Score one for the old guys.
In a tiny item most sports sections today, the AP reports that a federal jury ordered the NFL Players Association to pay $28.1million to retired players after finding that the union actively sought to cut the players out of lucrative licensing deals with the video game maker Electronic Arts Inc.; sports card companies; and other sponsorship agreements. in order to make sure active players received bigger royalty payments.
Here was one of the Perry Mason moments in the case:
"The retirees pointed to a 2001 letter from a union executive telling Electronic Arts Inc. to scramble the images of retired players in the popular "Madden NFL" video game or they would have to pay them."
NFL retirees have been complaining publicly for a few years now about the disgraceful treatment - or total lack of treatment - of their mushed brains and broken bodies by the Union and the National Football League, Inc. It's amazing to me how little attention this gets. Nonetheless, it gratifies me to see the NFLPA get their ass to handed to them.
Personally, I think any sport organization that is in league with the makers of video games - a device that is tied for number one with texting, TV and the internet as leading causes of fat kids everywhere - shows how little they care about any health issues other than the health of their bank accounts.
But before "gamers" (a contradiction in term is there ever was one) start to burn me in video effigy (they wouldn't do a real effigy burning because it would require getting off the couch) I realize and fully accept that video games have become embedded in our sports culture. That's long been a sad fact for me, until now.
Check out my interview with maybe the greatest football player ever, Lawrence Taylor. Now this guy has a video game for ya.