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Kramer And Butler No Fans Of Drew Brees

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Kramer And Butler No Fans Of Drew Brees

At the Packers Hall of Fame Golf Classic, legendary Packers guard Jerry Kramer said current New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is both stupid and an idiot. Or a stupid idiot. Overall, it was not very complimentary.

After this, legendary Packers safety Leroy Butler reportedly agreed, saying Brees was, indeed, an idiot.

For those who may be unfamiliar Brees has, in the past, been very uncomplimentary of retired NFL players. The quote that has haunted him the most is below:

There’s some guys out there that have made bad business decisions.  They took their pensions early because they never went out and got a job.  They’ve had a couple divorces and they’re making payments to this place and that place.  And that’s why they don’t have money.  And they’re coming to us to basically say, ‘Please make up for my bad judgment.’

Brees has since done a ton of work with the NFLPA to try and rehabilitate his image on this front, but every now and again some retired players drag this back into the light. It's unknown what prompted the quotes from Kramer and Butler but we'll find out soon enough.

Those of you in the Green Bay area will be able to see the quotes in a story that is set to run on on the local ABC affiliate, though I suspect ESPN may be picking this up at some point. Pat Mayo, from WBAY in Green Bay, indicated they plan to have embeddable video available later today.


UPDATE: Here is the full quote from Kramer, courtesy of Mike Fink of WBAY in Green Bay.

Drew Brees is stupid. He's young, ignorant, has no experience and doesn't know what the hell he is talking about. Life brings a lot of different things at you, and Drew hasn't seen any of the bad ones yet. He's been fortunate, but there are a lot of different reasons out there why guys can't hold on to their money and it's not really our position to judge whether they should have held on to their money or not. They need help. Let's try and help them turn it around and get them going again. Let's not say, 'Hey, go bury yourself or climb in a hole because we don't owe you anything.' There is a lot of reasons why guys need help, and if a guy needs help, I think, it's my responsibility to try and help, not figure out what he should have done or where he should have gotten a different education or what his momma should have told him a long time ago. If I were as smart as Drew Brees I would know all of that stuff, but I don't.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (45) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

MKEPanther's picture

LeRoy Butler and Jerry Kramer are Green Bay's version of Mike Eruzione from the Miracle on Ice Team:

Two great players who have milked their 15 minutes of fame for every damn bit it's worth.

Their acts have gotten tired, especially Butler's. If he's not talking to you on JSOnline or Milwaukee talk radio, he's trying to sell you a used car in Wausau.

Oppy's picture

I'm going out on a limb here, but that's spoken like a fan who isn't old enough to clearly remember watching LeRoy Butler play for the packers, or how endearingly green and gold LeRoy has always bled.. One of the best all-around safeties to play the game, to boot.

You are certainly correct- LeRoy Butler has never faded away from Wisconsin sports talk, and yes, he does own a dealership here as well.

What you are completely missing is the fact that it's not just a lust for the spotlight.. The man truly appreciates our community (as a state), has a love for our people and culture, and truly feels honored and special to have had the support of Packers fans his entire career. He LOVES being a Green Bay Packer, and has a respect for exactly what it means to be a part of the rich tradition of the Packers.

You also forgot to mention that LeRoy Butler goes out of his way to do everything he can to raise money not only for his own Breast Cancer charity, but for many other local charities throughout the course of the year as well.. All they often have to do is ask.

Just my opinion.

MKEPanther's picture

I grew up with the 90's Packers, so I very much appreciate his tenure. Outstanding player.

And obviously I applaud his work for the charitable organizations.

I just have a great respect for guys like Robert Brooks or even Ron Wolf, who still pop up here and there but don't have to constantly let their opinions known about the current edition of the Packers. Do we need to know what LeRoy Butler thinks about EVERY game -- or the Brewers starting rotation for that matter?

Oppy's picture

Apparently, enough Packers fans do want to hear it, otherwise there would not be a pulpit for him to speak from.

It is akin to this blog. We don't NEED to read about Aaron, Corey, or Brian's take on everything Packers.. But they have the right to do so, and if I don't want to read it, I don't..

but I do.. :)

MKEPanther's picture

You do have a great point there!

