What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
Remember when you were a kid and there was that one old guy in the neighborhood who was bitter toward the whole world? The guy who cut up any Nerf footballs that landed in his yard, and consequently got a lot of flaming bags of dog crap left on his doorstep?
Well, it isn’t hard to picture former NFL quarterback Dan Pastorini as that guy. According to an article published by CBS News, Pastorini is upset with the NFL owners, the NFL Player’s Association, and specifically Drew Brees.
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–k Drew Brees,” Pastorini said.
Until this point, I had never heard anybody say a disparaging word about Drew Brees, but it seems Pastorini is pissed off because he feels he and his former NFL colleague who retired before 1993 somehow have been left behind by the new collective bargaining agreement in the NFL.
Why is Drew Brees a target of Pastorini’ s ire? The two main reasons are that he believes the new CBA short-changes the retired players and that Drew Brees embodies that because of some thing he said a few 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.
In short, he thinks he deserves more of the money made by other people. To understand that, let’s look at the money Pastorini made. Granted, the salaries of NFL Players have risen dramatically in the last few decades, but athletes have made disproportionately higher wages than the average worker for quite some time. By his own account, Pastorini made $25,000 in his rookie year of 1971; that year the average American worker made $6,497.08. By his third season, his salary had risen to $35,000, while the average American was bringing in $7,580.16.
So, while Pastorini never made star money, he never deserved star money. Frankly, with the exception of about three seasons, he was mediocre-to-lousy. Career-wise, he has 62 more interceptions than touchdown passes. Regardless, he made enough money in his playing career that he shouldn’t have had money problems later in life. To top it off, he was awarded a $450,000 contract settlement from the Raiders in 1986. In other words, Pastorini made pretty good money for the day, and he clearly made enough to set himself up for the rest of his life. That’s why Brees’ comments hacked him off.
“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.”
There couldn’t be a better personification of Brees’ comments than Pastorini. Break it down line-by line, and it’s clear Pastorini fits this mold:
“…Guys out there that have made bad business decisions…” Pastorini has filed for bankruptcy twice.
“…They’ve had a couple divorces and they’re making payments to this place and that place…” Not only is Pastorini divorced, but he also got clipped for $1.5 million dollars in a personal injury settlement for his involvement in a boat-racing accident that killed two people.
I can see where Pastorini would take those comments personally, but Brees’ isn’t the one who was driving the boat, so to speak. What this really is all about is Pastorini is just another one of those people who thinks it is somebody else’s responsibility to pay for his decisions.
“I’m going to get an extra $1,000 a month. Big f—–g deal,” the 62-year-old Pastorini told CBSSports.com 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…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 — $1,700 doesn’t even pay for my rent.”
First of all, your rent is your problem, Dan. If you can’t swing $1,700 in rent, don’t live in a $1,700 place. Second of all, if you’re not happy with the money, don’t take it. But most importantly, take your problem to someone who can do something about it.
You don’t have to like what Brees said (after all, the truth hurts) but you have to understand that Brees actually fought for the retirees to get more money.
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.”
So, now there’s a $620 million “Legacy Fund” that didn’t exist before the new CBA. This money is for the players who retired before 1993 and exists to increase pensions. There’s another $300 million on the table for health benefits that didn’t exist before the new CBA.
But, it seems that isn’t good enough for Pastorini. It begs the question what would be good enough for him, and I would bet he doesn’t even know the answer to that; you can’t easily quantify “more.”
Forget about Drew Brees. F–k you, Dan Pastorini.