1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Now, THIS is a powerful message (Wallace Matthews Column today)

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Blog Is My Co-Pilot, Jan 31, 2007.

  1. wallace_matthews

    wallace_matthews New Member

    A friend of mine who is at the Super Bowl called today to say that the press conference held by Ditka and Kramer for the retired players fund drew about a dozen writers. The press conference to introduce Prince as the halftime act drew close to 1,000.

    I guess it's not a story after all.
  2. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Of course not. And only YOU Have framed this discussion this way. You attribute something to me and then argue against me. I don't know how many times I can repeat the same thing. 1) The league and the union have no responsibility to take care of former players. 2) The league and the union have a PR problem on their hands (although not a big enough one, unfortunately, based on the post prior to this) because they are not taking care of former players.

    Feel free to resume the argument with yourself.
  3. CHETtheJET

    CHETtheJET Member

    In a subtle note, Newsday with Wally and Shaun has become significant reading again.
  4. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    Yeah giant PR problem. Causing all sorts of sleepless nights, I'm sure. I guess the story petered out when people began understanding that it wasn't much of a story -- just a bunch of retirees unsatsifed with pension plan increases of more than 100 percent over the past few years. Never mind the fact that nobody was obligated to give them another dime in the first place and that there retirement programs were already better than those of 95 percent of the population.

    Everyone who thinks this is such a huge injustice should try going back to their employers in about 30 years and telling them they want more pension money. Oh, that's right. Most of the people here don't even have pension plans. Some don't even have 401Ks.
  5. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    I'm shocked there is gambling here is the quote that fits best for this story.

    I've been watching stewy all am introduce NFL injury story in somber tone. When we last saw stewy he was screaming "jacked up" as he introduced the big hits of week.
  6. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    And many people don't feel the same way as you, because: 1) Most of our jobs don't put us at substantial risk of being cripples by the time we're 50, and 2) Most of us don't work for high-profile organizations that are very visably making boatloads of money and making current employees multimillionaires, while hundreds of former employees are living in homeless shelters.

    They've got no obligation to the former players. But helping them out amounts to crumbs for the league and the PA (Ditka sent a letter to every owner asking them to donate $100K to a destitute players' fund. Problem solved if all 32 of them come to the table with a measly $100K. Only two owners responded, one with $5,000 and the other with $10,000). And they could ride it for a lot of good PR. The thing that surprises me most is that the old-school owners, the Rooneys and the Maras and even Al Davis, who takes care of fhis former players quietly, have usually been pretty good about things like this. And very often they've been able to impose their will on the rest of the owners, as the conscience of the league. I'd expect the newer owners who are leveraged to the hilt to not give a shit, though. And the current players obviously don't give a shit.
  7. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    The current players -- without any obligation -- have along with the NFL raised the benefits of the pre-'77 class by more than 100 percent over the past six years. Those retirees just don't believe that's enough and some of them have even hinted that their pensions should be brought in line with current retirees. That's a ridiculous postion, especially when you consider that there is a disproportionately large group of retirees relative to current employees in the NFL (even compared with other sports) due to large rosters and short careers.

    Would it be nice if the former NFL players got more pension money? Sure, I'd always rather see money in the hands of employees rather than owners. But I'm really having a hard time getting worked up over some former football players who decided to take their pensions early and are now only getting a few hundred dollars a month? Sorry, I'd rather concern myself with groups that genuinely need sympathy and support.

    With that said, it does, however, sound like there's plenty of room to improve what sounds like a procedurally dysfunctional disability program. There's no shortage of athletes crippling themselves by playing football.
  8. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Actually, it doesn't sound like the pensions they are paying amount to much. In one of the stories I read this morning about yesterday's press conference, they used Herb Adderley as the example. He played in four of the first six Super Bowls and had a 12-year career. He's in the Hall of Fame. His monthly pension check has been $126.78. This year they are upping it to $176.85 per month.

    Yeah. That's a big percentage increase. $2 two times $1, too.

    Pointing out that it is not much of a pension check, doesn't make the former players the ingrates you are saying--not when there are so many who are destitute. The number of former players who are homeless is very likely in the hundreds. I don't blame them for trying to shame the union and the league into doing something about it.
  9. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    They always use Adderley (or one of the other guys who opted to begin taking their pension benefits early) as an example because he's on the far low end. Guys with equivalent service who didn't opt to take their pension early get closer to $800 a month. Is that a great pension by today's professional sports standards? Absolutely not. But it's a huge pension compared to 95 percent of retirees in our country.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page