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 Lions asst says NFL can do better helping adj to retirement 
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Post Re: Lions asst says NFL can do better helping adj to retirem
A big problem a lot of these young kids face are the vultures that range from, family, friends, girlfriends, shday investment brokers, and unethical business people. It still baffles me that a guy that signs a deal with as minimal as $5 million signing bonus can go broke. I know he'll only see half of that after his agent and Uncle Sam get their cuts but that is still $2.5 million. If that player just took that invested in relatively safe mutula fundsand never touched it until they were 50 they'd be fine. Unfortunately most players don't have the knowledge to save and have no desire to go get an average everyday job when their careers are over. They've had everything handed to them since they were about 16 and think that's the way it's always going to be.


May 9th, 2012, 3:32 pm
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Post Re: Lions asst says NFL can do better helping adj to retirem
Pablo wrote:
m2karateman wrote:
I respect what Jefferson had to say. But you know what? Boo freakin' hoo. Retirement is tough for a bunch of people, not just football players. And they should be far more financially set in their retirement than 99% of the nation. Other people have to learn to adjust to difficulties during their retirement, and nobody is throwing them a "life line".

This is the life they chose, this is the career they wanted. If they can't stand being away from the cheers, the comraderie, the celebrity status, then I'm sorry but that's just tough. At least they got to experience all of that. Most people don't.

Get over it.


With all due respect, cause you know I luv u man this is apples to oranges.

Football Players are often "forced" to retire, most of the rest of us choose to retire. Football Players typically "retire" still in their 20's, or in their 30's if lucky. The rest of use retire in our 60's (or 70's now), 50's if we are lucky. We also have social security as a fallback at this point (or have up to now at least). Football players rely on physical skills that aren't transferable to the rest of our lives, the rest of us continually develop skills that are applicable.

Listen, I get the fact that these guys get crazy money in a condensed amount of time but what would you do with a couple of million bucks at 22?


That's not the point Pablo. Yes, they are getting mad money at a young age. Many of them blow through that money, I agree. Why should we feel pity for them? Do we feel pity for Lotto winners who do the same? Is there a support program for them? No.
But we aren't talking about guys killing themselves because they lost the money. They are killing themselves, according to Jefferson, because of the loss of the structure, the lifestyle, the status. They have a tough time adjusting to the "real world". They have time on their hands, and don't know what to do with it. Isn't that what Jefferson said? They want to be back into football, because it is its own little world and they miss that.

Sorry, but how is graduating from college or high school any different? Are they not their own little worlds? Those young people, no different from football players, have to make an adjustment to life outside their known comfort zone. Likewise, an older person who retires is doing the same. They are used to getting up, going to work, being with friends at work, getting a paycheck. When they retire, they sit at home, many times without their friends or family around, and get lonely. Some of them go to work to have something to do, or volunteer at a hospital. They do it for the company, and to continue to feel needed. Sometimes those old folks take a job to make ends meet. But often that job is not even close to the same thing they did prior to their retirement. The moral of the story, the old folks make it work, and make the adjustments necessary to continue their lives, different as they may be. The college or HS graduate often times is unable to find a job right out of school, and have to rely on family or friends for a while. Football players can't do the same?

Sorry, but the whole "physical skills" part doesn't fly with me either. The game is more than just physical. And once again, they've gone to school and were supposed to be studying things to make it in the private sector. Women take a leave of absence from work to give birth and raise children, then return years later. How is that different?

Sorry. I just don't feel pity for these guys. They've been given advantages in life that most of us will never experience. If they either don't use those advantages, or simply don't make the adjustment, then that's just too bad. People adjust to losing sight, hearing, limbs, walking ability, etc. and don't choose to take their own lives.

I maintain my stance. Get over it.

