Legendary Football Quotes

I could spend days writing quotes from every football coach and player, but these are some of my favorite.  

"Gentlemen, it is better to have died a small boy than to fumble the football" - John Heisman

"I make my practices real hard because if a player is a quitter, I want him to quit in practice, not in a game." - Bear Bryant / Alabama

"It isn't necessary to see a good tackle, you can hear it! - Knute Rockne / Notre Dame

"At Georgia Southern, we don't cheat. That costs money, and we don't have any." - Erk Russell / Georgia Southern

"After you retire, there's only one big event left, and I ain't ready for that." - Bobby Bowden / Florida State

"The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely to be the one who dropped it." - Lou Holtz / Arkansas - Norte Dame

"When you win, nothing hurts." - Joe Namath / Alabama

"Motivation is simple. You eliminate those who are not motivated." - Lou Holtz / Arkansas - Norte Dame

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you." - Woody Hayes / Ohio State

"I don't expect to win enough games to be put on NCAA probation. I just want to win enough to warrant an investigation." - Bob Devaney / Nebraska

"In Alabama, an atheist is someone who doesn't believe in Bear Bryant." - Wally Butts / Georgia

"I never graduated from Iowa. But I was only there for two terms - Truman's and Eisenhower's." - Alex Karras / Iowa

"I could have been a Rhodes Scholar except for my grades." - Duffy Daugherty / Michigan State

"Always remember Goliath was a 40 point favorite over David." - Shug Jordan / Auburn

"I asked Darrell Royal, the coach of the Texas Longhorns, why he didn't recruit me. He said, "Well, Walt, we took a look at you, and you weren't any good." - Walt Garrison / Oklahoma State

"Son, you've got a good engine, but your hands aren't on the steering wheel." - Bobby Bowden / Florida State

"Football is NOT a contact sport, it is a collision sport. Dancing IS a contact sport." - Duffy Daugherty / Michigan State

USC lost 51-0 to Notre Dame, his post-game message to his team was, "All those who need showers, take them." - John McKay / USC

"If lessons are learned in defeat, our team is getting a great education." - Murray Warmath / Minnesota

"The only qualifications for a lineman are to be big and dumb. To be a back, you only have to be dumb." - Knute Rockne / Notre Dame

"Oh, we played about like three tons of buzzard puke this afternoon." - Spike Dykes / Texas Tech

"We didn't tackle well today, but we made up for it by not blocking." - John McKay / USC

"Three things can happen when you throw the ball, and two of them are bad." - Darrell Royal / University of Texas

"I've found that prayers work best when you have big players." - Knute Rockne / Notre Dame

"Remember your six P's - Perfect Practice Prevents Piss Poor Performance" - Chuck Knox

The list of legendary quotes would not be complete without a quote from one of the greatest coaches in the history of football - Vince Lombardi. 

If you have any favorites, please post them in the comment section!

NFL could spend $4.5 BILLION on player salaries in 2015

Last Wednesday, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported that the NFL salary cap will be somewhere between $140 million and $143 million. Multiplying the cap by 32 teams puts the total somewhere around $4.5 Billion that could potentially be spent on active players next season. 

If you divided that amount evenly among the approximately 1,700 active players, each player would receive over $2.6 million. Obviously, it doesn't work that way, but I thought it would be interesting to see what it would look like if every player got the same share of the pie. If you would like to see exactly what every player is currently slated to earn in 2015 and how it affects the Team Salary Cap, you can go to this link: NFL Team Salary Cap Tracker 

Here’s the top four money makers and their “Cap Hits” for 2015:  Tony Romo - $27,773,000;  Drew Brees - $26,400,000; Darrelle Revis - $25,000,000;  J.J. Watt - $21,969,000.

Here are the top six players with the most "guaranteed" money in their contracts: Colin Kaepernick (2014-2020) $61,000,000;  Peyton Manning (2012-2016) $58,000,000Tony Romo (2013-2019) $55,000,000Aaron Rodgers (2013-2019) $54,000,000Jay Cutler (2014-2020) $54,000,000J.J. Watt (2014-2021) $51,876,000.

