So, why am I talking about a former Bears player on a Vikings blog? Because this needs to be talked about, and Dave Duerson was a teammate of head coach Leslie Frazier and LB coach Mike SIngletary back in the day, so there is a link. And yeah, it was the Bears, but that defense was incredible.
Oh yeah, Chris did too. We have the same sentiments, but I have a slightly different angle.
The former Bears standout had a great NFL career, but his post NFL life was one of depression brought on by post-concussion syndrome from playing in the NFL, and it culminated a couple days ago with Duerson taking his own life. The plight of former NFL players is a pox upon the houses of the owners and the NFLPA,and neither the owners or the players have adequately addressed the health issues of former players.
It is an issue that needs to be a settled once and for all in the new labor deal.
Former Viking and all around good guy Matt Birk has tried to bring light to this problem, and many current players donated gamechecks to help alleviate medical costs for former players, but it's not enough. But I have an idea:
As I understand it, the owners and players are arguing, essentially, over $1 billion dollars. The owners want to take it off the top before they split revenues, and the players want that extra money available to them in terms of salary, because the owners want to expand to an 18 game season.
How about the owners agree to stay at 16 games, and the owners and players forego that $1billion, but they agree to set up a medical fund with that money for the former players? It can be used to purchase group insurance for former players, or it can be used to supplement insurance that players might already have and cover expenses that their primary insurance might not.
For all the excitement they gave us by sacrificing their bodies, I think it's the least that the owners and the NFLPA could do.