From TEDx 2016: David Camarillo – Why helmets don’t prevent concussions — and what might

An interesting 16-minute talk from former college football player David Camarillo and currently Assistant Professor at Stanford University.

Aaron Hernandez Found Dead in Prison Cell

One more tragic ending to what started as a very promising career. Does anyone have any doubt about the role brain injuries had in all of this?

Aaron Hernandez, former NFL player, found dead in prison cell, officials say

Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriots star who was convicted of murder in 2015, killed himself in his prison cell Wednesday morning, officials said.

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Working for Your Money

Rickey Dixon played as a cornerback and special teams player for the Oklahoma Sooners and later for the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Raiders & LA Raiders (’88 – ’93). In 2011, Rickey started to notice the first signs of ALS or more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. He was eventually diagnosed in 2013 and has been rapidly declining since.

These players fought the NFL over brain injuries. Now they’re fighting to keep the money

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Déjà vu… Again!

In a move that’s sure to sound familiar to most retired players who have tried to access their earned disability benefits in the past, lawyers from both sides of the concussion “settlement” have agreed to the NFL’s proposal to set up two panels to review (and approve or disapprove) appeals. The two players named in this agreement were Kevin Turner and Shawn Wooden – represented by Christopher Seeger of Seeger Weiss LLP – and the League was represented by Brad Karp from Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.

We all know how fair the NFL always plays when it comes to handing out disability benefits that each retired players has already owned: Run your ass through a long and arduous process, often even finding you 80%+ disabled and then still managing to have their panel unanimously turn you down. Then on and on through and appeals process that you already know is not going to end well. And never mind that one of their original two doctors on their concussion committee turned out to be rheumatologist (who got his degree from Mexico!) Read that earlier post by clicking HERE.

But what does Weiss know or even care about the long history of abuse to the players? They’re already too busy fighting with the other lawyers over who’s going to get a bigger piece of the $112 million in legal fees that the NFL dangled in front of their noses.

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Sheilla Dingus: The Lawyers’ Feeding Frenzy

We’re watching the REAL fight now that Judge Brody has declared the concussion lawsuit as a done deal. And it’s not for the retired players. If these lawyers had put in half the energy they”re now putting into their battle over contingency and legal fees…

Our friend, Sheilla Dingus, found herself following this lawsuit after first being drawn into football when she covered the DeflateGate fiasco last year; Sheilla created a blog Advocacy for Fairness in Sports and writes from the perspective of how our professional athletes generally seem to be the last ones to be taken care of in any sport when in fact – as we’ve also advocated for years – it’s the athletes who are actually the critical component of all sports. Without the players, there’s no football. Or baseball. Or soccer. Etc.

With her permission, here’s Sheilla’s detailed piece on the lawyer’s nasty battle so far. Continue reading

Adult Supervision Called In

In my years of involvement with retired players, I don’t recall ever seeing any cases where the players have taken each other on over who-gets-what. Not so of course when it comes to lawyers apparently. Which is another obvious tactic I’m sure the NFL and its lawyers never imagined would happen <sarcasm>.

Judge Anita Brody just filed an order appointing a regional Magistrate Judge David R. Strawbridge to oversee individual liens filed by attorneys involved in the original consolidated lawsuit. Seems no one can decide how to be fair so now the judge has to bring in more adult supervision.

Order Referring Individual Attorney’s Liens to Magistrate Judge

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Gambling? We Don’t Need No Steenkin’ Gambling!

And this is how Jerry Jones – Roger Goodell’s boss – will be making money from the Raiders’ move to Vegas in 2019.

And it’s not just a few million…

Gambling? We don’t need no stinkin’ gambling!

Jerry Jones to cash in big with Oakland Raiders move to Las Vegas

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Evan Weiner: Goodell And NFL Against Sports Gambling

EDITOR’S NOTE: So most of you retired players know a lot about all the betting that goes on behind every game everywhere. I still remember some of your stories about the old legends of Al Davis flying in to Vegas on Monday nights following a weekend of games back in the day. Rumor had it that he carried a briefcase full of cash with him and used it all to buy his chips. After partying and everything else (maybe even a little tabletop gambling as well), he’d call it a night and cash all his chips back in, effectively also “declaring his winnings and letting them skim any ‘taxes’ owed…” Alleged to have been going on for years and he certainly wasn’t the only owner playing on the sidelines…

Ironic how the Raiders are now approved to move to Vegas in  2019, isn’t it?

