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: Jul 27, 2011
Posted on: August 31, 2011 7:55 pm

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

Dan's not expressing it well, and he certainly doesn't generate sypmathy with his methods, but when you consider what every other party is making, previous players certainly don't get a fair share.  And it's not the money, it's the benefits these guys need, coming from the era that sent concussion players right back out there.  The problem is you're not going to get anyone to reverse what they get now--even though they could, financially--and paying benefits is always a very combative issue in any field.  Yes, it's "bully" for the former players that they got a share, but it really, really isn't enough, and that's sad.  Many will die very sad deaths without a voice.  Dan's is the frightened, angry voice now, and his points are valid.<br /><br />

Since: Jun 19, 2007
Posted on: August 31, 2011 7:40 pm

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

Everyone seems to think the whole world owes them something....

Since: May 11, 2007
Posted on: August 31, 2011 7:40 pm

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

Why is he angry with the NFL owners? If he felt they weren`t paying him enough, he could have walked away at Any time. About the same time he entered the league, my parents bought a new home for $32,000, on the market today, that house is now about $250,000. People could buy a pretty damn nice car for around $5,000... In todays world the same car, at least $50,000. Gas around .50 cents... Per Gallon, I guess I don`t have to remind people what it is today. Sure, the players of old didn`t get paid like they do today. But they did get paid a fair amount, and they could have invested, saved whatever it took to ensure they had money in their later years. If he has a problem of how much upshaw left his widow, that seems like something he should take up with HIS union, not the league.

Since: May 5, 2009
Posted on: August 31, 2011 7:39 pm

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

How can a grown man make statements like this?  How can you say things like this that kids can read?  So basically you are telling kids these days to go out and play football, make it in the NFL, be mediocre at the game, blow your money on booze, whores, and hobbies, and then later in life blame the current players of the game for your faults.  Sounds to me like you were never taught the value of the dollar.  You should be ashamed of yourself for making statements like this Dan.  For some of those who say this guy is a true american hero should also be ashamed!!  There are men and women who serve in our military who won't see anywhere near the money that Dan made back when he played.  Do they get a large check every month?  Sure if they claim disablility they can get a little more than what the government will give them.  I do not feel one bit sorry for Dan and neither should any of you!

Since: Apr 19, 2009
Posted on: August 31, 2011 7:09 pm

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

Hey Dan,
Spit out those sour grapes, it's making your face all whiney looking.
And Dan, you didn't mind it when playing QB in the NFL was getting you more pussy than you could handle, did you?
$1700 a month pension? It's more than I get. You should have saved some of that money you made back when and maybe you would be this position you're in. And if you were as good as Brees is maybe you'd have made more money too.
Dan, you've taken one too many sacks, one too many shots on your chin strap!

Since: Feb 22, 2008
Posted on: August 31, 2011 6:48 pm

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

Hmm, 1700$ per month is too little for rent???...maybe a guy that made 35K forty years ago should be living more within his means and he wouldn't have a problem. I make less than 35K NOW (just out of college mind you) and pay less than 400$ per month in rent and still feel like i am spending all my money on bills yet already have a bunch in teh bank for whenever I need it. He is not entitled to anything and should have been more interested in his financial situation when he was making the money he was.

You don't understand.  People like you and I are just educated and will work our entire lives doing something other than playing gamss.  But Dan Pastorini?  He's a true American hero.  We should all cut back to compensate him for decades of poor financial management.  Who are we to expect these people to take care of themselves?

Since: Aug 12, 2008
Posted on: August 31, 2011 6:45 pm

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

According to the bureau of Labour statistics,

alculator.htm, his $35,000 in the early 70's had the same buying power as about $195,000 in today's terms. No he did not make as much money as players today are but the league was not making nearly as much back then either. It must be difficult to see what the guys today are making but he certainly had the means to support himself if he played his cards right. I am sure berkshire hathaway shares were affordable back then!

Since: Feb 22, 2008
Posted on: August 31, 2011 6:43 pm

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

I'll take your thousand dollars a month.  Do some of these people think that maybe when you work until 35 maybe you need to think about either saving some money or doing some other job?  Oh, you played in the NFL for a few years?  Let us ensure that you live in luxury the rest of your life.  I have nothing but sympathy for the retired players, but you can't expect a 50 year gravy train funded by the current players. 

Since: Aug 31, 2011
Posted on: August 31, 2011 6:35 pm

Dan Pastorini feels let down by NFL, NFLPA

I do that all the ime and I've never had a concussion. It's just age catching up with you!

Since: Aug 18, 2011
Posted on: August 31, 2011 6:26 pm
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