NFL players have come a long way in a relatively short period of time.  In 1980, the average player's salary was $78,657. The average salary is now over $2 million and the median annual salary is over $800,000.  When factoring in a typical signing bonus, roster bonus and incentives, these numbers can go up well into the $3 million range and that doesn't even include the money set aside for benefits

In 2015, no  player will earn less than $435,000 - the League minimum. Here is a chart showing the minimum salaries for the next 4 years. They go up $15,000 every year. By the year 2020, no rookie player will make less than half a million dollars.

Yrs.

2015

2016

2017

2018

0

$435,000

$450,000

$465,000

$480,000

1

$510,000

$525,000

$540,000

$555,000

2

$585,000

$600,000

$615,000

$630,000

3

$660,000

$675,000

$690,000

$705,000

4-6

$745,000

$760,000

$775,000

$790,000

7-9

$870,000

$885,000

$900,000

$915,000

10+

$970,000

$985,000

$1,000,000

$1,015,000

You can see some additional financial and demographic information on things like: The average salary per position, average number of years by position, average salary by race and by age, etc. Just go to this link: The Unofficial 2014 NFL Player Census 

Fans often ask the older generation of former players what we miss the most about playing in the NFL.  I think I can speak for a lot of guys when I say.......

it wasn't the money we were making.  

NFL agrees to remove $75 million cap on funding for neurological testing, monitoring, counseling and treatment

As you know, Judge Anita Brody recently asked the parties to the NFL Concussion Settlement to address 5 concerns she had regarding the proposed agreement.

According to USA Today, the lawyers submitted the proposed changes just before last Friday's deadline and for the most part, they have agreed to all of the revisions that Judge Brody proposed.

The most significant change in the Settlement was the NFL’s agreement to remove the $75 million cap on funding for neurological testing, monitoring, counseling and treatment. The judge wanted assurance that money would not be an impediment to receiving those services under the terms of the Agreement.

In addition to that change, the two sides agreed to giving  a half-season of credit toward eligibility for an award for each season played in the European leagues, aka. the World League of American Football, the NFL Europe League and the NFL Europa League.

They also agreed to a 270-day grace period for a CTE diagnosis for any player whose death occurs between the July 7, 2014 (preliminary approval) and the date of final approval.

And lastly, the revised agreement allows retirees to request a "hardship" waiver of the $1,000 fee to appeal any decision that is not favorable to them and it provides a "limited exemption” for players that are unable to provide required medical records due to events that are beyond their control.

Christopher Seeger, co-lead attorney for the retired players, said "We are confident these enhancements address the issues raised by the court and further strengthen the settlement's benefits."

The enhancements could also make the Settlement “appeal proof” because the Judge has now been successful in getting the NFL to remove the cap on monetary awards,  and she has addressed several of the objections that were raised at the November 19, 2014 Fairness Hearing.

The settlement will affect about 25,000 former players – unless they "opted out". According to court documents, about 200 opted out before the deadline. 

As I mentioned in a previous article, "those who opt out will be permanently and totally forbidden from collecting benefits under this agreement. They will then face the full might of the NFL’s well-paid legal team, and they will do so alone - without the strength-in-numbers that helped us get this settlement in the first place."

Now that the NFL has agreed to some final revisions that are favorable to more players, there may be some who want to opt back into the Settlement. You can go to this link to see the procedure for doing that, but you must do it before Judge Brody gives the Settlement final approval. That could happen any day now.  

One last thing...........

When the Settlement is finally approved, it's good to know that Judge Brody will continue to oversee all aspects of the agreement. As it says in the court documents "Pursuant to the Final Order and Judgment, the Court will retain continuing and exclusive jurisdiction over the Parties and their counsel, all Settlement Class Members, the Special Master, BAP Administrator, Claims Administrator, Liens Resolution Administrator, Appeals Advisory Panel, and Trustee with respect to the terms of the Settlement Agreement. Any disputes or controversies arising out of, or related to, the interpretation, implementation, administration, and enforcement of this Settlement Agreement will be made by motion to the Court."

