Deacon Jones: The Secretary of Defense

When defensive end David “Deacon” Jones, who died on June 3 at age 74 in Southern California, joined the Los Angeles Rams in 1961 as an obscure 14th-round pick out of Mississippi Valley State, it was the derring-do of quarterbacks, running backs and receivers that put fans in the seats and kept them glued to the TV set. Jones helped to change that by making defense just as exciting. At 6 foot 5 and 270 pounds, Jones was an imposing …

Superbowl Bound or Bust

“YOLO,” mom said to me last week after announcing that she and my father were going to the Superbowl in New Orleans. I held the phone in my hand in silence. “Are you serious?” I asked her. She laughed, “Yes.” Not only could I not believe that my mother said YOLO, short for you only live once, but that she and Dad (who put off back surgery for a week) were trekking it to New Orleans, on a bus for …

Former NFL Players Aid Victims of Hurricane Sandy

There was enough warning, you could watch the weather channel and the local news to watch the path of Hurricane Sandy. Everyone knew she was coming. Experts were predicting the worst-case scenarios. But in the aftermath, the truth of what Hurricane Sandy left behind in the burned-out homes in Breezy Point, Queens, to the flooded buildings and subways in New York City. The reality of the devastation was widespread and heartbreaking. In the words of President Obama “This is going to …

Alex Karras: A Football Great’s 5 Most Memorable Movie Roles

During his 12-year career with the Detroit Lions, defensive tackle Alex Karras made All-Pro four times and earned a reputation for terrorizing quarterbacks. But he may have achieved even greater notoriety as a comic actor on television and in motion pictures. Karras, who died today at age 77 in Los Angeles, appeared in scores of television shows, starting in 1969 with a role in an episode of Daniel Boone. He went on to act in TV series ranging from The Odd …

On A Rainy Day In Steeler Country Volunteers Were Asked “Am I My Brother’s Keeper?”

On a rainy day in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania NFLPA former players, AFL-CIO members, community activists, and community organizers got together for an event called My Vote My Right, to educate the public on the new voter ID laws instituted in Pennsylvania. There have been many studies on the effects of the new legislation on people’s ability to vote. According to the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, “Studies show that as many as 11 percent of eligible voters do not …

Former NFL Players Give the Gift of Fitness and Fun

Of all the things that we get to do as former players in giving back to the community, in my opinion, the most fun is  giving time to the local community children. Last weekend, the NFLPA former players, as part of the NFLPA One Team One Community initiative, visited Monroe Elementary School in Oak Brook Illinois  for a day of fitness, fun, and football. The mission of the One Team One Community initiative is to improve the quality of life …