USAToday: Chargers 'devastated' by ex-DB Paul Oliver's suicide at 29    League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis, will air on FRONTLINE on October 8 & 15. Check your local listings    LA Times: Deion Sanders, critic of NFL concussion suits, seeks workers' comp    FOXSports: NFL, players reach proposed $765M settlement of concussion-related lawsuits    Sean Pamphilon's United States of Football in theaters starting Aug 23rd!    Washington Post: Do no harm: Who should bear the costs of retired NFL players’ medical bills?    You can catch all the posts and videos from our recent Third Annual Football Veterans Conference - everything now posted here on Dave's Blog!

The Congressional Confirmation Hearings for Eric Holder as Attorney General are going on right now. Most of the retired players have expressed their negative views about this mouthpiece and lobbyist for the NFL. Their fears of Holder running interference with ongoing Congressional investigations into the NFL’s mistreatment of its retired players need to be brought to the forefront to ensure that Holder will be forced to recuse himself from anything to do with the NFL. Better yet – after looking at some of the press coverage on the things he’s been involved with over the years, perhaps he shouldn’t be confirmed.

No doubt, Holder is one of the best lawyers money can buy… But surely there are better, more ethical attorneys (is that an oxymoron?) for the job?

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Now that Judge Alsup handed down his final order on the Class Action lawsuit filed against the NFLPA/Players Inc. by Bernie Parrish, Herb Adderley and Walt Roberts, more details and analysis is starting to show up in sports columns across the country.

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This just in from Associated Press. And that hissing sound you hear is more air going out of the NFLPA. The entire 7-page order is below the AP clip. continue reading »

The Associated Press just received a copy of a letter from four members of Congress asking the Department of Labor to monitor the NFL Players’ Association’s search for a new executive director. From Forbes’ website:

“We would like to ensure the integrity of the search process and that the process is transparent, fair and compliant with all applicable Department of Labor rules and regulations, and the NFLPA Constitution rules and by-laws,” they wrote in the letter to Labor Secretary Elaine Chao.

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Five months after Dave first started applying his application for reimbursement from the NFL under their Hip Replacement Program and almost 2 months after we first wrote about it back in November, Dave finally received a real check today! (Read about Dave’s Hip Replacement T-Shirt by clicking HERE.)

(Click on images to enlarge for reading.)

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I have some more questions about the narrowing slate of NFLPA Executive Director candidates: What law school or business school did any of the 3 or 4 former NFLPA presidents graduate from? What do they know about disability Law? What union management experience do they have?

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Here we are coming in to a New Year and looking behind us at how much has happened in the past year. We’ve seen a recent flurry of comments and e-mails among a lot of the retired players discussing the current state of affairs within the NFLPA, not the least of which has been the disability benefits and the ongoing selection process for a new Executive Director. And the Commissioner keeps on rolling from city-to-city attempting to put on his dog-and-pony show about his compassionate concern for the disabled players. Wow! It’s been quite a year.

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s Traveling Snow Job – er, Snow Show – will be arriving in Newport Beach CA on Jan. 14th, 2009. And, of course, even after major media coverage and objections by the majority of retired players and their families, it’s still a closed meeting. No spouses, no caregivers, no representatives and no media once again. However, traveling along with the Commissioner will be his lawyer, Harold Henderson, and probably a couple of his PR flaks to make sure no one misspeaks.

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Another Call for an Audit

21 December 2008

Michael-Louis Ingram over at Black Athlete Sports Network just wrote an excellent piece titled, The Greatest GAME Ever Played? The story starts with ESPN’s recent replay of the legendary 1958 National Football League game between Baltimore Colts and New York Giants (digitally-enhanced AND colorized from black-and-white!).

Ingram’s article recognizes the contribution that those early players made to the game in getting it to where it is today. In fact, he compares the NFL’s phenomenal growth to IBM. Ingram’s story goes on to provide a good, short overview on that recent NFLPA/Players Inc. trial. His closing paragraphs pretty much sum things up and we’re looking forward to BASN’s ongoing investigation:

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More keeps coming out on the touchy-feely meetings that Commissioner Goodell has been conducting with the “Alliance” in league cities across the country. The first meeting held in Dallas ended with Disability Attorney being invited – and then uninvited – by John Wooten (read about that HERE) and as revealed in a series of interesting e-mails that followed the meeting (read about that HERE). Then a dull second meeting in Chicago and a more interesting one last week in Baltimore. The spouses of several players with dementia confronted the Commissioner outside of the meeting room about being denied a voice in the process. And then the New York Times backed it up with the revelation that it was the Alliance who decided to close the meetings to everyone except retired players (read about that HERE and HERE).

Behind the scenes, there’s been a flurry of e-mails and phone calls between the retired players and some members of the “Alliance,” discussing and rationalizing the secret decision to keep the meetings closed. And lots and lots of backpedaling and finger-pointing. We’ve got one interesting exchange that came from Alliance member John Wooten trying once again to explain his way out of another ridiculous situation. Tony Davis’ response is first and Wooten’s e-mail follows at the end. Tony is expressing an opinion that the majority of retired players all seem to share. So why weren’t the other players even consulted before the Big Brother Alliance decided for them?

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A quick note on this Monday morning just to let our readers know that there’s been a huge offline discussion among the retired players over the weekend regarding who can or can’t attend those meetings that Commissioner Goodell has been announcing in various NFL cities.

With all due respect to Stan and Jan Berenstain, this classic children’s book pretty much sums it up:

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The Elephant(s) in the Room

13 December 2008

Most people probably don’t even remember the cartoon strip Pogo from the 40s through the 80s but that little cartoon possum from Walt Kelly had some of the best lines ever written. My favorite Pogo line?

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Dave sure gets some interesting phone calls. Remember the gunshot call just before Gene Upshaw left the scene? (Read that post by clicking HERE.) We’re happy to say those kinds of calls have stopped.

But with the letter-writing campaign to AON Corp. and its CEO Gregory Case, it’s been lots and lots of correspondence. (Click HERE to read the original letter that started it all.) We’ve probably been responsible for killing a small forest. Dave’s been getting letters from pretty much everyone EXCEPT Mr. Case and their attorneys; instead, they’ve taken to writing everyone else except Dave, including the Attorneys General of Washington, New York and Connecticut, among others. Why, Dave even got a letter from Larry Lamade of Akin Gump, the NFL’s attorneys. Everyone writes letters and it creates a great paper trail so everyone knows what’s going on.

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