I guess I'm in the minority on this one from SE Wis. Packers fans. I'd rather here a blend of players -- if Tom Silverstein had a different ex-Packer every week, that'd be the ideal :)

Oppy's picture

I understand what you're saying about over-saturation, and clearly, you're a listener of 1250 am.. :)

Just remember that it's a business decision by the radio stations, TV outlets, etc to hire LeRoy Butler as a regular contributer/ sports commentary.

They offer the job because people tune in.. And if Butler doesn't take the job, then Drew Brees will start to complain about LeRoy asking for handouts. ;)

jerseypackfan's picture

You might want to rethink that "respect" for Robert Brooks. I know some things about that man.

foundinidaho's picture

Believe it or not, some people do care what JK says. He's still a great ambassador for the Packers and for football.

Chad Toporski's picture

I don't know about anyone else, but I for one absolutely loved the Butler-Silverstein videos, especially the play breakdowns. That's real football knowledge from a guy who excelled at his position. You don't get that very often.

MKEPanther's picture

Ha - maybe this all stems from my run-in with LeRoy Butler when I was a kid in the 90s.

I gladly paid for the autograph signing (somewhere in the Valley) but he refused to look up and acknowledge by presence. Have been put off by him ever since.

Tommyboy's picture

Certainly not the case across the board, but it's not like Brees is entirely wrong either.

packeraaron's picture


Oppy's picture

True enough..

But what Mr. Brees ignores is that there is a big difference between modern players playing in a much more controlled, safer environment with modern equipment and rules to attempt to protect them from long term health consequences- for contracts that range from no less than $235,000/yr to the huge multi-million dollar contracts...

..And the players of yesteryear who were absolutely destroying themselves in a much more violent game, with less gear to protect them, and less understanding of the long term effects of playing the sport.. For much, much less money..

Today's players operate in a climate where the average NFL career (about 3 years) even at league minimums (starting at $230,000/yr and raising each year slightly, appx. $750,000 over three years) guarantees that during that 3 year NFL career, the player will have earned about 65% of what a typical full time worker in the USA makes during a 35 year long career, assuming an annual income of $35,000...

Drew needs to acknowledge the differences in financial realities between the modern player and those who are long retired.

PackersRS's picture

He generalized, and in that, completely screw up his argument and his image toward retired players.

100%, Oppy.

Jayme Snowden's picture

+1 for Oppy.

MarkinMadison's picture


TPackers's picture

+ 3

PackersRS's picture

Okay, all that agree that Oppy wins the internet say ay!

Tarynfor 12's picture

I hope for Brees' sake all his post career business and personal decisions work for the best.
What he seemingly failed to remember or perhaps be advised of before he made that statement,is the players of Kramers day and even Butlers to some extent,were never close to being awarded the money to which he himself has been priviledged to be bestowed him.
Ignorance=players who speak without pre-written/edited thoughts.

As to Butler commenting on all things...if the mic is put to your mouth...spout.

Oppy's picture

lol, great minds and all that..

CSS's picture

The sentiment Brees expresses is partially accurate in some circumstances, can't dispute that.

That being said, what owners and current players like Brees often leave out of the dialogue is just how much franchise values were inflated during the careers of players from former generations. The Packers, Redskins, Cowboys, etc. franchises literally saw their value double, sometimes more, on the backs of former players during the Kramer/Butler careers.

It's not just a question of how all this new revenue fits with former alumni, they need to acknowledge how the game (revenue and franchise equity) has grown off the (sometimes) unfortunate backs of many unhealthy former players.

Oppy's picture

Great point.

MarkinMadison's picture

Plus two.

Jersey Al's picture

There are plenty of cases that match up perfectly with Brees'depiction, and plenty that don't. I wonder if his quote was just a snippet of the entire interview. Taken on it's own it doesn't sound good, but maybe there was more?

packeraaron's picture

Click the link Al!

Austin Auch's picture

I read this Quote on Pro Football Talk. Since the lockout has started they have done a pretty good job of taking chunks of peoples interviews to drive people to the site. I really wouldn't be surprised if there was more to it.

