Inside this week's FPN

The first survey has been completed by over 3,300 former players already- but the goal is total participation from the former NFL player community. Help us drive this number to over 3,500 now – and make this the largest health study ever in football before Super Bowl LI.
Sign up to take the first Questionnaire now to join:

More studies will launch and results on the way in 2017!



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Former NFL player Gerome Sapp on his new business: ‘These are foods we should all be eating every day’
Former Notre Dame and NFL football player Gerome Sapp had an hour to come up with a business concept during a class break at Harvard Business School. He was hungry but because he was a health-conscious eater, he didn’t want to eat from a vending machine.

And that’s how his fast-food concept, Health Binge, came to be. “I didn’t think the concept was rocket science, but I felt that it would provide a solution for many people’s culinary problems, including mine at that moment,” he said.

Describe your business.
Health Binge is a fresh-prepared meal company that makes healthy gourmet meals that are freshly prepped and portioned to go.

What is the hardest part about doing business in Las Vegas?
Las Vegas is the ultimate sensory overload, so people’s attention spans tend to be more limited. So you tend to find that individuals get bored with things more quickly here.

What is the best part about doing business in Las Vegas?
It’s a 24-hour city that is still the Wild West in a lot of ways as it relates to introducing new concepts. People tend to be a bit more open to trying new things here.

What obstacles has your business overcome?
There have been so many. For starters, it was hard finding a space to lease. Landlords didn’t believe the concept would be successful. That just woke up the ultra-competitor in me to push harder and figure out a way to make it happen.

How can Nevada improve its business climate?
It has to start with each business owner, including me, doing an internal audit of how they can do better at “doing better.” Statewide change has to start at the micro level.

What has been your hardest lesson in business?
Honesty is not always a mutually shared privilege.

Tell us about the grab-and-go food system you created at Notre Dame. What are the similarities and differences between the system you started in college and Health Binge?
Both allowed individuals to come in, grab a prepackaged meal, and go. Both had health as a primary focus. However, Health Binge serves a significantly wider variety of meals. Health Binge is 100 percent gluten-free and uses components of the G-BOMBS diet in all of our meals. Health Binge also offers cold-pressed juices; Notre Dame did not.

What is the G-BOMBS diet, and why is it significant that Health Binge incorporates it into their meals?
G-BOMBS is an acronym for greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries and seeds, which are the best anti-cancer, health-promoting foods on the planet. These foods are extremely effective at preventing chronic disease and promoting longevity. These are foods we should all be eating every day. We incorporated this into our diets as NFL and NCAA athletes. I saw first-hand how it helped athletes, including me, with overall energy and wellness, so I wanted to add components of the diet to each meal we offer.

Explain how the personal and corporate meal plans work.
Health Binge created the Binge 7,, which is our seven-day meal plan. We made it easy by offering three plan options based on how many calories a customer wants to consume daily — 1,300, 1,600 or 1,900. Our nutritionist has pre-selected breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks each day that equals 1,300, 1,600 or 1,900 calories. We deliver half the meals on Sunday and the other half on Wednesday to keep meals fresh.

Are any of the meals at Health Binge similar to what you ate while playing in the NFL?
There are a few that are similar. A few of those meals are the pasta marinara and turkey meatballs, blackened sirloin, asparagus white omelette, and the turkey breakfast hash. I had one of my best games ever after eating that turkey breakfast hash!

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First Responders: Former NFL player and Firefighter Bud Brown
MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - In our First Responders series, we meet a former NFL player and firefighter at Key Field and Philadelphia.

Bud Brown is the assistant chief at the Key Field Fire Department located on the Air National Guard side of the Meridian airport.
“I was looking for a job and had a buddy that retired from the Navy Base fire Department and asked if I had considered being a firefighter. I said, ‘well, yea every kid has thought about being a fireman,” Brown says.
Brown worked as a Meridian Firefighter for 6 years. He has been working at the Key Field Fire Department for over 22 years and 2 years ago started working for the Philadelphia Fire Department.
Brown has worn many different hats when it comes to being a fireman, but before that, he was a football player. Playing at West Kemper High School, then going to Southern Miss. His first game with Southern was at the Superdome in New Orleans.
“I was a country boy, I hauled hay. I walked in there and I said, ‘man, you could stack a lot of hay in this barn,” Brown says.

