NFL for Dummies

How_to_Screw_EveryonePerhaps Judge Brody might want to find a copy of this book before she makes her final ruling on the NFL Concussion settlement offer.

This week started off with back-to-back news stories that only reinforce what most retired players have already learned the hard way over the years: The NFL NEVER, EVER pays for anything. Yesterday a post on Business Insurance analyzed just where all the money will likely come from to pay for the concussion settlement: Insurance companies and fans. Sure, the NFL will likely end up seeing higher policy costs over time but higher ticket prices and broadcast fees should cover all of that without impacting their bottom line at all. And without a full trial and disclosure and discovery, there will be absolutely no damages or admission of guilt.

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Great NFL Concussion Denial Timeline from Deadspin

Came across this timeline of the NFL’s years of denial on football-related concussions all the way to the lawsuits. We just realized that Deadspin embedded our Dr. No No No video clip that we’d posted from Oct. 2009 on YouTube when we first went after him.

A Timeline Of Concussion Science And NFL Denial

The now-settled lawsuits brought by thousands of former players hinged on the notion that the NFL ignored decades of research on the degenerative long-term effects of brain trauma, and didn’t take enough steps to protect its employees. Here’s a helpful (ahem, Pete Prisco), but necessarily incomplete timeline of concussion research and the NFL’s response. Some of this relies on the excellent timeline put together by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Malcolm Burnley.

1933: The NCAA’s medical handbook is distributed to all member schools. It warns that concussions are treated too lightly, and recommends that concussed players receive rest and constant supervision, and not be allowed to play or practice until symptoms have been gone for 48 hours. For symptoms lasting longer than 48 hours, it recommends players “not be permitted to compete for 21 days or longer, if at all.”

1937: At its annual meeting, the American Football Coaches Association declares that concussed players should immediately be taken out of a game. “Sports demanding personal contact should be eliminated after an individual has suffered a concussion.”

1952: A study appearing in the New England Journal of Medicine urges players who suffer three concussions to leave football forever for their own safety.

You can see the view the rest of the Timeline by clicking HERE.

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Update on Dryer vs NFL Films: NFL Files for Summary Judgment

The NFL moved for summary judgment and the Dryer plaintiffs moved for partial summary judgment.  The Plaintiffs’ brief was filed under seal so it’s currently not available publicly yet. There is a hearing set for October 2, 2014 at 9 am US District Court in St. Paul Minnesota in front of Judge Magnuson.

We uploaded a copy of the NFL’s 73-page motion for summary judgment to Scribd for downloading, reading and printing. You can also 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).

Memo in Support of MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by NFL in Dryer vs NFL Films

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Game On! NFL Films Trial Update

judge-gavelDoes anyone still remember the Dryer vs NFL Films lawsuit? We had thousands of retired players filing their Opt Out forms with the court after the NFL submitted their “best” offer which included stealing all your image rights for life if you decided to take their settlement offer. Well, finally the trial is scheduled to start on Nov. 4th 2014 and the lead plaintiffs are Fred Dryer, Elvin Bethea and Ed White, while the other three original plaintiffs – Jim Marshall, Joe Senser and Dan Pastorini – took a bullet by staying in the original group to continue fighting from the inside.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Fred Dryer’s presentation from our 2013 Football Veterans Conference added to the end of this post 8:15 PST.

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Ricky Williams Invites George Visger to Jupiter Clinic

EDITOR’S NOTE: George Visger was invited by Ricky Williams to join him and three other retired football players at the Upledger Institute in Jupiter Florida for a week of intensive alternative treatments for their physical and mental disabilities from the game.

It was terrible! :-D 28 therapists from all over the world (Scotland, Canada etc.) and only five of us to fend them off!

It was truly unbelievable what they did for all of us. Would have up to four therapists working on you at once. Actually got rid of my tinitus for a couple days, headaches gone, increased range of motion in my right shoulder from 38 degrees to nearly 180 (was scheduled for reconstruction on it back in May)!


George sent this picture of the crew – Left to right:
Eric Williams (my Stockton Homeboy)
Terrell Smith
Marcus Koch
Ricky Williams
George Visger
George n Ricky

Larry King Live on Brain Injuries in the NFL

We just came across this Larry King Now episode on Head Trauma in the NFL from January 2013, not long after Junior Seau committed suicide.

