Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Miguel, Jul 27, 2006.
Certainly a step in the right direction..but I wonder in real terms of players in need, how much it will help. I know that Parrish said it's inadequate..ut would like to hear more from other retirees
"I think it's the right thing to do," said Don Hasselbeck, 51, a former tight end with the New England Patriots and other teams who has two sons (quarterbacks Matt and Tim) in the NFL. "We should be responsible for the guys who came before us. Gene has to educate the players that sooner or later they will be one of us (retired). There are lots of guys he knows who could use a little more retirement and health benefits. This is a step in the right direction but it's not enough."
Nice sentiment but education is not Gene's strong suit. Vulcan mindbending is. So it's not the current players he has to educate, they have no say or vote in what the NFLPA negotiates on their behalf. They are his captive little herd of sheep. The union has spent the last 20 years convincing them that all they need to know is Gene knows best. The really intelligent ones who are sensitive to this issue and have the tenacity to speak out on it publicly periodically, especially whan a new CBA is being hammered out, get treated like traitors to the cause.
And it's not just the guys from the 80's who need help. It's the guys from the 90's and today who spend all or parts of 4 or 5 seasons getting their bodies and their brains bashed in on one year contracts for little more than league minimums (or fractions thereof) bouncing around from one franchise to another filling out the last half dozen roster spots. Then eventually give way to fresh bodies and retire to live out the next 50 years dealing with the effects of that beating for which they likely took home in total far less than the one time signing bonus of a day one draftee.
But this union is obcessed with living in the present and protecting the financial interest of it's elite talent and potentially elite talent and the agents who represent them by squeezing as much $$$ out of the pie as they can in order to funnel the bulk of it to their stars. The rank and file are just along for the ride, and Gene long ago convinced the majority of them that riding on the coat tails of those stars, trickle down economics would serve them all just fine. After all the game already provided most of them with a college education.
And look what it did for Gene. He no longer has to rely on his union benefits as a former player when he decides to retire.
"Upshaw said it is difficult to balance the needs and desires of current players with those of their predecessors and noted that many industries now are trying to take back pension and health care benefits they promised to retirees."
Most industries don't have employees in their first real job out of college making millions a year in starting salary. This particular industry has boatloads of money with which to support it's retirees. The union that controls how that money is distributed just doesn't have the desire or will to make that happen because it would entail shifting a chunk of the all important pie away from agents like Tom Condon's present and future clientels.
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