Packers Old-Timer Says He Thinks NFL, Union Hope Older Players ‘Die Off’

CDT, July 1, 2013 Retired Green Bay Packers tight end Gary Knafelc told NBC26-TV in Green Bay that he believes the NFL and the players association hope that players who retired before 1970 die off so they do not have to deal with them. Knafelc, 81, retired in 1963 after 10 seasons and later became the public address announcer at Lambeau Field. “We don’t have a voice, and I really believe the reason that we don’t have a voice is that they’re hoping that if we keep dying off at the rate we are, we’ll be all dead and they won’t have to worry about anything,” he said in the TV interview last week, which ESPN aired. “I’m not kidding at all. I’m very serious about that.” The NFL Players Association only cares about current players and those who retired after 1970, according to Knafelc. “The ones that played prior to that, they’ve kind of just forgotten entirely,” he said. Knafelc said the reason the league is not concerned about players from his era and before that is that the injuries happened so long ago. “They don’t have enough records to justify helping you out at that time,” he said. “In fact, they even come to the point of, ‘How do we even know that injury was something you did playing football? It was not something you did later on?’ ” Knafelc was the team’s PA announcer from 1964-2004. He also played for the Chicago Cardinals (1954) and San Francisco 49ers (1963).

Where Can the Green Bay Packers Improve Most in 2013?

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The 81-year-oldKnafelc, who retired in 1963 after 10 seasons, said in an interview with NBC26-TV in Green Bay late last week that he is disappointed by the response to requests for help he has made on behalf of fellow retirees who are struggling. “We don’t have a voice, and I really believe the reason that we don’t have a voice is that they’re hoping that if we keep dying off at the rate we are, we’ll be all dead and they won’t have to worry about anything,” he said in the interview. “I’m not kidding at all. I’m very serious about that.” He said he believes the NFL Players Association only cares about current players and those who retired after 1970. “The ones that played prior to that, they’ve kind of just forgotten entirely,” he said. Knafelc, who also was the public address announcer at Lambeau Field from 1964 until 2004, said he has been told that injuries suffered by players of his era “happened too long ago.” “They don’t have enough records to justify helping you out at that time,” he said. “In fact, they even come to the point of, ‘How do we even know that injury was something you did playing football? It was not something you did later on?'”

Gary Knafelc: No voice for retirees

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Green Bay Packers Flashback Sunday: Strike Season Success

The Packers have led the league in passer rating differential in each of the last three seasons. They finished second in 2009 behind New Orleans , who won the Super Bowl. Even in 2008, which was Aaron Rodgers first year as a starter and one season before the team signed Dom Capers as defensive coordinator, the Packers finished second. We are used to seeing this team produce great statistics and play a competitive game on a weekly basis. There were however some cracks in the machine last year. Some of the worst performances in the McCarthy/Rodgers era took place against the San Francisco 49ers (twice) and the New York Giants . The 28-point loss to the Giants is the worst of Rodgers career. Blowing an 18-point lead in Indianapolis was another lowlight. When the Packers bring their A-game, theres almost no one capable of beating them. When the persistent flaws of this team are exposed, they are as vulnerable as anyone to defeat.

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