Blog Entry

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

Posted on: August 31, 2011 8:26 am
Dan Pastorini is upset with the way he feels been treated by the NFL and the NFLPA (US Presswire).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Dan Pastorini is mad. He’s mad at the NFL owners. He’s mad at the NFL Players Association. And he’s mad at Drew Brees.

“F--- Drew Brees,” Pastorini said.

Pastorini is mad at the way he feels he and his former NFL compatriots have been treated, and though Brees isn’t the true villain in this movie, he’s also an easy target for something he said two years ago.

Pastorini looks at the new CBA deal and figures out how much more money he’ll receive as a player who retired before 1993. He remembers how much he made when he was playing quarterback for the Oilers, Rams, Raiders and Eagles from 1971-82. Then, he thinks about the NFL Players Association and the NFL owners -- and the labor fight for which he couldn’t participate -- and his blood boils.

He gets mad, really mad, and he lets loose on a rant in which he places blame on both sides who he believes simply doesn’t care about the men who helped build the NFL into what it is today.

The $620 million “Legacy Fund” added to the new CBA for the players who retired before 1993 that will be used to increase pensions? And the $300 million in other benefits, including those for health? It’s simply not good enough for Pastorini. Not good enough for how much he says he sacrificed.

“I’m going to get an extra $1,000 a month. Big f------ deal,” the 62-year-old Pastorini told recently. “I think it’s a travesty the way they treat the older players. I’m part of that group. They’re throwing us a bone with the $620 million. By the time they get to a new CBA after 10 years, they won’t have to worry about us pre-93er’s. It’s sad, but it’s their M.O. They want to wait for us to die.

“What they’re talking about now is to give us a bone and to shut us up. It’s just wrong. It’s damn wrong. And the players association is just as greedy as the owners are, if not more so. The players don’t go to bat for us, which makes us ashamed.”

And what Brees said in 2009 when discussing retired players who complained about their benefits -- as recounted here by’s Mike Freeman -- really upsets Pastorini.

“There's some guys out there that have made bad business decisions,” Brees said then. “They took their pensions early because they never went out and got a job. They've had a couple divorces and they're making payments to this place and that place. And that's why they don't have money. And they're coming to us to basically say, 'Please make up for my bad judgment.' In that case, that's not our fault as players."

It might have seemed Brees was talking directly to Pastorini, who’s had to declare bankruptcy twice and has been divorced after ending his one-time Pro Bowl career. Clearly, Pastorini feels that Brees -- who is making $7.4 million this year and could be the next quarterback to win a $90 million contract -- made it personal.

“My first year’s salary was $25,000, then $30,000, then $35,000,” Pastorini said. “These guys make my first contract in a game. Look at (former NFLPA executive director) Gene Upshaw and what he left his wife when he died? How did he leave her $15 million? They’ve been screwing us from day one. My pension was $1,100 a month, then $1,200, then $1,400, and now it’ll be $1,750. No medical, no disability -- $1700 doesn’t even pay for my rent.”

Not surprisingly, the NFL has a slightly different opinion.

Said NFL spokesman Greg Aiello in a statement to “We respectfully disagree with Dan.” The NFLPA declined comment on the issue.

But let’s look at the other side of the story. Before the newest CBA, the Legacy Fund didn’t exist. The NFL and the NFLPA are both contributing at least $300 million over the next 10 years to add more money for former players. If it’s $1,000 more a month for a retiree, that’s $1,000 more than that former player had before.

And though Brees’ statement continues to backfire on him and the union, those close to Brees says he was one of the retired players’ biggest advocates in trying to give back to the players who came before him -- and to get everybody to understand the importance of doing so. Witness a radio interview he gave last April to XX 1090 in San Diego.

“I know that I’m fighting for so many people here, for former players in the form of improving their pensions and disability benefits to take care of those guys that built this game for us and future players too,” he said. “To be honest with you, this is one of those things that when a settlement is reached, that settlement is something that I’m probably never going to benefit from. It’s guys before me, it’s guys that are going to come after me. So for me, there’s so many guys that made sacrifices before us to make this game better.”

Dan Pastorini with Bum Phillips, Wade Phillips and Bob McNair (Getty). Pastorini (second from the left in the photo to the left) has good reason to want better medical benefits as well. With so much newly emerging information about chronic traumatic encephalopathy, Pastorini is worried that he’s going to be suffering from the dementia-like condition if he lives long enough.

“I’ve been to clinics. I’ve been put on vitamin regimens. I find myself not remembering people’s names,” said Pastorini, who said he sustained at least a dozen concussions when he played. “I’ll go to the kitchen for a cup of coffee, and I can’t remember why I went in there. It’s possible I have that. I won’t know until they cut my brain open.”

Pastorini isn’t alone in his thoughts. During Super Bowl week in Dallas, the NFL Alumni held a press conference that featured former players who were fighting -- and outspoken in their demand -- for better pension benefits and long-term health care.

But in reality, what can the NFL and the NFLPA say to fully satisfy the league’s alumni? Probably nothing, and to their credit, both sides feel like they’ve tried to improve the conditions for the retirees. But to Pastorini, it’s just not good enough.

