Well, it’s finally Super Bowl weekend, so how do we tie that into the issues covered by this blog? Easy. Here’s a terrific article in this week’s Sports Illustrated (hey, we can’t get all our reading from Aspen Publishers) on the problem of disability and health benefits – and the fact that there effectively aren’t any – for long retired NFL players. The article isn’t about the legal issues, obviously, although it does touch on the distinction between the current retirement and disability plan, which is generous in this regard, that the union has negotiated for modern era players, and the plight of the players I, and probably many of you too, grew up watching in the seventies and earlier, who were never covered under any even marginally generous union negotiated benefit plan. Of the hundreds of posts I have written on this blog, probably none has had longer legs than this one, on the long legal struggle of former Steelers’ center Mike Webster to obtain benefits from the NFL under the applicable plan. The Sports Illustrated piece is a fine story of the people behind these issues, and presents a sympathetic portrait of them all.

And this, I note, is the first time I have ever linked to Sports Illustrated on this blog, and it wouldn’t surprise me if it turned out to be the last time, too.