How This All Came to Be
We finally decided to officially announce The First Annual Independent Football Veterans Conference and kick off our new nonprofit and website right before Super Bowl XLV 2011.
It was exactly three years earlier when Dave Pear and his friend, Robert Lee, had originally started Dave’s blog, DavePear.com, in 2008 just before Super Bowl XLII. Dave had recently returned from an appearance with Mike Ditka and the launch of his Gridiron Greats organization. The latest Congressional hearings on the NFL had just started. Dave had completed interviews with the Washington Post, the Seattle Times and the New York Times and the stories were all scheduled to come out just in time for Super Bowl XLII 2008. Everything finally seemed to come together as a perfect time to launch Dave’s Blog.
Washington Post writer, Michael Leahy, spent several days following Dave around to see just what his life is like on a day-to-day basis. His article also appeared as a cover article in their 2008 SuperBowl Sunday edition of The Post Sunday Magazine, along with another dramatic collection of photos taken by The Post’s Brian Smale. Read The Pain Game and check out the Slideshow in the sidebar. EDITOR’S NOTE: Be sure to read how Gene Upshaw lied and disclosed Dave’s personal financial information to Michael Leahy.
Then New York Times‘ Harvey Araton wrote a pre-game piece on the plight of disabled NFL retirees from Phoenix.
We started with a few hundred readers, mostly retired players. Over the past two years, readership grew in numbers as well as in interests. We went on to focus on news and information that was important to football players retired and active, as well as fans. Over time, our readership helped us focus on disability and pension reform.
That evolved into a Mission Statement for our new nonprofit foundation: