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Old 06-27-2007, 04:12 AM   #1
Aussie_steeler
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Default Mike Webster and the congressional hearing

Just saw the espn story on the topic of former players and the pension system.

"Former NFL players talking to sympathetic House Judiciary subcommittee sharing tales of multiple surgeries, dementia and homelessness, all while trying to fight through the red tape of the National Football League and the NFL Players Association's disability system."

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2917473

Mike Webster was one of the main players focused on in this story and it really got me thinking.

I never knew the true legacy of Mike Webster until I just finished some heavy reading. (My apologies, I am only just catching up on the detailed history of the Steelers of the 70's and 80's)

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=1972285

This read and many others totally blew me away.

My question to all the long term fans on this board is " How many other steelers have suffered through retirement in a tragic way like Mike Webster?"

I cant believe organisations (NFL and the NFLPA) can treat their players in such a poor way.

Proud men deserve to be able to maintain their dignity in their years of rest and retirement.
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Old 06-27-2007, 07:22 AM   #2
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Default Re: Mike Webster and the congressional hearing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussie_steeler View Post
Just saw the espn story on the topic of former players and the pension system.

"Former NFL players talking to sympathetic House Judiciary subcommittee sharing tales of multiple surgeries, dementia and homelessness, all while trying to fight through the red tape of the National Football League and the NFL Players Association's disability system."

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2917473

Mike Webster was one of the main players focused on in this story and it really got me thinking.

I never knew the true legacy of Mike Webster until I just finished some heavy reading. (My apologies, I am only just catching up on the detailed history of the Steelers of the 70's and 80's)

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=1972285

This read and many others totally blew me away.

My question to all the long term fans on this board is " How many other steelers have suffered through retirement in a tragic way like Mike Webster?"

I cant believe organisations (NFL and the NFLPA) can treat their players in such a poor way.

Proud men deserve to be able to maintain their dignity in their years of rest and retirement.
I saw the same piece on espn. What really got me is when Mikes son described his father before he died and what he went through. What really hit home is when at the end he said :

Quote:
And that is how 'Iron' Mike Webster died

Answering your question, I know Justin Strelzyk died when he wrecked into an 18 wheeler on a police chase but I dont know if he was suffering from anything
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Old 06-27-2007, 09:50 AM   #3
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Default Re: Mike Webster and the congressional hearing

I seen his son and what he said about his father ,was just sad.
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Old 06-27-2007, 01:23 PM   #4
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Default Re: Mike Webster and the congressional hearing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussie_steeler View Post

My question to all the long term fans on this board is " How many other steelers have suffered through retirement in a tragic way like Mike Webster?"

I cant believe organisations (NFL and the NFLPA) can treat their players in such a poor way.

Proud men deserve to be able to maintain their dignity in their years of rest and retirement.
unfortunately ex steelers have almost seemed cursed in retirement here lately. too many have died way to early. its almost eerie. most recently was terry long who killed himself .

(info from wikipedia.com) steve courson-
Quote:
Courson stayed near Pittsburgh for the rest of his life. In November of 2005, he died in an accident at his home in Farmington, Pennsylvania. Courson had been cutting down a 44-foot tree on his property, but a gust of wind changed the direction of its fall, and he moved into its path while attempting to prevent his dog from being struck. The dog, a black Labrador retriever, was found alive near Courson's body when the tree was removed
Quote:
[David Little (born January 3, 1959 in Miami, Florida, died April 11, 2005 in Miami, Florida) is a former professional American football player who played linebacker for twelve seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was selected to the Pro Bowl after the 1990 season. He died in 2005 following a weightlifting accident at his home in Miami. He was the younger brother of Pro Football Hall of Fame guard Larry Little.
Quote:
Stephen Robert Furness (born December 5, 1950, Providence, Rhode Island; died February 9, 2000, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) was a defensive tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions of the National Football League, and a member of the Steelers' famed Steel Curtain defense. He earned four Super Bowl rings. He was of Armenian descent.

Furness died of a heart attack on February 9, 2000.
Quote:
Justin Conrad Strzelczyk (August 18, 1968 - September 30, 2004) was a former American football offensive lineman who played nine seasons in the NFL, all for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1990-1998.
He died in a road accident, driving 100 miles per hour the wrong direction while being chased by the cops, and hit a truck carrying acid. He was 36 years old
Quote:
Gilliam was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1972 in the 11th round after a college football career at Tennessee State University where he was a two-time All-American. He became the Steelers' starting Quarterback in 1974 but lost the job when Terry Bradshaw was chosen to lead the team after the first six games of the season, fueling speculation years later that Gilliam was removed because he was black. Bradshaw himself admits that Gilliam was more talented and deserving of the job that year than he was. Gilliam spiraled into a trap of severe alcoholism and substance abuse and was out of the National Football League at the end of 1975 and back on the streets in Nashville, Tennessee, where he battled his cocaine addiction on and off over the years.

In 1983, Gilliam attempted a comeback to pro football in the United States Football League with the Washington Federals. He did not have much success and retired from the sport for good after that season.

For the rest of his life, he battled his cocaine addiction; but did manage to run a football camp in Nashville at times. He was often homeless and on the streets in search of his next high. He earned the nickname "Jefferson Street Joe" for the boulevard that runs by Tennessee State University in Nashville. [1]

Gilliam died of a heart attack on December 25, 2000. He had been sober for four years prior to his death and was able to attend the final Steelers game at Three Rivers Stadium.
furness was on vacation hiking in the grand canyon. little was lifting weights and dropped the bar on his neck and suffocated. justin went wacko and slammed into a tanker. courson had a freaking tree drop on him. gilliam and webster were homeless. and terry long had attempted suicide atleast once before he died (drinking antifreeze?)
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Old 06-27-2007, 02:32 PM   #5
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Default Re: Mike Webster and the congressional hearing

I can only imagine that other teams have the same tragic stories, but there is definitely a problem with NFL players growing old.

Its like the old war vet that can go on after the battle is done. The NFL is lucrative enough to be giving their retirees a solid pension package. Its just a shame.
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