From Southern Miss to intercepting passes from John Elway as a Miami Dolphin, Brown made it from Kemper County to the NFL.
“Got cut, got brought back the next day. I got to go to the last time we were in a super bowl. It’s terrible we haven’t been back since ’85,” Brown recalls.
After playing with Miami, Brown came back home and was looking for a job.
“Ya know? I figured firefighting and running in a burning building is pretty wild too. I was looking for something like that,” Brown says.
At Key Field, fighting fires is a little different than in a city. Using different equipment, but approaching the fire in a similar fashion.
“Of course every house fire is different, every plane fire is different. We have been blessed out here. Not that many incidents,” Brown explains.
Brown says he would like to retire sometime soon and spend time with his wife, Karen and children Clint and Hunter.
“We do it because we love it. We enjoy the fellowship with fellow firefighters. I guess that’s most of the reason we stay in it,” Brown says.
To stay up to date with our First Responders series tune in every Sunday night for Newscenter 11 at 10 and on Good Morning Meridian on Monday mornings.

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James Bowden
Current: District Sales Leader (Frito-Lay) at PepsiCo 
Education: North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

Result-driven former Professional Athlete whose accomplishments reflect proven leadership, an highly motivated and skilled District Sales Manager with success in achieving sales goals, market share and enhancing customer relationships.

District Sales Manager (Frito-Lay)
Employed: Jan 2014 – Present Employment Duration3 yrs 2 mos
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina Area

A sales driven and highly motivated individual who is more than able to inspire a Route Sales Team. Results oriented - Highly motivated to succeed in People, Business and Safety. I have a proven track record of delivering strong year on year growth in Sales, Share and Retention.
  • My Team is currently #1 in Sales out of 145 Districts and has finished in the top quartile for the past two years.
  • Team finished the year with zero Accidents and Injuries for the past two which lead the Region and Zone.
  • Incomparable ability to train/coach and motivate employees to achieve maximum performance.
  • Responding favorably and quickly to all business opportunities and removing any obstacles or roadblocks for my Team.
  • Demonstrate an unwaving commitment to Customer Service
  • Achieving outstanding business results through others
  • Ability to influence across all levels of the Business
  • Monitoring the appearance of stores making sure that stores and Frito-Lay or in compliance with
  • CMA (Customer Master Agreements)
  • Translating Regional/Zone business goals into District/Route Sales
  • Driving daily and weekly business activity against business targets
  • Interviewing, hiring, coordinating all aspects of our route Sales Team functions
NFL - Football Player
Baltimore Ravens
Dates Employed 1995 – 1996
1 yr

To see James Bowden's full LinkedIn profile click here

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60 Heroes: Karl Mecklenburg, Accepting His Role in the Labor Fight

When the 1987 players strike first took form, Karl Mecklenburg, who served as the Denver Broncos alternate Player Rep, figured he would have a secondary role in the work stoppage. But when Denver’s main Player Rep, Ricky Hunley, was waived and later signed with Arizona at the start of the strike, Mecklenburg was thrust onto the front line.
Known for his gritty play during a 12-year career with the Broncos, Mecklenburg did not shy away from his elevated responsibility to the players and union. In serving as a chief liaison for the Broncos and NFLPA Executive Director Gene Upshaw, Mecklenburg informed the public through the media while organizing team picket lines.
The thankless tasks that the All-Pro linebacker carried out during the strike left him unpopular among fans, many of whom booed him after the players returned to the field following the 24-day strike. But Mecklenburg’s fortitude did not go unnoticed by his fellow players, who ultimately reaped the benefits of free agency and a guaranteed share of club and league revenues.
Mecklenburg, who later served on the NFLPA’s Executive Committee, also advocated for retired players, pushing the union to create the type of health benefits that are now realized through resources like The Trust.


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After the Game: LinkedIn Data Shows The Jobs NFL Players Fill When They Retire [INFOGRAPHIC]
What jobs do NFL players take up once they hang up their cleats? We crunched LinkedIn data to find out.

Every year, on the first Sunday in February, Americans break out their favorite jersey, stock up on junk food and get ready to cheer - it's Super Bowl Sunday. Atlanta Falcons fans will be watching their team take the field for the first time since 1999, while New England Patriots diehards will be cheering on their golden boy, Tom Brady.

As we get ready to watch the players take the field we at LinkedIn can't help but wonder, where do they work after they retire? So, before we dive into our wings and ready our fingers to tweet about our favorite commercials, we took a look at LinkedIn data for over 3,000 former NFL players to figure out what happens after they score the final touchdown.

You may be surprised to learn that most former NFL players don't head straight into sports-related professions. In fact, 48% prefer to be their own boss or be hands-on with customers, working as entrepreneurs, sales and customer management professionals.

Keep reading to learn more about where your favorite players applied their football know-how - think team building, leadership, strategy and public speaking - to create flourishing careers off the field.
10 Daily Habits to Ease Chronic Pain
It's a Catch-22: You're hurting, so you don't exercise; but without exercise, you may lose muscle tone and strength, making pain worse. Fortunately, even mild exercise releases endorphins, the feel-good brain chemicals that lift mood and block pain. Ask your doctor if aerobic, strengthening, or stretching exercises can give your body the boost -- and relief -- it needs. 

Practice Relaxation
It sounds so obvious, but few of us actually take the time to stop what we're doing and calm our minds. Stress management techniques like deep breathing, meditation, and biofeedback relax your body, which helps ease pain. Talk to your doctor to learn more. In the meantime, slow down, close your eyes … breathe in … breathe out.

Avoid Alcohol
You need a good night's sleep to help soothe the stresses pain puts on your body. Although a drink can help you fall asleep, when alcohol breaks down in your body, it leads to shallow sleep, shortens important time in REM sleep, and may even wake you. The result: A less restful night.

Quit Smoking
Some people find temporary relief from stress and pain with a quick smoke. The irony is that smoking may actually add to your pain in the long run. It slows healing, worsens circulation, and raises your chance of degenerative disc problems, a cause of low back pain. Ask your doctor about programs and medicines to kick the habit.

Eat Well
You want to do everything you can to help your body, not hinder it. One way to keep your body strong is a nutritious diet. Eating right improves blood sugar, helps keep your weight in a healthy range, lowers the odds of heart disease, and aids digestion. Aim for a diet rich in fresh produce, low-fat proteins, and whole grains.

For the full list click here

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I Am The Trust
Listen to former players who have used our services talk about their experiences with our partners and programs.
Duration: 3:58

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To learn more about the many transition offerings of The Trust, visit their website by clicking here.

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We are "One Team", built around a fraternity of former NFL Players who are aligned, connected and engaged, working together in life beyond football.

800-372-2000 x132

Nolan Harrison III, MBA
Senior Director
Dee Becker
Assistant Director
Lorenzo Kaufman
Senior Manager
Amber C.Edwards
Membership Services Coordinator
Garrett Wooddell

NFLPA National Office

1133 20th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036

Office Hours
Monday - Friday
9:00am - 5:30pm EST

Lifetime Membership
Please update your contact information  to earn your free lifetime membership and to learn more about what the Former Player Services Department offers our players. Renew your membership online through your profile page on or with the Membership Application

Thank you for your
commitment to the union
who has fought for, and will continue to fight for, our rare and special fraternity. You can also call Membership Services at 202-756-9165 if you have any membership or internet questions.

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Player Emergency Help
NFL Get Help Hotline
Health, Career, Education and Lifestyle Programs for Former Players
Bahati VanPelt | Executive Director

Benefits Department

Available to answer player benefits and insurance questions.

800-372-2000 x155
Miki Yaras-Davis | Sr. Director
Bethany Marshall | Director
Chris Smith | Asst. Director
Adora Williams | Sr. Manager
Brian Francis | Coordinator

Professional Athletes Foundation

Gene Upshaw Players Assistance Trust (PAT)
Helping players  in need.

800-372-2000 x166

Andre Collins | Executive Director
Tyrone Allen | Director
Caryl Banks | Manager
Leslie Isler | Coordinator
Monetary grants for qualified vested former players experiencing hardships.

NFL Player Benefits Office

Baltimore, MD
NFL Benefits Office for T&P, Disability, Plan 88, pension, second career, annuity and other benefits filing.

Former Player Life Improvement Plan

Joint replacement, discount prescription card, assisted living and more.
Off the Field is the national football player wives association 
Click HERE for more information on Off The Field Players' Wives Association
We are pleased to feature our  rewards partnership with 
Club Glove, USA -
the finest American-made luggage on the planet. Chosen by over 90% of PGA Tour players. Limited lifetime warranty.
16 colors available. 
To Activate:
Click Here and visit 'Home, Outdoor, and Leisure'
Get Ready for the
Big Game!
Check out the savings on some of our favorite hotels
But first, you need to
get to Houston

You can use the NFLPA travel agent, World Travel
Or the Union Plus Travel Center
If you've never used an Uber, check out our car rental discounts
Avis Car Rental
Dollar Rent A Car
Enterprise Rent A Car
Hertz Car Rental
Thrifty Car Rental
You can always watch the game in your
Man Cave

Deck the Walls with PaintZen
Create your own football stadium with Fathead
Pump up the vulume with Bose
Don't forget to wear your (favorite team) jersey with Fanatics and
ONETeam Shop
The links above will direct you to the company website.
To access the discount codes, sign in at

Transition Resources

Featured Partners

The YMCA believes in strengthening individuals and communities. With a presence in 10,000 neighborhoods across the country, the Y has the reach and ability to help you transition to life off the playing field.

All former players are eligible with an NFLPA Former Player Membership. (Former players with 2+ credited seasons are eligible through The Trust.)

To access the free YMCA membership, email the YMCA name and City, State to 

Health Partners

Video: Football Players Health Study at Harvard University
Partnering with Former Players: A Collaboration

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Former players can sign up to receive a questionnaire by clicking here.
If you and your family do not have health insurance, the NFLPA is proud to recommend Working America Health Care.  In collaboration with GoHealth, Working America Health Care offers you:
  • information about health care law
  • an easy way to shop for health insurance
  • the lowest rates available
Don't sit on the bench and miss out on this unique opportunity.

Call 800-907-8683 or visit the NFLPA specific website.

Business Mentoring

With over 13,000 volunteers in 347 chapters, SCORE has the expertise you need to succeed.

Use the Chapter Locator to find a SCORE office near you and request a free face to face mentoring meeting.


The NFLPA has partnered with Penn State World Campus to support the educational needs of NFLPA members. The World Campus offers more than 100 accredited graduate degrees, undergraduate degrees, certificates, and minors.

Penn State ranked as the No. 1 institution in the nation for producing the best-prepared, most well-rounded graduates who are most able to succeed once hired, according to a survey by The Wall Street Journal.

Penn State World Campus offers NFLPA members a tuition reduction benefit for all degree and certificate programs. Learn more about how you can receive a top-quality education, completed at your convenience, from one of the world’s most renowned universities. 

Social Networks

Connect on Instagram

Don't forget to for updates and information about all players. One Team!
Copyright © 2015 NFLPA, All rights reserved.

Contact Us

1133 20th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20036

Nolan Harrison III, MBA
Senior Director, Former Player Services
NFL Player 1991 - 2000
Twitter: @nolanharrison74

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