Austin Auch's picture

The proof is in the links... Should have read that first. I like Pro Football Talk, but since the lock out, the way they half ass report stories to get people to come to the site has really turned me off.

ceallaigh's picture

Oh, kind of like 'Aaron Rodgers hates cancer patients'?

Yeah,that was the epitome of sensationalism.

packeraaron's picture

While I am no PFT apologist, Mike has done a whole lot in regards to actually supporting Brees' words. And, again, click the link and you'll see the USA Today story it is taken from.

ceallaigh's picture

Aaron, I've often wondered how the NFL could improve its care of disabled retirees. Not convinced Upshaw advocated for them and that's why they are where they are now. *shrugs*

But I wonder if the NFL should look the military as a model for "service related injuries" in other words, injuries and the sequelae in the line of duty are covered even later in life. How many men from Kramer's era are looking at total knee and/or hip replacements? Not exactly pocket change for those surgeries. What really struck me about running into Jerry Kramer in Dallas in February was how much he limps. You just know that his joint problems were compounded by his career on the field.

packeraaron's picture

"...injuries and in the line of duty are covered even later in life"

I totally agree - and have been taken to task several times from many of the great Captains of Industry that frequent CHTV.

Austin Auch's picture

I like Mike and his site. That is why I visit it 20 times a day. I just think he could report a little better when first putting out a story. All that being said, he has worked his ass off to make that site what it is. It is my choice to visit it. I read the USA Today story but when Mike first reported on it gave nothing more than that qoute. Everyone attacked Brees in his comment section without knowing the entire story. To be fair, Mike was saying that retired players were attacking Brees with that qoute. I just feel he jumps the gun too often when putting out a story.

Mojo's picture

Despite the general feeling on this blog supporting the older players, Brees was probably correct in that a lot of the older players were l-f-d-y types. I.E., risk takers, who did not concern themselves that much with future consequences or finances.

I also don't buy that most of these players didn't know what they were getting into injury wise. You can't go slam into other large humans time and again and not expect injuries and long-term repercussions. I quess I'm more of a "you made your bed, go lie in it" type of person. It's one of the reasons I so respect what these athletes do.

I totally agree with Oppy's point on Leroy ... "What you are completely missing is the fact that it’s not just a lust for the spotlight.. The man truly appreciates our community (as a state), has a love for our people and culture, and truly feels honored and special to have had the support of Packers fans his entire career. He LOVES being a Green Bay Packer, and has a respect for exactly what it means to be a part of the rich tradition of the Packers."

It seems there are quite a few former Packers who feel the same way as Leroy. Also, I enjoy his and Ellerson's commentary

ceallaigh's picture

Exactly. How many hundreds of players have come through 1265 Lombardi Avenue, and how many put down roots in Wisconsin after their playing years are over? Butler isn't just a former Packer, he chose to become one of us. He's a pundit like the bloggers here are only he has a bigger audience.

Sure, he sells cars, but isn't that Brees wants former players to do? Go out and get a job? Is anyone here going to shame him for having a semi-successful business in this economy.

And a lot of you ready to bemoan LeRoy also seem to be overlooking the fact that he is rarer and rarer thing in the NFL: A one team long term player. He is Packer People.

As for Drew Brees, I think a good rule of thumb (especially when talking the proverbial elders who have gone before him) is try walking a mile in their shoes and stop admonishing them like they are a bunch of naughty school boys. He didn't play in their era. He didn't make peanuts compared today's salaries and he sure as heck wasn't tossed to the wayside when he was injuried like players who are now his father's age.

Oppy's picture

"I also don’t buy that most of these players didn’t know what they were getting into injury wise."

Some perspective:

It is only recently that the long term impact of concussions is being fully realized, not only in the NFL, but in the medical field as a whole. It's 2011.

Not so long ago, Doctors felt cigarette smoking innocuous enough that they routinely smoked while giving patients physicals.

It hasn't even been 80 years since we discovered Germs.

Drilling holes in peoples' heads was considered an option for relieving headaches less than 150 years ago.

Yes, People have always known that running really fast into other people is a good way to break a bone or tear a ligament... People are only really starting to understand the long term disabilities- physical and mental- that come from such heavy exposure to collision and head trauma.

