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Mike Ditka cautiously optimistic that new CBA will take care of retired players

Mike Ditka AP

Few people in the football world have been more vocal about the needs of retired players than Mike Ditka. And Ditka says he likes what he’s heard about the way retired players’ needs will be met by the new Collective Bargaining Agreement that is expected to be voted on this week.

Ditka, the Hall of Fame tight end and former Bears and Saints head coach, told the Chicago Sun-Times that the reports that the new CBA will include $1 billion in benefits for retired players sounds great.

“If what they’re saying is reality, it’s terrific -— it’s what it should be,” Ditka said. “You should take care of the guys who helped make the game what it is. Maybe now I can get out of the business.”

However, Ditka also remains wary about how this money will be spent, who will be eligible and who will make the decisions about individual players who apply for assistance. When all of those details come out, we have a feeling that some of the retirees still won’t be happy with the benefits they’re receiving. Even if the new deal is clearly better for retired players than the old deal was.

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6 Responses to “Mike Ditka cautiously optimistic that new CBA will take care of retired players”
  1. benh999 says: Jul 20, 2011 1:28 PM

    I wish I had a job with a minimum salary of $350k that I could retire from in my mid-30s and get lifetime benefits.

    I won’t argue that it is sad how many former players are in really rough shape, but it is hard to ignore that they would probably be even worse off were it not for professional sports. Meanwhile, there are plenty of people out there who have worked harder and have even less in life than any retired player.

  2. krow101 says: Jul 20, 2011 1:31 PM

    How about all those heart attacks your restaurants have given people? Maybe you should help them? Offer a free bypass for every 10 dinners. Complimentary stent at 25.

    Just sayin’ …

  3. condor75 says: Jul 20, 2011 3:03 PM

    Hey benh999

    What you don’t get is the average career is less than 4 years, not mid eps as you so erroneously stayed and I promise you none of the guys who are most affected averaged 350k. Also did you know full benefits don’t kick in until age 55, that is quite a few years from 27 or 28. Before you try to sound like an expert, get the facts

  4. fcs34 says: Jul 20, 2011 3:17 PM

    “Meanwhile, there are plenty of people out there who have worked harder and have even less in life than any retired player.”

    This is true and I see veterens who gave limbs for their country and get treated worse but really what else is new? Thats the way life shakes out unfortunetly. So because some got jack no one should get anything? The NFL has the means to take care of these guys and they care about their public image so it makes good business sense take care of this issue. It’s a James Harrison (no brainer)

  5. benh999 says: Jul 20, 2011 4:16 PM

    condor75,
    You still paint an enviable picture. Again, they are better off than many others who work harder but were not gifted with natural athletic talent, and they would be worse off without professional sports.

    Four years at $350k is $1.4m. At the current federal minimum wage, it would take almost 93 years to earn that much. (I don’t want to get into inflation and the time value of money, but you get the point.)

    I am still not sure what facts I am missing.

  6. deweyaxewound says: Jul 21, 2011 2:01 PM

    krow101 says:
    Jul 20, 2011 1:31 PM
    How about all those heart attacks your restaurants have given people? Maybe you should help them? Offer a free bypass for every 10 dinners. Complimentary stent at 25.

    Just sayin’ …

    _________________________________

    I remember the good old days in America…long, long ago, when people used to actually be responsible for their own choices, for what they said, what they did, what they didn’t do, or even for what THEY chose to put in their own bodies.

    Now, no matter what I do — it’s always somebody ELSE’s fault, right?

    Awesome. Obama, 2012!

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