I don't think I'm going too far in saying that Judge Brody has been a strong advocate for the interests of former NFL players during this entire Settlement process. I don't think that's going to change - which is comforting to know - because you can bet your bottom dollar that before the ink dries, there will be disputes and controversies regarding the interpretation, implementationadministration, and enforcement of the Agreement.

She's been in our corner....................let's keep her there!    

              


NFL PLAYER ARRESTS: FACT VS FICTION

Is it just my imagination, or does it seem like more players are getting arrested than usual? If you've been watching the news or reading the newspapers you might think there was cause for major concern. Since January 1st there have been 8 arrests with the most recent one being on February 5th when Green Bay Packers defensive tackle, Letroy Guion was arrested in Starke, Florida after police found a handgun, 357 grams of marijuana and $197,000 in cash.

I was curious about the number of arrests as compared to previous years, so I did a little research on the subject and found some interesting information at a website called “NFL Arrests Database.” 

The database was compiled by U-T San Diego and it covered a 15 year period from 2000 to 2014. It also included the 8 arrests that have already occurred in 2015.

The website says “These are arrests and citations involving NFL players were more serious than speeding tickets. U-T San Diego reviewed hundreds of news reports and public records in compiling it. The list cannot be considered comprehensive in part because some incidents may not have been reported and some public records proved to be elusive. Increased media coverage of incidents also probably accounts for more incidents listed in recent years.”

I’m not so sure about that last statement. In reviewing the records I found that over the 15 year period, 770 players were arrested for an average of 51 players per year.

Here are the arrest totals from each year:

As you can see, the largest number of arrests took place in 2006 (71) , 2007 (64) and 2008 (67).

If you want to know which teams had the highest number of players arrested over the 15 year period, here it is:

Denver 45, Cincinnati 42, Minnesota 38, Tennessee 36, Tampa Bay 35, Jacksonville 31, Kansas City 30, Miami 30, Chicago 30, Cleveland 30, Indianapolis 28, San Diego 26, Seattle 24, New Orleans 23, Pittsburgh 23, Baltimore 22, Oakland 21, Washington 21, San Francisco 20, Arizona 19, Atlanta 19, Greenbay 18, Carolina 18, New England 18, Buffalo 17, Dallas 17, Detroit 17, N.Y. Jets 17, N.Y. Giants 14, Philadelphia 13, St. Louis 12, Houston 10 (note: Houston did not enter the NFL until 2002) 

Denver tops the list. They play in “Mile High” stadium, so just out of curiosity I had to see how many of their players were arrested for marijuana possession. To my surprise only one player was arrested - and he was acquitted of all charges! I would be surprised to see any future arrests since Colorado has legalized the possession of one ounce of marijuana per person.  

DUI’s (Driving Under the Influence) accounted for the largest number of arrests, which I find to be pretty amazing since most of today’s players can afford to hire chauffeurs and shouldn't have any problem paying for a taxi or limousine. On top of that, the NFL and NFLPA both have programs to provide a safe ride home for guys that have had one too many.

While there has been a lot of attention focused on domestic violence and assaults by current players, the research shows that NFL players, per capita, are far less prone to criminal acts than the general population. Benjamin Morris of FiveThirtyEight.com wrote an excellent article on the rate of NFL arrests compared to the general public. Here is his chart showing the comparison:

So now that we know that NFL players are less likely to commit crimes than the general population, why does the media seem to blow this issue out of proportion and make things appear worse than they actually are?

Unfortunately, the Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson arrests have put the NFL and the players under an electron microscope. Both active and retired players will continue to receive intense scrutiny and media attention for any criminal acts they may have committed. I’m a firm believer that no one is guilty until it is proven in a court of law, but the court of public opinion seems to think the NFL and its players are out of control – and to a certain degree, I think their perception is being fueled by the media. 

