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Gene Upshaw

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By BILL ORDINE | August 22, 2008
In 1987, with an NFL players strike looming, I recall standing in front of Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia and talking casually with John Spagnola, an Eagles tight end who was the team's player rep to the NFL Players Association. Club owners had announced that they were going ahead with the season using replacement players. It was a stunning tactic, and no one knew how such a move would be received. "We're about to find out who controls the game," said Spagnola, a Yale graduate. "The players who play the game or the guys who own the jocks and the socks."
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By Ken Murray and Ken Murray,SUN REPORTER | August 22, 2008
The NFL Players Association is about to find out what it's like to go into high-stakes negotiations without Gene Upshaw. Upshaw carried the union fight for 25 years as its strong-willed executive director, participating in collective bargaining negotiations as far back as 1977. His death, from pancreatic cancer Wednesday, went shock waves through the NFL and left a leadership void in the union. "The new guy will have to do what he can, but he can't be Gene Upshaw," said Stan White, a former Baltimore Colt and long-time union activist.
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SPORTS
By Ken Murray and Ken Murray,Sun reporter | June 6, 2007
The simmering feud between the NFL Players Association and retired players boiled over when Gene Upshaw, the union's executive director, made threatening comments about one of his most vocal critics. Speaking about Hall of Fame guard Joe DeLamielleure in an interview with the Philadelphia Daily News last week, Upshaw said: "A guy like DeLamielleure says the things he said about me; you think I'm going to invite him to dinner? No. I'm going to break his ... damn neck." Upshaw's outburst comes at a time when the NFL's image has been tarnished by repeated player arrests in the past year.
SPORTS
By BILL ORDINE | August 22, 2008
In 1987, with an NFL players strike looming, I recall standing in front of Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia and talking casually with John Spagnola, an Eagles tight end who was the team's player rep to the NFL Players Association. Club owners had announced that they were going ahead with the season using replacement players. It was a stunning tactic, and no one knew how such a move would be received. "We're about to find out who controls the game," said Spagnola, a Yale graduate. "The players who play the game or the guys who own the jocks and the socks."
SPORTS
By RAY FRAGER | August 22, 2006
Bryant Gumbel was talking about Gene Upshaw's leash, but the real question now is whether someone will try to put a leash on Gumbel. The longtime broadcaster irked outgoing NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue with his commentary at the end of the recent edition of HBO's Real Sports (which is, by the way, an excellent program that ranks as one of the few on television practicing sports journalism). Gumbel was addressing Tagliabue's replacement, Roger Goodell. According to a transcript from HBO, here is the offending passage: "First of all, before he cleans out his office, have Paul Tagliabue show you where he keeps Gene Upshaw's leash.
SPORTS
By Ken Murray and Ken Murray,SUN REPORTER | August 22, 2008
The NFL Players Association is about to find out what it's like to go into high-stakes negotiations without Gene Upshaw. Upshaw carried the union fight for 25 years as its strong-willed executive director, participating in collective bargaining negotiations as far back as 1977. His death, from pancreatic cancer Wednesday, went shock waves through the NFL and left a leadership void in the union. "The new guy will have to do what he can, but he can't be Gene Upshaw," said Stan White, a former Baltimore Colt and long-time union activist.
SPORTS
By RICK MAESE | February 3, 2007
This week, the city of Miami expects a $400 million boost to the economy. Forbes.com estimated the Super Bowl brand to be worth $379 million. The commercials alone cost $2.6 million a pop - total revenue of more than $150 million. And the gate tomorrow will bring in more than $30 million. Yep, sounds like money is flowing pretty freely around the NFL this weekend, right? Don't answer that yet. First, it's important that we all understand exactly what kind of graveyard this game and this sport was built on top of. You need to know about Wayne Hawkins.
SPORTS
By KEN MURRAY and KEN MURRAY,SUN REPORTER | March 1, 2006
Is the golden goose cooked? Could the NFL and its millionaire minions really ruin a good thing and send competitive balance spiraling off into the abyss? Without a collective bargaining agreement, would the NFL degenerate into Major League Baseball with a rich upper crust, a distant middle class and an even more distant poverty sector? So many questions, so few answers. What we know about the NFL's muddled labor negotiations is this: Unless there is an extension of the CBA by Friday at 12 a.m., the league will operate on a new, more restrictive set of salary cap rules in 2006.
SPORTS
By Vito Stellino and Jon Morgan and Vito Stellino and Jon Morgan,Staff Writers The New York Times contributed to this article | January 7, 1993
Faced with an ultimatum from federal judge David Doty, the NFL owners finally agreed to a seven-year agreement with the players yesterday that apparently will bring labor peace to pro football.After Doty warned the owners Tuesday at a meeting in Minneapolis that he would free players without a salary cap if they didn't reach a settlement within 24 hours, the owners approved virtually the same deal they had rejected twice in the past month.The agreement calls for the owners to get a salary cap that kicks in at 67 percent of designated gross revenues in return for the players getting free agency after five years of service.