I do not know what current numbers are, but at one point, it was estimated that the average lifespan of an NFL player was about 15-20 years shorter than of a non-player (this based on data collected post-mortem, of course).

It's only been the last decade a link between head trauma and heightened depression and elevated suicide rates has been discovered..

Lowered immune systems.. Dementia..

Just for perspective. We're not just talking about a bad knee here and a blown hip there.

PackersRS's picture

That last sentence of Kramer is spot on. It's not as easy as black and white. Truth is, players nowadays earn what they earn because players back then fought for it, and they deserve more than what they're getting.

ct Sharp Cheddar's picture

The reason why player make what they make now compared to what they made in the 90's and earlier is the fact that the game is grown to the most popular sport in the country by a land slide.Back in the 70's many Giant game were blacked out because they did'nt sell out.The Giants are one of the biggest NFL markets.Bob Lilly back in the day made $20,ooo a season he is a Hall of Famer.Sports generate so much more revenue than they did years ago.I went to the Superbowl in 97 (cost 900$ one ticket) I tried to go to the last one (cost $3000) The NFL has become to big for the average fan.From now on I watch girls field hockey.

PackersRS's picture

I completely understand that, yet, if they don't form the NFLPA in 56, if they don't form a CBA in 68, and if they don't strike in 87, nothing of that happens.

andrewgarda's picture

Ever since Brees opened his yap, the Former Players have taken every opportunity to run him over for it. Not only is this old news, it's completely ignoring the totality of what he said, picking what they want to push an agenda - and make no mistake, that's what it's about.

every time this story surfaces AGAIN they fail to mention brees also said:

"They shaped the game for us. Because of those guys, we have an opportunity to play this game, to make the money that we make, to get the benefits we get. We will always, always, always reach back to give to those guys. But there's a way to do it."

It's a convenient way to make a point. I don't begrudge them the method - how hard have they had to fight to get anything - but it's unfortunate the context is lost completely every time the meme is trotted out.

I still don't understand why this is even in negotiation. 9 Billion is plenty to cut the former players in on.

Might I also point out that I am guessing Brees and the former players are unlikely to be excited to support Travis Henry's 50 kids or any of the current players in financial troubles.

Oppy's picture

"Might I also point out that I am guessing Brees and the former players are unlikely to be excited to support Travis Henry’s 50 kids or any of the current players in financial troubles."

I would figure that retired players should not be given a free ride, but rather:

A fund be created to help assist or flat out pay for personal injuries/other medical complications which are found to be consequence of playing..

Perhaps another fund which pays out a monthly stipend based on years of service in the NFL.

Now, I'm not talking about a full salary by any means. But let's say a bit to help them get by. How much is hard to say..

But it certainly wouldn't be a hand-out based on how big of a hole you've gotten yourself into or based on how much your monthly Pampers bill runs.. Based strictly on years of service as a player in the NFL.

ct Sharp Cheddar's picture

I hope Jerry (the Godfather of the Packers)Kramer puts a contract on Brees for the Thursday night opening showdown.

Austin Auch's picture

I thought you were watching field hockey.

Ruppert's picture

It isn't like Leroy Butler bought some big glitzy Lexus dealership in Milwaukee or Madison and is trying to promote himself into a TV career or promote books. He bought a freaking Ford dealership in Waupaca, for Christ's sake. His act is getting tired? I would suggest that he go slither away into obscurity, but that's basically what he already did.

As for Kramer and Brees...I'm too lazy to go linking around for the sake of context, but don't we all really want the league to take care of the guys who need it, and to not take care of the idiots? Well, right now the league is taking care of none of them in their advancing years. So fix it, NFL. And hurry the hell up on this CBA.

Timbo's picture

Brees may be guilty of generalizaing and looking at this issue throgh the lens of his own, big-money era of pro football.

But why the hostility and insults? I expect a more mature, reasoned reaction from an all-time great like Kramer. It just makes him seem mean-spirited and small.

Morningwood's picture

It's funny how they always fail to quote Drew's statement in it's entirety. Of course they are not trying to be fair, the portion of the quote they leave out doesn't help the retired guys in the image of Drew they are trying to create.

You want to make a claim on the dollars being generated today? Okay, start off by not trying pull the wool over the public's eyes.

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