Our friend, Evan Weiner, recently posted a piece about Roger Goodell and the NFL’s official stance on gambling. Here it is with their express permission to re-post:

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What’s Really Holding Up Your Concussion Settlement…

Sports Illustrated: Gayle Sayers Battling Dementia

The family of Hall-of-Famer Gayle Sayers acknowledged that he has been diagnosed with advancing dementia. They made the decision to go public with his health diagnosis to address many of the rumors that have been circulating recently.

Sayers was one of the most prominent retired players who filed a lawsuit against the NFL for concussions and CTE but later withdrew his suit in 2013.

You can read the recent post on Sports Illustrated by clicking HERE.

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Everything Makes Sense Now

The NFL’s been hooked on painkillers all along according to newly-opened court documents. Now Roger Goodell’s goofy behavior starts to make sense!

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Are EA’s visual representations in Madden generic enough to avoid liability in publicity claim?

Are EA’s visual representations in Madden generic enough to avoid liability in publicity claim?

By Joseph M. Hanna published on 3 March 2017

And Now the Fun Begins…

Well, now that the final concussion lawsuit settlement offer got approved and crammed down the retired players’ throats without so much as a Discovery phase or a full open trial, things are actually going to get very interesting. While there are many separate lawsuits that have been filed and will continue to work their way through the courts, the majority of suits are considered “settled” and that now leaves $125 million to be paid out almost immediately to the attorneys as the final close approaches. $125 MILLION! And it will all be paid out in one lump sum unlike the 65-year period the NFL negotiated to “take care of older and younger retired players” as they deal with their issues from football. (There will also be some ongoing lawsuits that were filed on behalf of players who opted out of the settlement offer.)

So the real battle will be among all the lawyers who filed lawsuits for the players with many jumping on the bandwagon at the very end. Does anyone believe that $125 million paid immediately upon settlement wasn’t a primary motivator for not going to trial and accepting this “wonderful” settlement for you players? And do you think the NFL’s lawyers didn’t have this in mind when they offered it?

Several of these attorneys are also fighting for bragging rights as the “First-to-File” (we know who they are and I’ve posted about our meetings with them since this first started years back). Those attorneys were represented on the committee that was originally formed to oversee and handle the negotiations directly with the NFL. (And some also personally promised me, “We’ll take care of you…” for all the work I’d done over the years in helping educate and to get the word out to the players during our past Conferences and blog posts – we’ll see…)

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OJ Simpson and CTE?

I still remember some of the conversations about OJ Simpson I had years back as we first started to discuss concussions and CTE at our FootballVets Conferences. Many of his old friends and teammates would describe a perfect role model during his playing days with the Bills and how he would end up being the last guy to leave the stadium after a game because he wanted to make sure he signed autographs for all his young fans. A totally nice guy in his playing days who completely changed post-career. “We had no idea what happened to him!”

Of course, his original murder case was back in 1994 when he allegedly murdered his wife, Nicole, and her friend Ronald Goldman. The car chase that was broadcast on live television and the subsequent trial and verdict of Not Guilty continue to generate media buzz even after his conviction for a different crime in Las Vegas – robbery and kidnapping – from 2007.

OJ is actually coming up for his first parole hearing this summer as he turns 70. If he gets turned down, he’ll have to wait another 5 years in 2022.

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Former Titans Tight End Frank Wycheck Believes He Has CTE

After 11 years of playing in the NFL followed by years of depression and cognitive issues, Frank Wycheck (Washington Redskins, Tennessee Titans 1993 – 2003) publicly acknowledged that his post-career problems are the direct result of CTE from all the concussions he received as a tight end.

Wycheck also pointed out the fact that players like him with CTE will likely not be receiving anything from the NFL concussion settlement that was recently finalized.