After a few e-mail exchanges, Larry Lamade at Akin Gump graciously provided me with a bound copy of the latest Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Players Retirement Plan that was released in April 2012. . He also sent me a cover letter with attachments that outline a proposed amendment and a new Neuro-Cognitive Disability Benefit that are in the process of being added to the Plan. We’ll be adding comments and observations shortly. If any of our readers find some interesting points, please feel free to share them in the Comments section below. . We uploaded copies of the proposed changes and a full copy of the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle Plan to Scribd for easy viewing and to make it available for downloading and printing. You can also click the Enlarge icon in the lower right corner of the menu at the bottom of the viewing screen to go Full Screen for easier reading (just hit the ESC key to close): .
Concussion coverage continues to take center stage in mid-season as ESPN keeps digging deeper into the contradictory position the League continued to take on the long-term damages of brain injuries from a career in football. Mark Fainaru-Wada reports on the findings of a joint ESPN Outside the Lines and PBS Frontline investigation. Dave’s concussion lawsuit attorney Jason Luckasevic was part of a discussion panel with ESPN’s Outside the Lines this past Friday – here’s the audio: .
. And here’s an earlier OTL video from back in February 2012 with background on the growing concussion lawsuits being filed: .
. Then there’s a very recent clip from ESPN discussing the “smoking gun” that could damage the NFL’s claims of ignorance about concussions even as the Disability Board unanimously approved three disability claims based on concussion injuries suffered by players – all while denying the majority of similar claims by publicly disavowing any connection of long-term damages from concussions and brain injuries. Hall of Famer Mike Webster is the most prominent of those three approved claims with a $1.8 million settlement to his estate after giving the NFL and its Disability Plan a sound beating in the appeals process. .
. And the article from Steve Fainaru and Mark Fainaru-Wada at ESPN: .
George Visger, 52, earned the ultimate prize in professional football: a championship with the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XVI in 1982. The former defensive tackle also bagged an Orange Bowl victory while playing with the University of Colorado. .
But now he’s paying the ultimate price for all those years on the gridiron. After thousands of on-field hits to his head, hydrocephalus, and multiple brain surgeries, he is struggling with memory problems. And he receives absolutely NO benefits whatsoever – pension or disability – from the NFL in spite of his Super Bowl ring because he doesn’t meet their arbitrary 3-year vesting rule! .
George is currently an environmental consultant in California. .
Dan Bunz is a former American Football linebacker who played for the San Francisco 49ers and the Detroit Lions in an eight-year career that lasted from 1978 to 1985 in the National Football League. .
As a linebacker for the 49ers in Super Bowl XVI, he made one of the most famous defensive tackles ever witnessed. On a critical 3rd-and-goal from the one-yard line, Anderson passed to Charles Alexander in the right flat, but Bunz came up fast, grabbed the receiver around the waist, and hurled him backward before he could break the plane of the goal line. “The Stop” is regarded as “The Best Thing Witnessed On TV Ever.” He was a member of the San Francisco 49ers Super Bowl XVI and Super Bowl XIX winning teams. .
Dan currently teaches Physical Education at Sutter Middle School in Sacramento. He also teaches people of all ages in being healthy and fit. .
Here are George and Dan telling the audience about the reality of their lives after football with an emphasis on the long-term effects of concussions and the failed disability process and system that the NFL and the NFLPA continue to impose on its retired employees. .
Read into it what you will but we don’t recall too many times when the NFLPA has stepped into an arbitration hearing for a retired player in the past. What we really have a problem understanding is why the NFL insists on asking for arbitration anyway. Wouldn’t it have been easier – and a whole lot smarter – just to have paid these guys their Severance Pay in the first place?(Click on the images to enlarge for easier reading.)