Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    Ramblin` Ram's Avatar
    Ramblin` Ram is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Nation of Rams
    Age
    38
    Posts
    2,401
    Rep Power
    54

    so much for our current "heroes".

    Birk committed to cause

    A disappointing number of players contributed to the Gridiron Greats program, but the center vows to keep at it.

    By CHIP SCOGGINS, Star Tribune

    Vikings center Matt Birk said he was surprised but not deterred by the poor response from NFL players who were asked to donate part of their game checks from a December game to assist former players who face severe health and financial hardships.

    Taking a leading role in the Gridiron Greats program, Birk donated $50,000 and also sent a letter to every NFL player encouraging them to donate a portion of their Dec. 21 game check. Of the nearly 1,700 active players in the league, only about 20 donated to the cause, including eight of Birk's Vikings teammates.

    Birk acknowledged Tuesday he was surprised that only about 1 percent of the active players donated, but he vowed to work harder to raise awareness for the cause.

    "It's not going to deter me from getting the message out there," said Birk, who was honored at the Super Bowl as a finalist for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. "I'm going to fight for this cause. It's in the best interests of everybody involved in this league. We're going to pick it apart and figure out how we can do better."

    Jennifer Smith, executive director of the Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund, said the number of players who donated part of their game checks was less than last year, when the organization raised between $275,000 and $300,000.

    However, Smith said donations still are coming in and blamed some of the response on time constraints. Players received Birk's letter only 10 days before the Dec. 21 date.

    Former Bears coach Mike Ditka, a member of the Gridiron Greats board of directors, was less diplomatic in his response to USA Today when asked about the number of players who contributed.

    "What's that tell you?" Ditka told the paper. "Would you call it apathy?"

    Gridiron Greats assists former players, some of whom are in dire need of basic necessities. At a press conference in the Twin Cities in December, former player Dwight Harrison said he lives in a trailer with no running water in Beaumont, Texas.

    Birk, who reiterated that Gridiron Greats has nothing to do with pensions, addressed the problems in his letter to players.

    "Sadly, the price paid by some of those who came before us has been too costly," he wrote. "They live in excruciating physical pain and severe mental anguish as a direct result from their playing days.

    "In too many instances, these men have had to deplete their financial resources in an attempt to achieve a quality of life that is bearable at best and many have no health insurance or access to medical care. The toll of playing football has left some of our brothers physically unable to work. Many of them did not play in the league when the salaries and benefits were anywhere close to what they are today."

    Smith said the majority of players who contributed the past two season were veterans. Birk said he understands that younger players are a tougher sell, but he said he's committed to raising awareness.

    "I get asked all the time why I got involved in this," Birk said. "To me, that's the silliest question in the world. Why wouldn't I get involved?"


  2. #2
    Ramblin` Ram's Avatar
    Ramblin` Ram is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Nation of Rams
    Age
    38
    Posts
    2,401
    Rep Power
    54

    Re: so much for our current "heroes".

    i heard this story first on the Slaten radio show yesterday,so went looking for more info about it.

    youd think the mass of millionaire players in the NFL would show their gratitude for those who basically laid the foundations down for what the game is today and realise that without them..they`d be doing what those former players did...e.g putting their bodies on the line and paying the consequences for the rest of their lives.


    today i feel no pride in being a fan of modern american football!

  3. #3
    keith m. klink Guest

    Re: so much for our current "heroes".

    OH!!! only 10 days to have your boss take out a small deduction ,and that could not get done ? I'm pretty sure if it was a contract deadline for a player that would be a differant story i quess . 1,700 players .They make a minimum of $450.000 or so right?, it would be very interesting to see who would or would not . I don't see it as just ex players needing basic needs and care ,but as a part of this national franchise to not even have the feeling of dignity or honor a human deserves . this is just another of the thousands of things this country as a whole lets slide by because we feel it doesn't effect us or our lives in any way . Ask the AMERICAN veterans , ask the homeless and the cold , and they would say that the players need help , and they , the VETS , homeless cold and hungry would give what they could no matter how small , or how much to help a fellow AMERICAN , or any human in need . The selfishness and greed that once built this country will in full circle , surely bring it down. And it makes me ill that a problem that could be fixed by so few people 1,700 + could make it disolve in front of our eye's , will instead watch as it's hope slowly die's .

    WE reap what we sow. The sowing is scarce , and the reaping Grim.

    Just a little fun here .
    Take the top 5 dollar earners from the Rams only . and have them give just 1% of just one years salery . = ?
    Now , take the rest of the team , 2nd year players and above ( optional for rookies after the 3rd round ) = ?

    NOW take all teams and do the same = ??,???,???.

    Imyself cannot do this kind of numbers crunching , but i bet NICK , or AVENGER , could cook up something for us . i just thought it was interesting that i feel guilty and ashamed that i can't do something monitary for them .
    Last edited by keith m. klink; -02-09-2009 at 11:43 AM.

  4. #4
    shower beers's Avatar
    shower beers is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,998
    Rep Power
    58

    Re: so much for our current "heroes".

    This seems a bit fishy to me. A little too low. Perhaps there was a complication with there only being ten days from the letters being received. Who knows, but this is crappy, to say the least.

  5. #5
    Keenum's Avatar
    Keenum is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Alabama
    Age
    25
    Posts
    2,865
    Rep Power
    27

    Re: so much for our current "heroes".

    A big congrats to Birk for trying to get things going though. Hopefully he will keep at it and it will get going soon. Some of those Gridiron Greats really are paying a HUGE price for playing the great game of football. I remember seeing something with Jerome Bettis, and he could barely walk down the stairs in the morning at one point.

Similar Threads

  1. Sam's 2009 Roster of Current Rams
    By RamsFanSam in forum RAM TALK
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: -12-08-2008, 12:47 AM
  2. Current Rams team is hopeless
    By RamWraith in forum RAM TALK
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: -09-23-2008, 06:11 PM
  3. Replies: 25
    Last Post: -12-01-2006, 03:20 PM
  4. Current Salary Cap .........
    By Richbert88 in forum RAM TALK
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: -03-12-2006, 03:27 AM
  5. Replies: 4
    Last Post: -03-02-2006, 11:51 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •