A blast from the past – 1932:
Talk about covering all the bases. A story came out on TIME magazine this week following the suicide of another college football player, Kosta Karageorge, following some depression and strange behavior as reported by his family. The article cites a new study that points out how many brain injuries and concussions go undetected with no visible indications or signs of any problems. But halfway through the article, they also quote Dr. Christopher Whitlow, who led the research team at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center (Winston-Salem, N.C.), stating that even with what emerges as brain damage among his study group after just one season of high school football: Continue reading
Out of frustration over the years of multiple NFL-caused brain surgeries, George Visger sometimes took to sending in handwritten letters to Travelers Insurance (they ran the Workers Compensation/disability insurance program for the San Francisco 49ers). Travelers continues their practice of not responding to most of George’s inquiries, phone calls or medical bills to this day and he is currently suing them to continue providing coverage. How many of you retired players out there have also had to go through this and how many of you have actually even received any coverage?
As posted on Scribd – You can 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).
Just a quick update from ABC/AP on the Fairness Hearing held in Philadelphia earlier today. Seeger’s quoted comment was telling: WTF are they paying you the big bucks for then if you didn’t even believe you had the balls to go all the way in fighting the NFL? Seriously?!! Stay tuned…
Lawyer Asks Judge to Approve NFL Concussion Deal
Judge Brody is holding a Fairness Hearing on the NFL Concussion Lawsuit Settlement offer in her courtroom today in Philadelphia. Dr. Don Brady has been studying and treating patients of all ages for concussions and brain injuries for many years and is an advocate of long-term studies and research into improved methods for diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Brady sent a detailed Objection on behalf of retired players to the US District Court in Pennsylvania along with a cover letter to Judge Brody.
We’ve also uploaded a copy of Dr. Brady’s objection, along with a copy of his cover letter to Judge Brody. You can 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).
EDITOR’S NOTE: Patrick Hruby has gone deeper into the lurid details of the NFL concussion lawsuit settlement offer than any other journalist we know. With the “Fairness Hearing” scheduled for tomorrow morning in Judge Brody’s court in Philadelphia, we wanted to get more details in front of all the retired players. We’re pleased to have Patrick’s permission to re-post his latest piece – and it’s not a pretty picture for anyone other than the NFL and its owners!
‘It Feels Like the Game is Rigged’
Why Former Players are Worried about the NFL Concussion Settlement
by Patrick Hruby
The retired National Football League player sounded apoplectic. He also sounded exhausted. Brain damage can have that effect. So can extended litigation.
This was last week. We were on the phone, discussing the proposed settlement of the class action concussion lawsuit against the league. The retired player had been a plaintiff in the case for years, followed most of the news, seen some of it unfold from behind the scenes. He wasn’t opting out or objecting to the deal. But he wasn’t happy, either. He didn’t want to go on the record, because he figured the NFL would use whatever he said against him.
Oh, and he didn’t trust his own lawyer — a prominent, powerful attorney on the suit — not to do the same.
“A lot of guys feel like something is coming to them, and that something is better than nothing,” the player said. “But we know that we got fucked. Across the board, everybody knows that.” Continue reading
EDITOR’S NOTE: Here is a chilling perspective that few journalists other than Patrick Hruby has taken the time (or had the balls) to analyze when it comes to the NFL concussion lawsuit settlement offer. Like they say, the devil is in the details and there are a lot of demons hiding in this sordid offer. Re-posted with the generous permission of Patrick Hruby.
The NFL Concussion Settlement is Pocket Change for the League
by Patrick Hruby
The proposed National Football League concussion settlement is a great deal for the league. Only don’t take my word for it. Ask Chad Lewis.
A senior director at Fitch Ratings, Lewis makes his living analyzing and grading corporate debt—the rough equivalent of studying your credit card statements and old, still-unpaid Columbia House mail-order CD club bill to come up with a personal credit score, only for investment banks and pharmaceutical companies. Last month, Fitch Ratings assessed the NFL, giving the league a series of “A” and “A+” grades.
“We looked at the key fundamentals,” says Lewis, also the lead analyst for Fitch’s sports ratings. “TV contracts, fan attendance, a great, long history. Then we looked at the actual economic framework of the league, with equal distribution of TV revenues and player costs having a hard salary cap. Then we matched that with the amount of debt on a per team basis, where leverage is very low.” Continue reading
I wish I’d spoken to Patrick Hruby before changing my mind about Opting Out on the last day. Despite my 9 NFL-caused brain surgeries, which I was forced to prove in a Workers Comp court of law were caused by my head injury with the 49ers (see link to concussion hit below).
KRON4 News in San Francisco – April 18, 2012
George Visger, author of the eBook “OUT OF MY HEAD: My Life In and Out of Football” (January 2012), was featured in this report on KRON4:
Ken McClain figured the National Football League was preparing to screw his clients. Question was, just how badly?
A Kansas City-based attorney, McClain represents two dozen former professional football players in their mid-30s to 60s whom he says suffer from depression, impulsivity, and other life-altering symptoms of brain damage — damage presumably accumulated during years of on-the-job helmet-knocking. In theory, all of them ought to be covered by the proposed NFL concussion lawsuit settlement; a multimillion dollar class action agreement that promises to compensate ailing retirees and is moving toward final approval in federal court.
Available once again from PBS’s FrontLine series. If you haven’t had an opportunity to watch this already, here’s the full-length documentary League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis.
And a short post from the Neurologic Rehabilitation Institute’s Rolf Gainer posing a question George Visger has been trying to ask NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell: