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Old 08-21-2008   #1
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Default Gene Upshaw Dead

Gene Upshaw is dead at 63 from pancreatic cancer. I have been on both sides of the fences with some of Upshaw's stances over the years. However, there can be no doubt that he is a hallmark in NFL history. Rest in peace.
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Old 08-21-2008   #2
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Default Re: Gene Upshaw Dead

I am pretty shocked about this. He hadn't disclosed his illness so its very surprising.
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Old 08-21-2008   #3
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Default Re: Gene Upshaw Dead

RIP Gene.
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Old 08-21-2008   #4
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Default Re: Gene Upshaw Dead

I thought this was bad joke...wow. I'm stunned.

Thank you for your many years of service to the NFL and it's players and fans Mr. Upshaw.
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Old 08-21-2008   #5
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Default Re: Gene Upshaw Dead

I'm with PapaL. I thought this was leading into a bad joke.

Anyway, despite differences in the way he ran the PA, his service to the league for such a long time should be commended.

Thanks for your service and RIP.
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Old 08-21-2008   #6
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Default Re: Gene Upshaw Dead

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Originally Posted by Texan_Bill View Post
I'm with PapaL. I thought this was leading into a bad joke.

Anyway, despite differences in the way he ran the PA, his service to the league for such a long time should be commended.

Thanks for your service and RIP.
I agree with you. While I didn't like his stances as the Union chief I respect his service and his days as a player. This is really sad as I didn't know he was sick.
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Old 08-21-2008   #7
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Default Re: Gene Upshaw Dead

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Originally Posted by HoustonFrog View Post
I agree with you. While I didn't like his stances as the Union chief I respect his service and his days as a player. This is really sad as I didn't know he was sick.

Double Agreed.

Despite his tenure in the NFLPA, I liked Upshaw.

Texas A&I grad and a native Texans (Robstown).

RIP Gene.
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Old 08-21-2008   #8
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Default Re: Gene Upshaw Dead

oh wow R.I.P. Gene
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Old 08-21-2008   #9
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Default Re: Gene Upshaw Dead

RIP.... Just goes to show that some people work and fight right to the end !!
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Old 08-21-2008   #10
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Default Re: Gene Upshaw Dead

Wow this is a shock...
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Old 08-21-2008   #11
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Default Re: Gene Upshaw Dead

Died from pancreatic cancer. That's some nasty stuff.
Before he was union chief, he was a tremendous NFL Olineman with the Raiders.
RIP GU.
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Old 08-21-2008   #12
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Default Re: Gene Upshaw Dead

Hopefully he's remembered for his accomplishments as a player and not his antics as NFLPA Chief.

R.I.P.

I don't want to sound like an ass, but I'm curious as to how they will go about bringing in a new Chief. Does anyone know? Do the players vote? Is there someone in waiting?
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Old 08-21-2008   #13
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Default Re: Gene Upshaw Dead

WOW is all I got. Like most of you I did not know he was sick and thought this was leading somewhere into a joke.
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Old 08-21-2008   #14
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Default Re: Gene Upshaw Dead

Quote:
Originally Posted by HOU-TEX View Post
I don't want to sound like an ass, but I'm curious as to how they will go about bringing in a new Chief. Does anyone know? Do the players vote? Is there someone in waiting?
I remember some rumbling a few months back about the NFLPA trying to replace Upshaw, but most every player in the NFLPA denied it. At the time it was said they were looking to have Troy Vincent take over Upshaw's duties. It makes sense now in that I'd imagine they were likely looking for someone to replace Upshaw once they found out about his pancreatic cancer. They might have been looking to replace him simply so he could concentrate on his recovery. Either way it's very sad news to hear this morning.
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Old 08-21-2008   #15
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Default Re: Gene Upshaw Dead

Wow. Surprising to hear this. Interesting that he chose not to publicize that he was ill and dying. Most famous people are "outed" and on death watch for months by the public. Really sad.
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Old 08-21-2008   #16
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Default Re: Gene Upshaw Dead

Quote:
Originally Posted by HOU-TEX View Post
Hopefully he's remembered for his accomplishments as a player and not his antics as NFLPA Chief.

R.I.P.

I don't want to sound like an ass, but I'm curious as to how they will go about bringing in a new Chief. Does anyone know? Do the players vote? Is there someone in waiting?
What "antics" are you referring to?

Upshaw's union rose from the ashes of the 1987 strike to become the richest union that ever existed. His players will make over $3.5 billion this year, far more than their counterparts in any other sport. He was about two decades ahead of baseball in realizing that steroid testing was actually in his rank-and-file's best interest (even though he opposes blood testing now). Part of the reason the league's TV money is so rich is the labor peace he presided over.

The criticism of Upshaw seems to come from these fronts:

1. That he wasn't tough enough (in general) with the NFL. He tried striking in 1987 and it broke his union in half. He obviously decided that splashy "strike is looming" headlines were less effective than being a true partner with the owners. The players owe their bank accounts to that decision. The media loves to cover labor disputes, but Upshaw would not give them one after 1987.

2. No guaranteed contracts. With injuries a fact of life, a system where all contracts were guaranteed would be, at worst, completely unworkable and, at best, fundamentally change (and probably not for the better) the economics of the game.

3. Relations with retired players. The sad fact is that retired players who are screaming the loudest played when salaries were--even in those times--low. Most every other pension system keys benefits to the recipients' salaries when they were active. So they've missed out on the explosion in salaries. Plus, many of the ones whom Mike Ditka has cited cashed in their pensions very early--some in the 40s. When you do that, you get very little. Just a hard fact. Yes, Upshaw could have taken some money from the active players and given it to the retired ones, but he answers to those current players. Good luck with that.

I frankly think that Upshaw was one of the most effective leaders of a sports union in my lifetime. But I hope, hope, hope, hope his death does not adversely affect the current CBA negotiations. Both sides (and we fans) have way too much to lose if those negotiations to fail.
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Old 08-21-2008   #17
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Default Re: Gene Upshaw Dead

I was taken back by this also. Just like with everyone you meet in life you won't agree with everything they do but overall he lead the Player Union though the times where the players made the most. Whether good or bad. I hope the person that takes over for him doesn't decide to play hard ball with the posibility of a non capped year coming up and the lock out that could follow. He lead the union through some tough times and was a heck of a player. May he rest in peace.
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Old 08-21-2008   #18
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Default Re: Gene Upshaw Dead

This statement from the NFLPA says that he just found out this Sunday. Wow, just wow.

http://www.nflplayers.com/user/conte...d=443&pid=1822
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Old 08-21-2008   #19
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Default Re: Gene Upshaw Dead

Great, great, dominant lineman who had a Super Bowl ring on a team in 3 decades and was on the 75th anniversary all-NFL team. Sadly those big guys don't tend to live long lives. RIP
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Old 08-21-2008   #20
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Default Re: Gene Upshaw Dead

I'm shocked....He definitely made his mark on the NFL. RIP Gene.
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