“There’s a lot of greed in this business,” Pastorini said. “We’re the guys on the outside looking in, and we’re never going to be compensated for what we do. We built the game, and these guys should be kissing our ass now. But they’re not.”

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Since: Jan 14, 2008
Posted on: August 31, 2011 11:41 pm

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

He does have a job.  He works for one of thoes gambling 800#'s you call and they give you "advise".  They tell you what to bet. When you win they ask for "their" share and they'll give you more inside info.  Dan loves throwing that around; how he know the players, got inside info, etc...
 when they lose... well....
Dan-if you dont what the $1K a month give it to me- to pay for all bad bets i made with your 'info"

Since: Jan 17, 2010
Posted on: August 31, 2011 11:37 pm

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

I always hated Pastorini, he just reeks of negativity. Gene Upshaw was about a 100 times better football player than you Dan. But still you couldn't cut it playing behind him and that awesome Raiders offensive line, so Jim Plunket had to take over and win 2 Superbowls.

Since: Nov 15, 2009
Posted on: August 31, 2011 11:36 pm

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

Wow! You're a real loser aren't you? Someone piss in your cereal? Undecided

Since: Aug 31, 2011
Posted on: August 31, 2011 11:28 pm

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

I think these guys should get a real pension, adjusted for inflation over time, and a bonus as a thank you each year. Nothing commie about it, just time to pay a little homage to those that paved the way for 60 million dollar contracts

Since: Jun 8, 2008
Posted on: August 31, 2011 11:09 pm

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

Sounds to me like someone is just bitter now. I agree with helping these guys out but If people like him are going to scoff at 1700 dollars ... guess what, how about F U Dan. They don't have to give you anything at all, how about you try to manage your money better .. perhaps Drew was right.

Since: Dec 28, 2006
Posted on: August 31, 2011 10:49 pm

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

Warkins, sounds like a bunch of union liberal BS to me. Who know's, it might work for them. Probably worked for you.

Since: Oct 8, 2006
Posted on: August 31, 2011 10:44 pm

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

I don't understand why retired players think it is the responsibility of the current players to fix their situation for them.

There are so many examples of workers who were exposed to bad conditions that fight against ownership / industry after they are out and win.  Look at the success of asbestos litigation over the last 20 years.  In any of those circumstances did you see the older union workers trying to sue the new workers?  Of course not, because it's idiocy.  You go after the people that put you in the poor work environments, not the people who are doing the same job now.   It's not their fault that they make more money now than you did 30 years ago.  It's called economics.

Until retired players get true, legitimate leadership, and quit sounding off individually like angry, bitter old men, they will continue to be taken for the fools they are.

These guys should be kissing the butts of guys like Drew Brees.  I've never seen a union willing to take money out of their own pockets and give it to people who came before them like these guys are doing.  That stuff just doesn't happen.  And they bash them?  All the more reason these guys just need to go away.

The biggest quote Dan should be smacked for is the "They (current players) want to wait for us to die."  Maybe someday he will realize that the current players might be the only ones who really do care about him.  The average fan stopped caring about this type of person a long time ago.

Since: Aug 31, 2011
Posted on: August 31, 2011 10:35 pm

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

Dan, Get a job. Try living in the real world. How much did YOU contribute to the players before you? Most people have to save for their retirement. If you need healthcare, run for Congress and get a free ride like those crooks get. What did you goto college for? Should have majored in social handouts.

Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: August 31, 2011 10:31 pm

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

Pastorini was not an interior lineman, a running back, or anyone that truely was pounded on every say he built the league that is laughable he never sacrificed money to keep it running or tried to promote any of his teams.  He was under the "voluntary" employ of NFL franchises, never sacrificing forhis country as soldiers do and very few disabled vets even scratch 1K a month and they have preserved much more than entertainment for this country.  Pastrioni says to "F" this guy or that, he is an ignorant and bitter old man that was unfit to hold many players jockstraps in todays game.  Given the game has always been vicious he has also never even seen a 350lb man come after him with the speed or power of todays players or "93."  It my opinion the league is doing more for safety but I cannot recollect where there is some sort of grandfather clause for that "me" generation.  In this country it is more and more pervasive and begot many of the lazy dirilects in society today, all about ones self and not about any copatriots or understanding your responsibility to evoke change in your generation.  To scapegoat Drew Brees is cowardly and shows no honor or respect for his ability to advocate long before this, bottom line it is passing the buck to those that come later and we see it in Medicare, SSI, and numerous others "programs/entittlements" that current generation have no say in.  I think that the generation Pastorini harkens from would have told Curly Lambeau, Frank Gifford and other predecessors  to "F" off and now that the shoe is on the other foot and the NFLPA seems to have done a great deal for these players given 12,000 a year where over 40 thousand atheletes are concerned is nothing to scoff at....

Since: Dec 28, 2006
Posted on: August 31, 2011 10:28 pm

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

He has part of it right. Don't blame the NFL though, blame your union and you union brothers only. Like any business/union relationship there was money given and it is up to the union and it's members to decide what to do with it. I don't hear any office people from 1980 bitching to the NFL for more money, won't happen. Blame the union only, they divide the money the teams give them. Please stop blaming the league

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