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!

EDITOR’S NOTE: Is there a pattern here? As always, nothing ever really changes with the NFL (and the NFLPA by association). After years of propaganda and misinformation, the League announced that Dr. No Ira Casson and Dr. Yes Elliot Pellman would no longer be running the MTBI Committee (that’s the MILD Traumatic Brain Injury Committee – LoL!). Just like when he was first brought on board to replace Gene Upshaw in 2009, NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith announced that he was firing the Groom Law Group because it was a conflict of interest. (But according to their latest tax returns, it turns out the NFLPA still managed to pay Groom Law Group over $1 million in fees last year.) And just like the San Diego Chargers’ controversial Dr. DWI Chao lobbied on the NFL’s behalf to ensure that Junior Seau’s brain did NOT get into the hands of pathologist and CTE scientist Dr. Bennet Omalu. It seems clear that none of these people have any intention of real change – it’s all about how much less it costs to hire PR spin doctors to change public perceptions instead. We were debating which title would be more appropriate for this post: Different Day, Same Crap! or You Can’t Make This Stuff Up!
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So now comes this latest piece from Patrick Hruby that finds Dr. Yes Elliot Pellman still working deep inside the NFL. Re-posted from Sports on Earth with permission from Patrick.
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The Wrong Man For The Job

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You may remember a post we featured last year in July 2011 from Alison Owens, wife of former Charger Terry Owens (click HERE to read that post). Sadly, Terry passed away at home on October 27, 2012 at the age of 68. Terry had only recently been approved for the NFL’s 88 Plan and his wife Alison wasn’t able to find a facility that could give Terry the round-the-clock care he needed in his final years of suffering from dementia. His brain tissue was donated to Sports Legacy Institute to confirm the likelihood of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). Our thoughts and prayers go out to Alison and her family.
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Of course, the NFL continues to promote their great new concussion rules even as more and more stories of “undetected” concussions surface every day during the current season. And then you have players like Brady Quinn, who still “think” (for lack of a better word) that they can play through a concussion even after putting on the wrong helmet while sitting on the sidelines.

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Posted with the express consent of Evan Weiner:

THE BUSINESS AND POLITICS OF SPORTS
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Wednesday, 2 May 2011
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BY EVAN WEINER
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
COMMENTARY
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I didn’t know Junior Seau although I met him on the day he was drafted into the National Football League in 1990 and probably interviewed him after a football game a few times more. From all accounts, he was a fearsome presence on the football field; a killer who at times could control a game defensively.
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But Junior Seau didn’t live to be a ripe old age and until an autopsy is performed and a police investigation is complete, there is no need to speculate about the circumstances surrounding Seau’s death other than he was found dead of a shotgun wound on the morning of May 2, 2012 about 22 years after the San Diego Chargers football team called his name at the annual National Football League event.
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The gun wound should strike a nerve among former players. It seems that is becoming a way of life and death among NFL alum suffering from life altering injuries that probably came from years and years of absorbing hits on the football field. People do hear about former NFL players but there seems to be no tracking of high school and college players who years after their football careers ended killed themselves.
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Dear Mr. Pear,
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I am sending you this message tonight because I am on my last raw nerve. The Wrights’ story prompted me to reach out to others like us.
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I believe you may have already seen some correspondence about my husband, Terry Owens – San Diego Chargers ten years as #76. Terry is a big man, a proud man. We lost his business earlier this year but were actually blessed because we should have lost it much sooner – State Farm stepped up.
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Terry has gone downhill fast. He’s now on the 88 plan. I can’t keep up with him – even with full-time help. We do not need anything financially. YET. But we do need communication and support. I could never have imagined how hard this would be and I pride myself on being a strong cookie. We are living in Crazyland every day!
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Fortunately, Terry is just as sweet as he has always been. But two of us chase him all day long. He has several self-inflicted wounds: eye, thumb, nose. Minor but of concern. He thinks he’s holding something in his hand all day – nothing there but his hand is clasped. It’s crazy. Even two of us cannot keep up. Last night, I went to take a shower and I forgot to lock the front door. Within 10 minutes he was outside with the TV remote in his hand along with 4 or 5 books (anything he could get his hands on) and in his bare feet walking down a long driveway to get into a neighbor’s mailbox! And Terry cannot go into an assisted living facility at this stage as he’s beyond that and needs round-the-clock supervision to keep him from hurting himself or getting into trouble.
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Feel free to post our dilemma on your blog. Others need to know just how bad it is and how ill-prepared we are for all of this. I’m also hoping that others in similar situations will get in touch with me so we can provide support for each other.
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Please count me in on the fight for retired football players’ rights.
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Dave, I thank you,
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Respectfully,
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Alison Owens
on behalf of Terry and all the other men who are now suffering from their concussions
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(256) 221-0043
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Posted with the express consent of Evan Weiner:

THE BUSINESS AND POLITICS OF SPORTS
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Handouts to NFL owners have been an absolute failure

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Posted with the express consent of Evan Weiner:

THE BUSINESS AND POLITICS OF SPORTS
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Two decades later, sports is out of whack
Tuesday, 3 May 2011
BY EVAN WEINER
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
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About two decades ago, a tall man with an identifiable nasal twang was holding court at Gallagher’s Steak House one afternoon as he lifted a martini with a shaking hand to his mouth. The septuagenarian with a bad wig was standing near the slabs of meat that were hanging at the steak house and in a crescendo was complaining about the world of sports. The empty room began filling up as the man droned.
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“Sports is out of whack,” said the man with the familiar voice in a loudish way as he fumbled to take a sip of his martini. He was disgusted with the industry that he first entered in the 1950s as Willie Mays’ advisor.
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Last week was yet another week of vindication for the man who was despised by sportswriters for telling it like it is.
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The three — make that about five — events of the week of April 25-April 30, had nothing to do with actual games. There was the draft in a locked-out-then-open-for-business-then-locked-out National Football League.
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There was Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson moving as much earth as he could to try and keep the city’s National Basketball Association team in team in town despite the fact that the unemployment level had hit 12 percent in his region. At the same time he was rounding up $10 million in marketing partnership for the owners of the NBA Kings, the Maloof brothers, Johnson was cutting workers at the city’s police and fire departments and school administrators were trying to figure out whether they can keep sports going in Sacramento public schools.
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I was reading a Wall Street Journal article that circulated a couple of weeks ago and really had to take some time to digest it all.

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Mercury Morris has recently been discussing an investigation into the NFL and its handling of the retired players’ disability and pension benefits. Here’s his synopsis of what he’s made available to select members of the media so far:

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We’ll start this post off with an inquiry that just came in today:

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I am sending this email in regards to the class action lawsuit. My name was on the list which was posted: Leroy Jones – I played with the Chargers from 1976 – 1984. I never received any information concerning the distribution of the funds as to when and how it will occur.

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NPR’s Tell Me More with host, Michel Martin, interviewed Dr. Eleanor Perfetto and Brent Boyd this morning. Dr. Perfetto recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of her husband, Ralph Wentzel, who played lineman for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the San Diego Chargers from 1966 – 1973; her lawsuit is the first workers’ compensation claim for dementia resulting from brain injuries incurred while playing football. Ralph Wentzel is now living in an assisted living facility with severe dementia. The NFL’s Plan 88 is covering his assisted living costs ($88,000 a year). Brent Boyd was an offensive lineman for the Minnesota Vikings and was diagnosed with early onset dementia 4 years ago. (Brent’s website is HERE.)

Dr. Eleanor Perfetto

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