten out of this horrible settlement, I would have missed a opportunity to fight for my civil rights. I would have laid down and let these deceitful men get their deceitful way. Good men don’t let bad men get away with their bad behavior!

    Join the fight, my good brothers, and Opt Out of this do-nothing settlement now! Send a strong message to the NFL that we are NOT STUPID and have earned the right to be rewarded for our images that they use to become BILLIONAIRES!!

    Ron Pritchard
    Houston Oilers, Cincinnati Bengals
    1969 – 1977

  4. Lou Piccone
    June 14th, 2013 at 7:24 am #

    Lou Piccone

    Nice Job, Rick! We wore a Face Mask not a Hangman’s Hood!

    So Rick… who’s your Concussion Litigation Representative? I wasn’t aware of any representatives for the Concussion Case that would tie their name to this shameful bid!

    You know in a perfect world with all good intentions coming true, I would love to believe in the proposed Settlement and all of the good will and positive marketing of the guys who built the game to account for a “fruitful effect” for the Pre-93er’s (plus) rank-and-file. However, based on all of the “Good Will” that we’ve experienced from those who control – and STILL control – the “Quality of Life” issues of the “Men Who Built the Game”

    …well, needless to say IT’S SUSPECT!

    Lou Piccone
    NY Jets, Buffalo Bills
    1974 – 1983

  5. Dave Pear
    June 14th, 2013 at 9:59 am #

    Dave Pear

    Lou –

    We can give you a hint by telling you who’s NOT going along with this Settlement offer:

    It’s NOT Bob Stein and Tom Ward who have opposed this Settlement since it was tabled;

    It’s definitely NOT Mike Ciresi from Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi who openly debated against it at our recent IFV Conference in Vegas;

    And it’s definitely NOT Jason Luckasevic from Goldberg Persky White who started the concussion lawsuits and is jumping in now to help represent any of the players who are looking for representation or wanting to leave their current attorneys (which is also your right BTW). Give Jason a call 1(800) 471-3980 even if you only have questions.

    Like Rick said, “How do I know this kind of settlement conflict won’t happen in the Concussion Litigation?”

    And I believe in the old saying, “Once bitten, twice shy.”