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Originally posted by Willy Franzen on February 5, 2012. Updated through a sponsorship agreement.
Posted by Willy Franzen on February 5, 2012. Positions below updated every five minutes.
Today’s the big game! By the end of tonight there will probably be a new football hero for many fans. Unfortunately, even being the star of one of the world’s biggest sporting events doesn’t guarantee a carefree future. Football is a brutal sport that takes a terrible toll on the body. This is doubly bad for players. First, it causes all kinds of long-term health problems, and, second, it shortens careers significantly. This becomes a major problem for retired players who no longer have a source of income and are dealing with the physical aftermath of a career in football. Nobody wants to see their heroes down and out, which is why Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund was started. They’re based in Northbrook, IL, and they “provide financial assistance and coordinate social services to dire need retired NFL players who are pioneers of the game and have greatly contributed to the NFL’s status as the most popular sport in America.”
I know that it’s hard to empathize with someone who played a game for a living, but even today’s players with their salaries that are often millions annually have a tough road ahead of them. Imagine if you made all the money that you’d make in your life in your first three years after college. It’d be pretty hard to be responsibly manage the money–especially knowing that there will likely be long-term medical problems. Fortunately, the NFL has realized the problems that life after football can present, and they’ve gotten much better about taking care of players after retirement; however, that still leaves many retired greats without help. Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund, which is chaired by Mike Ditka, is helping to take care of these players by “treating them with dignity, and addressing the post-football related issues in their lives.” While Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund doesn’t have a jobs page, you can contact them here. They’ve offered internships in the pat, so it many not be unreasonable to inquire about a job. It’s at least worth trying if you’re a big football fan. You may also want to check out our past posts on the National Football Foundation, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, USA Football, and, of course, the NFL and its teams.
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