SPORTS
By KEN MURRAY AND JAMISON HENSLEY | May 22, 2008
The NFL Players Association last week signed off on a league waiver that will allow the Ravens to make $9 million in capital improvements to M&T Bank Stadium over a three-year period. Club president Dick Cass said the improvements actually began a year ago with work on the suite level and south side of the club level. The north side of the club level is also targeted for work, he said. The waiver process allows the Ravens to recoup $3 million of the $9 million budgeted cost. The NFL approved the team's request for the credit last May. NFLPA executive director Gene Upshaw said this week that the union approved waivers for stadiums of three teams - the Ravens, Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers.
SPORTS
By Ken Murray and Ken Murray,Sun reporter | June 6, 2007
The simmering feud between the NFL Players Association and retired players boiled over when Gene Upshaw, the union's executive director, made threatening comments about one of his most vocal critics. Speaking about Hall of Fame guard Joe DeLamielleure in an interview with the Philadelphia Daily News last week, Upshaw said: "A guy like DeLamielleure says the things he said about me; you think I'm going to invite him to dinner? No. I'm going to break his ... damn neck." Upshaw's outburst comes at a time when the NFL's image has been tarnished by repeated player arrests in the past year.
SPORTS
By RICK MAESE | February 3, 2007
This week, the city of Miami expects a $400 million boost to the economy. Forbes.com estimated the Super Bowl brand to be worth $379 million. The commercials alone cost $2.6 million a pop - total revenue of more than $150 million. And the gate tomorrow will bring in more than $30 million. Yep, sounds like money is flowing pretty freely around the NFL this weekend, right? Don't answer that yet. First, it's important that we all understand exactly what kind of graveyard this game and this sport was built on top of. You need to know about Wayne Hawkins.
SPORTS
By RAY FRAGER | August 22, 2006
Bryant Gumbel was talking about Gene Upshaw's leash, but the real question now is whether someone will try to put a leash on Gumbel. The longtime broadcaster irked outgoing NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue with his commentary at the end of the recent edition of HBO's Real Sports (which is, by the way, an excellent program that ranks as one of the few on television practicing sports journalism). Gumbel was addressing Tagliabue's replacement, Roger Goodell. According to a transcript from HBO, here is the offending passage: "First of all, before he cleans out his office, have Paul Tagliabue show you where he keeps Gene Upshaw's leash.
SPORTS
By KEN MURRAY and KEN MURRAY,SUN REPORTER | March 1, 2006
Is the golden goose cooked? Could the NFL and its millionaire minions really ruin a good thing and send competitive balance spiraling off into the abyss? Without a collective bargaining agreement, would the NFL degenerate into Major League Baseball with a rich upper crust, a distant middle class and an even more distant poverty sector? So many questions, so few answers. What we know about the NFL's muddled labor negotiations is this: Unless there is an extension of the CBA by Friday at 12 a.m., the league will operate on a new, more restrictive set of salary cap rules in 2006.
SPORTS
By Vito Stellino and Jon Morgan and Vito Stellino and Jon Morgan,Staff Writers The New York Times contributed to this article | January 7, 1993
Faced with an ultimatum from federal judge David Doty, the NFL owners finally agreed to a seven-year agreement with the players yesterday that apparently will bring labor peace to pro football.After Doty warned the owners Tuesday at a meeting in Minneapolis that he would free players without a salary cap if they didn't reach a settlement within 24 hours, the owners approved virtually the same deal they had rejected twice in the past month.The agreement calls for the owners to get a salary cap that kicks in at 67 percent of designated gross revenues in return for the players getting free agency after five years of service.
SPORTS
By KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE | September 21, 2003
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A 21-year-old policy in the NFL's collective bargaining agreement limits players' access to medical and training records. Players are not allowed to see their records kept by their teams during the 17-week regular season -- when games are played and injuries are prevalent. Player access to their records is granted twice a year, once during the preseason and again after the regular season. Critics say the policy violates the civil -- and perhaps legal -- rights of players and gives teams too much control over health information that should be shared, not shielded.
SPORTS
By Vito Stellino | January 28, 1994
ATLANTA -- Playing football is not hazardous to your health -- unless you're an offensive or defensive linemen. That was a conclusion of a study conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and released by the NFL Players Association yesterday.The study of 6,848 players who played between 1959 and 1988 revealed that 46 percent fewer players died compared to an equal number of males of similar age and race in the general population.That research suggests that former football players will live as long as the average male, although the majority is still too young to determine at what age the average player dies.
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