Minnesota Vikings' Matt Birk to donat...

Minnesota Vikings' Matt Birk to donate $50,000 from his game ch...

There are 11 comments on the TwinCities.com story from Dec 19, 2008, titled Minnesota Vikings' Matt Birk to donate $50,000 from his game ch.... In it, TwinCities.com reports that:

Minnesota Vikings center Matt Birk has been a passionate advocate for Gridiron Greats, an organization that helps retired NFL players in dire need.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at TwinCities.com.

soocroix

Columbia, MO

#1 Dec 19, 2008
Where are the rest of the egocentric, millionaire jerks who owe their prosperity to the guys who played in the past years for little money - but for the love of the game! And don't say that there is not a racial divide!
PCat

Lakewood, CA

#2 Dec 19, 2008
soocroix wrote:
Where are the rest of the egocentric, millionaire jerks who owe their prosperity to the guys who played in the past years for little money - but for the love of the game! And don't say that there is not a racial divide!
Wow, you continuously post snotty remarks about the egos of players and how rich they are. Look at youself not at them. You couldn't say something nice about the article and Matt Birk's efforts? Don't critisize others to make yourself feel better or because of your shortfalls in life. Nobody like a insecure pesimist, especially when commenting on something so positive as this. Good job Matt and all of the other players who donated!
soocroix

Columbia, MO

#3 Dec 19, 2008
PCat wrote:
<quoted text>
Wow, you continuously post snotty remarks about the egos of players and how rich they are. Look at youself not at them. You couldn't say something nice about the article and Matt Birk's efforts? Don't critisize others to make yourself feel better or because of your shortfalls in life. Nobody like a insecure pesimist, especially when commenting on something so positive as this. Good job Matt and all of the other players who donated!
I'm sorry that you weren't able to understand what I was saying! The point was to congratulate the players who contributed & to wake up those who didn't!

And I don't know what "snotty" posts that you are referring to!
DD Austin

Pinola, MS

#4 Dec 19, 2008
There is no reason that all active pro football players shouldn't donate a generous amount toward this fund. They owe it to those who have gone before them. Not to mention how fast time flies. Before these guys know it they will be retired and will be suffering the ill effects from the wear and tear on their bodies. Then they will be looking to those behind them for help. Time to pony up guys!
Bobby

Eden Prairie, MN

#5 Dec 19, 2008
Matt Birk you are a class act!! My son plays football...hope he can follow in your footsteps.
trav

Stillwater, MN

#6 Dec 19, 2008
great move by birk etc! be nice to see atleast one owner or the league step up like this....
Sean

AOL

#7 Dec 19, 2008
That's what I expect to see from Natt. He is awsome player with great heart. As long as fans knew him he was a great leader,outstabding player. I do not believe there is any Vikes fan out there that they will talk any trash against him. He is a true Vikings and always be a true Vikings. Not rest of the Vikings but entire NFL needs to follow his leadership about this. Good job Matt.

GO VIKES
Sean/NC
Larry Kisslinger

Bethlehem, PA

#8 Dec 19, 2008
Thank you Matt Birk. Eagles Chuck Bednarik HOF'67 is still family friend and lives nearby. I visit him once in awhile. His book "Last of the 60 Minute Men" explains all about him for those who don't know of Concrete Charlie. An amazing person and NFL player, born in 1925, highest paid salary in 14 yaers as an Eagle was $28,000.00. Chuck is still in great health and still lifetime married to same woman, Emma. They're great folks. My guess is he could demand 28 million/year if were starting out in today's market. My point here is all retired NFL players are not as fortunate as
Chuck is "today". He often mentions that to me about his peers and worries for them. Matt Birk is a great person for helping needy NFL retirees, is my opinion! BTW Chuck only missed 3 games in the 14 years, attends Mass every single morning and still receives approx. 100 requests for autographs per month. Tons of his stuff is on Ebay offered by others while Chuck keeps his own supply of pictures if needed. Thanks again Matt Birk. I"m a lifelong resident of Chuck's hometown of Bethlehem, PA not Hamburg, NJ that always appears to the left. www.kisslinger.com
NYVIKE

Wyoming, NY

#9 Dec 20, 2008
Great job Matt, and the other players that have pledged to contribute. As for the players whose names were not on the list, the fact is that they all pay a fair amount in union dues and it is the NFLPA's responsibility to step up and use a portion of the vast sums of money at their disposal to help these former players. Any player that pays dues, and they all do, have already contributed and shouldn't be held responsible for the unions lack of committment to this issue.

“wtf”

Since: Oct 08

Isanti, MN

#10 Dec 20, 2008
This is an example of why what Matt is doing is so great. Excepted from Peter Kings "MMQB" at SI.com

"I can't get this phone conversation I had Saturday afternoon with a ghost from Texas out of my mind.

A ghost Dwight Harrison isn't, but he's treated like one. A second-round pick of the Denver Broncos in 1971, Harrison played 10 years, mostly at cornerback, with the Broncos, Bills, Colts and Raiders. In 1975, starting at right corner for Buffalo, he was fourth in the league with eight interceptions. Today, he is a 60-year-old man, living alone, in a FEMA trailer in Beaumont, Texas, with no running water and an income of $637 a month from a Social Security disability fund. He gets no pension or medical benefits from the NFL or NFLPA, and the medication he needs eats up much of his monthly stipend."

"He can't take long walks or go places he's even vaguely unfamiliar with. "I'd forget how to get back to my trailer," he said.

"Dogs live better than me, Mr. King,I'm embarrassed, I'm ashamed, I can't function. And I can't get any help."
(link: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers... )
----------

Matt Birk you are an awesome Person and I hope that his becomes a permanent fixture for players around the NFL, as a show of goodwill and support for those that paved the way for athletes to live in their privileged manner. You rock.

“wtf”

Since: Oct 08

Isanti, MN

#11 Dec 20, 2008
I missed a spot in the middle of my previous post. And I figured if I didn't put it up, the crude posters on here would find a way to blame the man for his current living conditions, so here's another excerpt:

"Last week, he was told his latest appeal for funds from the NFLPA was denied. He can't keep a job because he has severe post-concussion syndrome from what he believes are at least 15 instances of head trauma or concussions in his NFL career. In a prior appeal for pension benefits, he was denied, he said, because he was told the concussions were from his college career, a claim he vehemently denies. He says he started having them in the NFL, and one was so severe when he was in Buffalo that when the coaches put on the film the next day to review the game they'd just played, he couldn't remember an entire half of football that he played.

I'm not writing this to blame the NFL, the NFL Players Association or Dwight Harrison for the predicament he's in. Every time I listen to somebody in the league or the union explain how much they're doing for the suffering ex-players, and every time I listen to old players beat the union and the league over the head, all I can think of is a terminally troubled, punch-drunk Mike Webster dying of a heart attack at 50, a depressed Andre Waters killing himself at 44 following repeated brain trauma and scores of players with permanently damaged knees and hips and shoulders from football -- and complaining football isn't paying enough money or attention to their plights.

It's time to stop laying blame everywhere. It's time to start doing something meaningful about the crisis. I'm glad Roger Goodell is taking time to make regional visits to see the problem of injured and indigent retired players first-hand, and maybe this will lead to a long-term solution to the problem.

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