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May 9th, 2012, 5:30 pm
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Post Re: Lions asst says NFL can do better helping adj to retirem
m2karateman wrote:
That's not the point Pablo. Yes, they are getting mad money at a young age. Many of them blow through that money, I agree. Why should we feel pity for them? Do we feel pity for Lotto winners who do the same? Is there a support program for them? No.
But we aren't talking about guys killing themselves because they lost the money. They are killing themselves, according to Jefferson, because of the loss of the structure, the lifestyle, the status. They have a tough time adjusting to the "real world". They have time on their hands, and don't know what to do with it. Isn't that what Jefferson said? They want to be back into football, because it is its own little world and they miss that.

Sorry, but how is graduating from college or high school any different? Are they not their own little worlds? Those young people, no different from football players, have to make an adjustment to life outside their known comfort zone. Likewise, an older person who retires is doing the same. They are used to getting up, going to work, being with friends at work, getting a paycheck. When they retire, they sit at home, many times without their friends or family around, and get lonely. Some of them go to work to have something to do, or volunteer at a hospital. They do it for the company, and to continue to feel needed. Sometimes those old folks take a job to make ends meet. But often that job is not even close to the same thing they did prior to their retirement. The moral of the story, the old folks make it work, and make the adjustments necessary to continue their lives, different as they may be. The college or HS graduate often times is unable to find a job right out of school, and have to rely on family or friends for a while. Football players can't do the same?

Sorry, but the whole "physical skills" part doesn't fly with me either. The game is more than just physical. And once again, they've gone to school and were supposed to be studying things to make it in the private sector. Women take a leave of absence from work to give birth and raise children, then return years later. How is that different?

Sorry. I just don't feel pity for these guys. They've been given advantages in life that most of us will never experience. If they either don't use those advantages, or simply don't make the adjustment, then that's just too bad. People adjust to losing sight, hearing, limbs, walking ability, etc. and don't choose to take their own lives.

I maintain my stance. Get over it.


M2 - would you mind taking a look at my post to TLB and proposed plan and telling me what you think.


May 9th, 2012, 6:02 pm
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Post Re: Lions asst says NFL can do better helping adj to retirem
TheRealWags wrote:
Pablo wrote:
While this might be true Frok, your upbringing is much different from that of an inner city kid whose parents never had moneyWe never had money when I was growing up. Sure more than some but much less than most I attended school with. We had to by powdered milk because it was less expensive than milk in a carton. Mom made a lot of the cloths I wore. Maybe I read into what you wrote, I took it as you thought I grew up with money. I didn't. I did have a solid family structure. My brother and I had a 7 day a week paper route When I was in the 4th grade and he was in the 5th. Learned at an early age to work for your money and what you get out of life. Nothings a free ride. and wouldn't know how to teach a kid about it. In fact, many of them don't even have fathers. I started working as a Caddy at 14 and saving for college (Go State) - but I can't compare my upbringing in the burbs to that of an inner city kid who only has a Mom on gov't assistance.
Well said.


I agree, my upbringing was different than an inner city kid, but......They were in school maybe they should have used that to get an education. May sound cold but place blame where blame belongs, its all on the individual. Everyone now days seems to want to look every where other than the mirror to find "who's at fault". If some one who plays in the NFL, even for 3 years is broke when they leave the game is Just not that bright in my book and I don't feel sorry for them one bit. Get a job!

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May 9th, 2012, 9:28 pm
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Post Re: Lions asst says NFL can do better helping adj to retirem
wjb21ndtown wrote:
thelomasbrowns wrote:
wjb21ndtown wrote:
I've said for years that the NFL should have a pension in place. If these guys gave up 10% of their paycheck in exchange for a guaranteed pension of $50k is per year for the rest of their lives, plus healthcare, they'd be better off off and so would the game.


I would think the problem is that even with the most successful players, a player's career is very short and the 'retirement' phase is very long. That's a very different situation that other pension programs face.



TLB - IMO that's not the problem, but the reason for my proposed solution. I think it should start with the older players first, (the Mean Joe Green's of the world), the players that paved the way, and they should be given health care and a pension for what they've done, and it should extend to everyone in the NFL. The NFL annual player salary is approximately $4 billion dollars. That's BILLION with a B. If they took $400 million (10%) of that total pot and put it toward retiree costs they could cover 40,000 ex players THIS YEAR with a $50k pension and a $50k health care package (that's a grossly over-exaggerated HC # BTW, really, about $35k should cover it, and at the reduced $35k cost you could cover 7,000 more people).

