Zero from FreeFoto.comWe were hoping that the staggering traffic jam from George Martin’s new NEW NFL Alumni Association’s Recruiting Dinner on Saturday night would have generated loads of press coverage on Monday (our earlier post on the event click HERE). But so far, nothing in the New York Times, the New York Post or CNN or FOX. And there’s absolutely nothing on the Alumni’s own site at all. In fact, when you go to their new NEW website – NFLAlumniAssociation.com, based on George Martin’s new NEW e-mail address – it still isn’t even up yet. (Click on screen shots to enlarge.)

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George Visger

George Visger

Fellow independent retired 49’er, George Visger, recently sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith. He was kind enough to share his letter with all of us. George has managed to continue his ongoing battle with the NFL and the NFLPA for recognition and fair treatment of all retired football players despite his personal struggles from football-related brain damage and the subsequent brain surgeries he’s had to endure over the past 20+ years. George’s case is another perfect example of how the NFL stacks the deck against the players when it comes to disability and pensions after football. They know the average career is 3 years or less so they set the standard for qualification at 4+ years. Even at WalMart, an employee qualifies for FULL benefits after a 90-day probationary period. And you can be damn sure if you hurt yourself on the job on your second day of work, you’d be qualified for Workers Compensation benefits with little objection. Only in one of the most lucrative and physical professional sports do they set the standard so impossibly high for its employees. When will we actually see our Union step up for its retired players?

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Kindergarten Concussions

13 November 2009

One of our local Seattle TV stations – KOMO – has a great weekly series called Eric’s Little Heroes. Award-winning sportscaster Eric Johnson manages to find some of the cutest stories in local kids’ sports and puts together some great clips for his viewers every week. But considering the escalating focus on concussions and brain injuries, does a story about hard hits in Peewee football make for a cute story or a wake up call about what we’re teaching our kids from an early age? You can feel some of those hard helmet hits just watching this clip. OUCH!
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So how can you tell if your little kid actually sustains a concussion? Do they have doctors available? Maybe he’s just acting goofy or a little bit off this morning after his Peewee game yesterday? Or maybe…

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We’ve been informed that invitations have been sent out to members of the NFL Alumni for Gene – er, George – Martin’s coming-out party for The new, NEW NFL Alumni Association. Apparently, advance RSVP’s had to be called in by Nov. 11th for the first 180 people attending as they’re expecting an overflow attendance and parking is limited at Giants’ Stadium (?!!) to the first 180 to sign up. We thought the stadium could handle 78,000+ fans… Click on the brochure pages below to enlarge for reading (our highlights added).

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Would you trust your brain or your money with this man?

We have no idea how anyone missed this little tidbit from the Congressional hearings on brain concussions in the NFL. The media rightfully focused on stirring comments made by former Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ owner Gay Culverhouse regarding the complete lack of advocacy for the players when it comes to brain injuries: The team doctors are hired by the owners and are employed to protect their investment; many of the coaches and owners often play golf with the team doctors in their free time. Tampa Bay Online covered Ms. Culverhouse’s testimony closely and the last paragraph in their story says a lot about just how seriously Roger Goodell plans on looking into brain concussions.

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Valerie Thomas

Valerie Thomas

Valerie Thomas writes a great analysis on the StarCaps case and how it relates to the CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) and Congress. The NFL and its owners would love to have its powers expanded stealthily by trying to pull a fast one on Congress. We hope someone calls them on it before it happens!

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CDC MTBI Study CoverIt turns out that the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) turned out a very detailed study on MTBI (Mild Traumatic Brain Injury) and it was released to Congress… back in 2003! Their findings are dramatic and conducted with the kind of solid methodology that all valid studies need to follow. In the Appendix, they even document the various methodology and criteria used to monitor MTBI in the U.S. And they have layer upon layer of real experts in both research AND methodology to ensure the integrity of their study. The subtitle? “Steps to Prevent a Serious Public Health Problem.” (!!!)

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Jane Arnett

Jane Arnett

Don’t let anyone fool you. Some of the toughest players in the retirees’ struggle with the NFL… are the ladies. No one needs to tell football players or their families about pride, determination, intelligence, grit and the heart it takes to engage in battle. Recently in Washington DC, it became openly clear that women are fearlessly standing up for what is right, breaking through the barriers to take care of the business of football and it’s impact on the lives of our men and our families. continue reading »

The NFL’s Dr. No

30 October 2009

Congresswoman Linda Sanchez took 10 minutes to do a serious beat down of Commissioner Roger Goodell in the Congressional Hearings on brain injuries. You can watch her clip below but first we want to take a moment to introduce the new James Bond Dr. No: Ira Casson (we no longer want to call this idiot ‘Doctor’ as he doesn’t merit the respect of his fellow human beings) heads the NFL MTBI Committee that conducts those endless inconclusive studies on traumatic brain injuries for the NFL. This jerk shall henceforth be known as The New Dr. No. Every answer Casson gives in the following clip from Bernard Goldberg’s interview from last May’s HBO Real Sports is an arrogant, “No!” (with a sneer). And it looks like he was also a NO-show at the Congressional hearings as well, much to the Commissioner’s surprise (!). Here’s to Dr. No! <sneer>
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And here are Rep. Sanchez’ questions and comments:
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Commissioner Goodell – Once again, you testified to Congress that things were improving for retired players and everything was so much faster and more improved than ever. Here’s what you said on Wednesday morning (your comments are in the first minute of the clip).

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The day’s session has concluded and is now online in its entirety for viewing. Click on the morning or afternoon clip below to go directly to C-Span site to view.

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DeMaurice Smith

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Bob:

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The finalized witness list for the Congressional Hearings was just released (each of the witnesses will have their testimony attached after the hearings are completed – click HERE to check on the Congressional site or click on their name when their testimony is finally posted). We did have one small question: Why are Tiki Barber and Merril Hoge listed as Retired NFL Players while Bernie Parrish is listed as a Former NFL Player?

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Valerie Thomas

Valerie Thomas

NFL Players are hired to be fired. When they enter the NFL they’re healthy enough to pass a physical but after performing for their employers and sustaining injuries, they become unhealthy, unable to pass physicals and are eventually cut, fired or forced to retire.

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Top Ten NFL Questions

It looks like the latest Congressional hearings into brain concussions in the NFL will be starting this Wednesday, October 28th. From all the preliminary announcements, it appears that only two people have been officially announced to testify: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith. So far, no experts such as neurosurgeons and brain scientists have been announced to testify. We have to wonder who called this hearing on such short notice and why now just as the 2010 lockout is looming and brain concussions have taken center stage in the retired players’ battle for independent representation. With a hat tip to all those other Top 10 Lists out there, we’ve come up with a simple list of the Top 10 Questions that Congress should be asking of Goodell and Smith directly.

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