Superbowl Champion Fred McCrary, Jacksonville Jaguar Marcedes Lewis, Sports Illustrated writer Jim Trotter and our very own brain doctor, Dr. Daniel Amen join Larry to discuss brain injuries and possible solutions. (You can enlarge the video to full screen by clicking the button in the lower right corner.)

Patrick Hruby: Cutting Them Short

EDITOR’S NOTE: Another deeper analysis digging into more details of the NFL concussion lawsuit settlement offer from Patrick Hruby. We’ve been given permission to post his article here for retired players to read. This long piece is a MUST-READ if you want to get a better understanding of the subtle and not-so-subtle ways you’ll likely be disqualified for the NFL’s generous uncapped offer. Be sure to tell us in the Comments section if you still feel this offer is a great deal after reading Patrick’s article.
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Cutting Them Short

Patrick Hruby July 18, 2014

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At Last! NFLPA Sued for Concussions!

Businesswoman with fists in air looking up

Well, it was just a question of time. Former NFL players Christian Ballard and Gregory Westbrooks just filed a lawsuit against the NFLPA for their negligent role in covering up the damage from concussions in football. Also named in the suit are former Union Presidents Raymond Armstrong, Troy Vincent and Kevin Mawae. Missing so far are the estate of the late Gene Upshaw and current Executive Director DeMaurice Smith. (Be sure to read Smith’s comments in the article attached below – spoken like a true lawyer!) If your own union isn’t responsible for protecting its employees – past, present and future – who is? Especially considering the membership dues it extracts from each current player today.

We’ve uploaded the 40-page filing to Scribd to make it easier to download, read and print. You can also 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). Continue reading

Jim Acho: Stepping Up to the Plate

EDITOR’S NOTE: Jim Acho is an attorney with the firm of Cummings, McClorey, Davis and Acho in Michigan and is best known for his work on the MLB lawsuit for retired players’ benefits. Jim has also represented many retired NFL football players including Lem Barney. This is a recent post from Legal News that covered many of the highlights of his legal career and his battle with MLB. We’re posting this with his permission so our readers can have some insight of what it took behind-the-scenes of battling a major sports League; there are a lot of parallels in how the NFL is taking on its retirees. Jim is not currently involved with any of the NFL lawsuits but has advised many of his football clients over the years.

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Stepping Up to the Plate

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Some Basic Facts about the NFL Settlement

Most of the retired players who have been involved in the NFL concussion class action suits – named plaintiffs or not – have basically been kept completely out of the loop on the negotiations and details during the entire process. Even worse, with a preliminary approval of the settlement offer, it’s now obvious that there will never be any discovery or admission of guilt on the part of the NFL regarding information nor will there be any potential for damages done to the lives this has affected.

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Based on everything currently available, we’ve posted details as researched by journalists like Patrick Hruby that analyze the settlement for what it offers and what it doesn’t cover. As Patrick pointed out in the title of his post, The Devil is in the Details, everyone’s left on their own to review the sparse details that we know about this offer and it’s turning out to be even worse than anyone can imagine. On first glance, it was spun out into the media to sound like an incredible deal for retirees because the NFL had “lifted” the cap on payouts. But with lots of micro-qualifications and details injected into the agreement.

Naturally, we’re not going to expect an objective analysis from the NFL attorneys. But I somehow doubt if a large majority of the Plaintiffs’ Attorneys really want to provide a cold, objective analysis either.

We were fortunate to have been able to catch up with an attorney experienced with brain injury litigation who has not been involved with the NFL or the retired players. Gordon Johnson has been involved in with brain injury lawsuits for 20 yearsread more about his background by clicking HERE.

Gordon had his team created a shocking spreadsheet of retired football players who have died or are clearly diagnosed with the qualifying criteria within the timeline as outlined in the settlement offer. The NFL’s chart is posted first and Brain Injury Law Group’s chart follows. If anyone – ANYONE – out there has any more players they believe should be added to this chart, please feel free to let us know. But based on the information available, there are actually only 20 players they could find who made the narrow qualifications to be included so far. And for a total of…$50,920,000 $42,100,000! Yep! That’s it. Not even $100 million and three of these guys won’t even receive anything because they didn’t play long enough due to their injuries! Small wonder they lifted the cap. Definitely not even $765 million as the NFL would like the media, the fans and the courts to believe. Almost no one qualifies! Continue reading