You say the problem is that their careers are too short, but IMO the fact that their careers ARE that short sparks the necessity and the reason for implementing a retirement program, along with the immediate need for the system. And think about it, even the vet minimum guys make $275k or something like that. Even if you took 10% from the least financially stable guys currently playing you really wouldn't be hurting them. There are currently something like 2k players in the NFL, you could literally cover everyone from the last 20 years under my system right now, with this years wage pool.

(And I'll add that there should be some poverty line that players should have to qualify for to receive this pension... if they're net worth is over $5 million or some pre-determined number they don't qualify until they've fallen below that line. That would allow for many many more to be covered.)



*** EDIT TO ADD - I come at this from the standpoint of having an ex NFL player in my family. He was an offensive lineman for the Denver Broncos and had to have at least 6 major knee surgeries to be able to walk again. He last played in the 70s and through the 80s he could barely walk with a cane. I know cause I use to shag his beers at family parties and whatnot.

These guys make a lot of money now, but they didn't always. However, that aside, they STILL require TONS of medical assistance from the years of abuse that the game gave them. Now don't get me wrong, I understand that they played willingly, but I'm advocating that THEY take care of THEIR OWN, and THEY have a safety net for THEMSELVES. I'm not saying society or the govt. should coddle these guys.

And, FWIW, my uncle walks better now than he has in the last 30 years, and he's financially stable, but it wasn't always that way for him. He literally couldn't walk and couldn't work for a good decade.


Obviously, I haven't run the numbers so I'll take your word for it. I just thought it would be difficult to make it work financially because the time paying in is so short and the time paying out is so long. That's not to mention the political skill it would take to get a program that like through--anybody remember the health care debate? We're basically talking about the same thing on a smaller scale.

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May 10th, 2012, 9:08 am
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Post Re: Lions asst says NFL can do better helping adj to retirem
BillySims wrote:
TheRealWags wrote:
DetNews wrote:
May 9, 2012 at 1:00 am
Lions assistant says NFL can do better helping players adjust to retirement
By Chris McCosky
The Detroit News

Allen Park— If NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wants a more complete understanding of what might have led three former players to commit suicide in the last 15 months, he should sit down with Lions receivers coach Shawn Jefferson.

He would hear a starkly different point of view. Jefferson played for 13 years in the NFL — he was Junior Seau's teammate on the star-crossed San Diego team for four seasons — and has been coaching since 2004.

Jefferson doesn't pretend to be a medical doctor or a shrink. He doesn't pretend to know the impact concussions and brain trauma have on human behavior. He's not trying to belittle the league's efforts to study, prevent, reduce and treat head injuries.

But, with all his heart, he believes concussions aren't killing these former players.

"It's not the depression that kills you," Jefferson said. "It's trying to make that transition to real life without that support group you've had in place your whole career. The depression is a result of not being around your guys anymore; that's what kills you.

"The depression comes about because you don't have that structure anymore. You aren't walking into that locker room and chatting with your locker mates. You're not in that fire on Sunday with those guys. You are at the door knocking, but nobody will let you in. You don't have that sense of purpose. For guys who retire, there is a dark side to that transition period."

Jefferson is speaking from experience. He thought his post-football life would be grand. He had saved and invested his money wisely. He had a young family to tend to. He figured he could happily live out his days fishing and, as he put it, "living the salt life."

A year into it, he was struggling. The void, the absence of the game and all of its attending structures, became increasingly unbearable.

"I was getting up every day and going fishing," he said. "After a while I was going by myself because my buddies had to work. I would just keep pushing the limits. I would go 50 miles out into the ocean. The next day, I'd say let's go out to where the big boys are and I'd go out 100 miles. But it's not the same. You just can't replace that feeling, that adrenaline rush you get playing the game."