I'm not saying that certain players aren't out of control. In fact, some players probably don't deserve to be in the NFL because no matter how many chances they are given, they don't seem to get the message. The NFL's bad apples can spoil the whole barrel.    

I have read hundreds of fan comments posted under on-line articles and most of them think the NFL has a big problem. The truth is our problem isn’t any bigger than the one facing the general population. In fact, NFL players are doing better than the average Joe.

We hear all the bad stories about players that have run afoul of the law, but most players are doing great things in their communities and I think the NFL and the players (both active and retired) should be commended for what they are doing to make this world a better place.

Fortunately, we have folks at the NFL and NFLPA that are doing all they can to spread the gospel. As former players, we get newsletters from both organizations that show us the fantastic work that is being done, but it would be helpful if the general public knew more about our activities. The media could do more to help us in this endeavor, but the stories of players doing good deeds don't sell as many newspapers or attract as many on-line readers as do the arrests of current or former NFL players. Until that changes, we need to blow our own horn as loud as we can and hope we can drown out the noise being made by some folks in the media.

 So, to answer the very first question I posed in this article........."It was just my imagination.....once again, runnin away with me."

 


Judge Brody recommends 5 revisions to NFL Concussion Settlement; Prospects for Final Approval look Good

Yesterday, Judge Brody asked the NFL to make some modifications to the class action settlement between the League and retired players. She has recommended that the Settlement be modified in five ways to ensure that more former players are eligible for benefits.

In her order she said “After reviewing these submissions and arguments, I believe that the following changes would enhance the fairness, reasonableness, and adequacy of the proposed Class Action Settlement Agreement”:

• The settlement should provide for some Eligible Seasons credit for play in the World League of American Football, the NFL Europe League, and the NFL Europa League;

• The settlement should assure that all living Retired NFL Football Players who timely register for the Settlement, who are eligible to participate in the Baseline Assessment Program, and who timely seek a BAP baseline assessment examination, will receive the examination regardless of any funding limitations in the agreement;

• The Qualifying Diagnosis of Death with CTE should include Retired NFL Football Players who die between preliminary approval and final approval of the Settlement;

• The settlement should provide a hardship provision with respect to the appeal fee for Settlement Class Members;

• The settlement should allow reasonable accommodation for Settlement Class Members who do not possess medical records in support of a Qualifying Diagnosis due to force majeure type events.

Both sides seemed amenable to the Judge’s recommendations and remained confident the plan would be approved.

"We ... continue to have a high degree of confidence that this settlement -- which has been accepted by more than 99 percent of retirees -- will receive final approval and provide important and generous benefits to retirees and their families," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said.

"We are grateful to Judge Brody for her guidance and continued efforts to protect the rights of all class members," co-lead players' lawyer Christopher Seeger said. "We look forward to finalizing this agreement so that retired players can begin taking advantage of its benefits."

Obviously, our attorneys will agree to any modifications that are beneficial to more players. And based on NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy’s response to Judge’s order, it appears that the NFL will also go along with the changes.

Some reporters have inaccurately portrayed this news as a “setback” for the settlement. Such assertions do not factually reflect the nature of the Judge’s order. In fact, Judge Brody’s order is not a rejection or setback for the settlement. It is simply recommendations of how she believes the settlement can be made stronger.

And in fact, given that both the NFL and the plaintiffs’ attorneys have expressed agreement with the Judge this news sends a strong signal that this settlement is headed toward final approval. The changes recommended by the Judge aren't very big, but they would all represent improvements for retired players. That’s something worth applauding.

If the two sides address these changes by the Judge’s deadline of February 13, it’s looking like this settlement’s many benefits are one step closer to becoming a reality.

You can read more about the Settlement at the following link:  Judge Asks for Revisions to Concussion Settlement