Monday, March 15, 2010

Alumni Gaining Ground

Out of the NFLPA meetings comes good news, at least where this bloggist is concerned. Houston Texans tackle Eric Winston said via Twitter that the players have opened two seats on its executive committee, to be filled by former players.

None of that will settle the current problems in getting a new Collective Bargaining Agreement in time to avert a 2011 lockout, of course. But it does take some steps to solve something we've been pretty passionate about for years -- that the retired players who helped build the NFL into what it is now need more help than what they're getting from their former representatives.

What the players have done is take a step away from the mere lip service the retired guys got. Worse yet, they've removed themselves eons from the late Gene Upshaw's cynical proclamation just a couple of years ago that he worked for the current, active players, not the retired guys.

There's still a lot of work ahead in this respect. A lot of former players are shuffling and scuffling along on bad knees -- look at Earl Campbell -- and scrambled brains -- see the toll numerous concussions took on New England linebacker Ted Johnson. A lot of them need financial help, or at least better coverage for ongoing medical costs.

Having a couple of the retired guys involved in the real decision-making process is a good start.


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