A soldier's alienation

This is a common problem for athletes. It's why players like Brett Favre, Michael Jordan and so many others struggle to give up the game. They can't find the same intensity, exhilaration or adulation in any other activity. The skills that made them a success on the field aren't always useful in real life.

"What are they going to translate it to?" Jefferson said. "Are you going to tell a civilian that you are ready to go to battle with them? They'd look at you like you are crazy."

To hear Jefferson explain the rush of game day is like reading the last sentence in James Joyce's "Ulysses" — one breathtaking, roller-coaster ride.

"There's nothing you can do to replace that feeling you get when you are on that bus and you are in Wisconsin and you are driving to Lambeau Field and the smell of the brats is coming through the windows and you are driving through a subdivision and suddenly there are thousands of fans in their driveways, barbecuing and holding up signs and you are trying to get through the gates and you hear the boos and then you are finally in the place with the Lombardi ghost — you can feel the ghosts in that stadium — and you walk out on that field and you hear that roar; nothing can replace that."

The alienation of the retired player, Jefferson said, is similar to what a soldier feels when he's back from combat.

"People in the outside world don't know what it's like to go into battle with a guy," he said. "Civilians who haven't been to war have no idea what it's like to be in a foxhole with a guy, to depend on that guy to save your life. Basically, that's what football players do, they depend on each other to save their butts every week. You develop a bond and when you retire, that bond is gone and you crave for it."

Jefferson was thrown a lifeline, the type of lifeline he believes NFL officials should finance and promote as much as they do player safety. He was asked by former Lions coach Steve Mariucci to take a coaching internship.

"It was by the grace of God that Mooch called me out of the blue," Jefferson said. "I was out of the game a year and he said, 'Hey, what're you doing?' He asked if I was interested in an internship and I jumped at it.

"This was the rope somebody threw me when I was drowning in high water."

Employees for life

Jefferson believes part of the solution is for the league to take measures to keep retired players around the game. He's not saying give them all jobs. He's saying give them access. Establish internships — coaching, consulting, commentating. Or, more simply, make them feel they are still welcomed, still part of the game.

"You don't know how much good it could've done if Junior Seau could have stayed around the game," Jefferson said. "If he would have come to my practice on a Monday, I would have told him I have a team meeting on Friday and he had 15 minutes to tell the team anything he wanted. He would have felt important. He would have been on that stage again and everybody would have been in tune with him. He would have been thinking about it all week. Can you imagine what that would have done for a guy like that?

"The NFL doesn't get it. They are looking in the wrong places."

Here's one of many ideas Jefferson has: When a player retires, give him a card, a sort of lifetime NFL membership card. The card would give him access to team practice facilities and stadiums.

"This would allow guys to go watch practice at a facility," Jefferson said. "He's not going to steal ideas or share ideas or anything like that. He's just going to watch practice. He's just going to smell the game, get on the grass, be around the guys. That would mean the world to retired players.

"The mere fact that he had that card, the mere fact that he knew he could be around football, would change things for him. You don't understand the change of mind-set that would take place there. He would know he's still part of the NFL, that they still care about him, that his presence is wanted. If they did that, those guys would feel like employees for life even though they're not getting paid."

Jefferson applauds the league's stance on player safety. He understands the concern about head injuries.

"But," he said, "find out what triggers the depression and what triggers the depression is not being around the guys anymore, not being on the field anymore. Mother Nature has taken away that one great asset that she gave you and changed your life. That triggers the depression. The blows to the head don't. It takes something to trigger it. I know. I have been through it."

chris.mccosky@detnews.com

twitter.com/cmccosky

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/2012 ... z1uNnqkYfe


This is the gist of what I was talking about when I posted this in the Junior Seau thread.

Quote:
I am saddened to hear this news. But, I am surprised that this type of thing doesn't happen more often. The cheering stops and these guys no longer have any reason to live. It's a shame. I fully expect that, in the not too distant future, we will hear about Bret Favre committing Suicide because he is such a media hound. The NFL should have required training for all players to help them prepare for when the cheering stops.


