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!

Posted with the express consent of Irv Muchnick from his blog Concussion Inc.:
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Harvard Hits the Concussion Inc. Jackpot: 10 Years, $100 Million From NFL Players for a Tiny and Misrepresented Study Glossing Over Brain Trauma

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Posted with the express consent of Irv Muchnick from his blog Concussion Inc.:
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Dan Pastorini Malpractice Suit Against Class Action Firm Hints Settlement Talks Already Under Way With NFL

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Posted with the express consent of Irv Muchnick from his blog Concussion Inc.:
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Published January 10th, 2012

Rep. Linda Sánchez

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Happy Holidays, Football and Sports Concussion Establishment: 2012 Is the Year of the Tobacco-Style Lawsuit

Posted with the express consent of Irv Muchnick from his blog Concussion Inc.:

Published December 26th, 2011.

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Duerson Apparently Did Not Review Andrew Stewart NFL Disability Claim

Posted with the express consent of Irv Muchnick:
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Published September 10th, 2011
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On August 16, FoxSports.com’s Alex Marvez broke the story of a lawsuit against the National Football League’s Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle Retirement Plan, in federal court in Maryland, by retired player Andrew Stewart. I discussed the case on my Concussion Blog – click HERE.
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The premise of Marvez’s piece aligned with an important investigative angle of this blog: that the Stewart suit might reveal more about the work on the disability claims review board of Dave Duerson. But it turns out that, while Stewart’s attorneys have made a lot of progress in getting scrutiny in open court of the board’s inner workings – a very good thing – Duerson himself did not participate in the deliberations of Stewart’s particular case in August of last year.
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The three NFL Players Association representatives on the board for Stewart’s review were Andre Collins, Robert Smith, and Jeff Van Note. “I do not know why Duerson was not on the Board that day,” Stewart attorney Michael Rosenthal e-mailed me.
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According to John Hogan, who represents many retired players from his disability law practice in Georgia, retirement board members occasionally designate others as proxies, and that is probably what happened here. The whole process is mysterious and secretive, which is why we need the drip-drip-drip of additional cases to break down the NFL and NFLPA’s limestone wall. (The judge in the Stewart case has set a trial date, though he has not yet ruled on whether to permit live testimony. But the court seems to be leaning that way.)
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As I’ve said many times, perhaps the most tumultuous litigation for the football-concussion system isn’t by professionals. Rather, it involves youth athletes and the financial exposure of public schools for disabling injury and wrongful death. Without tackle football mania at the grassroots, the $10-billion-a-year NFL cannot recruit, inculcate, and thrive. We already know of one lawsuit in New Jersey by the family of a kid who died from a second concussion after being cleared to return to play – with the help of NFL and World Wrestling Entertainment witch doctor Joseph Maroon’s “ImPACT concussion management” software.
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Irvin Muchnick is author of CHRIS & NANCY: The True Story of the Benoit Murder-Suicide and Pro Wrestling’s Cocktail of Death (2009) and WRESTLING BABYLON: Piledriving Tales of Drugs, Sex, Death, and Scandal (2007). He is a widely published magazine journalist and has appeared on forums as diverse as Fox News’ “O’Reilly Factor,” National Public Radio’s “Fresh Air with Terry Gross,” and ESPN’s “Up Close.” Muchnick is lead respondent in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case for freelance writers’ rights, Reed Elsevier v. Muchnick.
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BeyondChron contributor Irvin Muchnick has launched his new website and blog “Concussion Inc.”. You can also find Irv on Twitter at http://twitter.com/irvmuch.
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Guys,
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A few comments from the notes I took down during the Santa Clara Law Sports Law Symposium:
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I was able to catch De alone for a few minutes outside at the coffee urn. He acted like he didn’t know who I was. Maybe he doesn’t??? In any event, I told him that I would really appreciate the opportunity to sit down with him and discuss disability. He told me to send him an e-mail!
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I received compliments from at least two guys who were amazed that I could hold my tongue during my presentation! I did directly ask him one question in my presentation – and he never answered it. It was about the new neuro-cognitive benefit – which I think is more PR or window dressing than a measure which will actually help any retired players.
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I thought he was taking down a lot of notes during my brief presentation – in fact, one of the audience members said that he was. However, when I looked over at him after I was finished, all I saw on the paper were doodles!
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De was the keynote speaker before our panel – the topic was concussions. However, other than saying that concussions were the NFL’s most significant health issue in the past five years, he did not speak at all about concussions. Rather, he said, “We need a broader discussion on health issues…(including) diabetes and heart disease… (as well as obesity).”
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One former player said that his talk was more like a commencement address, as it was filled with generalities and platitudes: “Our proper goal should be what is right and what is fair.” (Duh!) He also said to be, “…radical in your thoughts, unyielding in your criticism, with the goal of seeking justice.”
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Someone in the audience called out “My cow died!”
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De continued, unfazed, until the guy yelled out again “My cow died!”
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Somewhat rattled, De asked “What do you mean?” To which the heckler replied “I don’t need your bull anymore!”
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Now I can Dig That!
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Not a word about retired players. Not a word about the Legacy fund. Most unfortuately, there was no time for questions and De made a dash for the door with Delvin Williams and Irv Muchnick trying to ask him questions.
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Well, at least he showed up…
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John Hogan
Disability Attorney & Retired Players Advocate
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Posted with the express consent of Irv Muchnick:
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Notes on NFLPA Boss DeMaurice Smith at Santa Clara Sports Law Symposium