To which Legend felt compelled to reply with this:
Quote:
you fully expect that? im sorry but that is f...ing ridiculous


I guess I'm not so ridiculous.



I don't want to speak for the Legend, but I don't believe he said you were ridiculous (even if you are). I suspect he said that your prediction was ridiculous. And, IMO, he is correct; that's just absurd for more reasons than you could count.

Furthermore, if it's OK with you, why don't we just wait for the press release about Favre's suicide before we determine if you were correct. :roll:

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May 10th, 2012, 10:19 am
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Post Re: Lions asst says NFL can do better helping adj to retirem
wjb21ndtown wrote:
M2 - would you mind taking a look at my post to TLB and proposed plan and telling me what you think.


wjb, I don't have a problem with your plan. In fact, I think it's a very good one. We always hear current players talk about the guys who helped create the league and were their heroes growing up. For that, giving up 10% should be a no brainer. Unfortunately, many of these young players won't put their money where their mouth is.

However, I think we are talking about two different things here. You are speaking of a healthcare and pension issue. I am talking of their adjustment to life out of the league from a mental standpoint. And that is also what Shawn Jefferson was talking about. Many of these players do have some financial difficulties, and the pension program you speak of would help them a great deal. But according to Jefferson, he thinks some of these players are killing themselves because they crave the life they've been leading and are having a difficult time with the mental aspects outside the league, not the financial aspects.

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May 10th, 2012, 10:53 am
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Post Re: Lions asst says NFL can do better helping adj to retirem
I'm not saying players should be held responsible for themselves, but I'm not opposed to the league trying to help them adjust to life after football.

I work with many companies who offer various assistance to employees being laid off and see nothing wrong with that. The NFL, along with most major pro sports, is so unique it is difficult to apply elsewhere.

Honestly, I'm looking at this more from the leagues standpoint as an organization. It is in their best interest to help players transition to life after football. There is a lot of "reputation management" going on with the current commish and this IMO is just one piece of that puzzle.

Look, the league is very popular right now but issues like these (financial, medical, mental) is what can kill this sport in the long run. No sport is too big to fail - remember how popular boxing used to be?

To take a stance that the players have been privledged their whole life and should be more responsible for themselves is one I agree with from my Libertarian leaning views - however from my businessman perspective I'm dealing with this issues head on right now before they destroy the game in the long run.

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May 10th, 2012, 12:58 pm
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Post Re: Lions asst says NFL can do better helping adj to retirem
Pablo wrote:
I'm not saying players should be held responsible for themselves, but I'm not opposed to the league trying to help them adjust to life after football.

I work with many companies who offer various assistance to employees being laid off and see nothing wrong with that. The NFL, along with most major pro sports, is so unique it is difficult to apply elsewhere.

Honestly, I'm looking at this more from the leagues standpoint as an organization. It is in their best interest to help players transition to life after football. There is a lot of "reputation management" going on with the current commish and this IMO is just one piece of that puzzle.

Look, the league is very popular right now but issues like these (financial, medical, mental) is what can kill this sport in the long run. No sport is too big to fail - remember how popular boxing used to be?

To take a stance that the players have been privledged their whole life and should be more responsible for themselves is one I agree with from my Libertarian leaning views - however from my businessman perspective I'm dealing with this issues head on right now before they destroy the game in the long run.


I don't disagree that the league could do more. But how many jobs are there available that fits these guys profile, versus how many players that are out there that are retired? Teams can only have so many front office execs and coaches on staff. Do you force colleges to accept former NFL players on their staffs? What about those that have gone through college and played, then don't make it on an NFL team?

I just wonder, where do you draw the line over who you do help and who you don't? There's more former NFL players than there are active players. And that means there's certainly more former NFL players than there are available jobs in the league. If you help one, you gotta be willing to help them all.

Somewhere along the line, you have to cut those apron strings.

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May 10th, 2012, 3:20 pm
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