Published September 8th, 2011
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EDITOR’S NOTE: Thursday Evening – Irv Muchnick was one of the journalists attending the symposium and provides some notes about confronting DeMaurice Smith on Dave Duerson’s votes while on the Disability Board. Read his post by clicking HERE.
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Will wonders never cease? NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith actually showed up this year for the Second Annual Santa Clara Law Sports Law Symposium. (Hey – we always gotta give credit where it’s due!) If you’ll recall, Smith was a very prominent no-show at last year’s symposium, citing “personal reasons” for not appearing. Disability attorney John Hogan is there again this year, along with retired players’ attorneys, Michael Hausfeld and Shawn Stuckey. Apparently, De Smith is the keynote speaker on sports concussions and John Hogan and Shawn Stuckey will be two of the panelists. Hall-of-Famer Jim Brown is the Special Guest this year. Click HERE to visit their site and look over the speaker list.
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John has also provided us with an advance copy of his symposium White Paper: Concussions, Brain Injury and NFL Disability. This 23-page document is one of the best encapsulated overviews on brain injuries and how the NFL and the NFLPA is dealing (or not) with the long-term effects of concussions and the subsequent long-term needs of its former employees. This is a must-read for everyone.
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We’ve just uploaded a full copy of John Hogan’s document to Scribd for easy viewing and to make it downloadable for printing. You can also click the Enlarge icon in the center of the menu at the bottom of the viewing screen to go Full Screen for easier reading (just hit the ESC key to close):
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John Hogan Santa Clara Sports Law Symposium Paper
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Posted with the express consent of Irv Muchnick:
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NFL Retirees’ ‘Legacy Fund’ Boost an Obvious Throwaway Line of Lockout-Ending CBA

Published August 29th, 2011
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Dissident National Football League retiree Dave Pear’s blog has more primary-source email exchanges among principals about the confused status of increased pensions for pre-1993 players as a result of the so-called Legacy Fund, which was negotiated into the recent collective bargaining agreement between the league and the NFL Players Association. Some of these equivocal words emanate from Sam McCullum, the replacement for the late Dave Duerson on the joint labor-management disability claims review board.
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See “More unanswered questions on pre-93 issues”.
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Posted with the express consent of Irv Muchnick:
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Football Media, Courts Still Not Tackling Lesson of Dave Duerson Suicide

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by Irvin Muchnick‚ Aug. 19‚ 2011
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Six months after Dave Duerson put a bullet through his own chest, the annual national brain trauma toll mounts again, from the National Football League all the way down to the peewees. Meanwhile, the mentally flabby sports media continue putting out the same sugar-coated message: that we should become more “aware” about concussions, and that pro football players should emulate Duerson by donating their brains for research – as if Duerson – who spent his late life denying others’ claims of concussion syndrome – personally invented Chronic Traumatic Encephelopathy (CTE).
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Here’s a better idea: Next month, in federal court in Maryland, there will be a pretrial hearing in a case against the NFL retirement plan by Andrew Stewart, who played linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers and two other teams from 1989 to 1993, and whose application for increased disability benefits had been rejected. Stewart’s lawyer wants the court to examine the work of Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Players Retirement Plan’s (EDITOR’S NOTE: Corrected from the original post) joint owner/players’ union Board of Trustees – which included Duerson.
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Alex Marvez of FoxSports.com, who is doing as good a job as any mainstream journalist on the concussion story’s off-the-field aspects, broke the Stewart lawsuit development (Click HERE to read his post).
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EDITOR’S NOTE: Author Irv Muchnick has been covering the big picture on concussions in sports and its broader effects on society in general. In following up with our most recent posts and debates with insiders from the NFLPA on their role in Disability Benefits – or lack thereof – we’re presenting three of Irv’s current posts.
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Posted with the express consent of Irv Muchnick:
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Sports Concussion Crisis a Culture-Wide Problem – Maybe a Post-Ideological One, Too

August 8‚ 2011
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by Irvin Muchnick
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Writing in The Nation’s special August 15-22 sports issue, currently on newsstands, recently retired Denver Broncos wide receiver turned social critic Nate Jackson reflects on the football concussion crisis. Jackson is short on specifics and long on the banal (“But at what price comes the glory?”). Jackson also makes regrettable separation from the essential theme: traumatic brain injuries are not the same as blown-out knees; the National Football League’s commerce-first values inculcate amateur sports, as well; and the depth and breadth of the resulting societal fallout far exceed the public’s current perception.
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Posted with the express consent of Irv Muchnick:
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by Irvin Muchnick‚
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July 18‚ 2011
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