1. But they made millions! Isn’t it their own fault for spending all their money?

Most of these players never realized big money. According the the NFL Players Association, the average career of an NFL player is 3.3 years. For running backs, the average is just 2.57 years, for wide receivers: 2.81 years and for cornerbacks: 2.94 years. Players with careers under 3 years are not eligible for many benefits. They lack adequate disability, rehabilitation, health insurance and retirement programs to allow for, and maintain a quality of life and financial security for themselves and their families.

A substantial number of these former NFL players are unable to pay for the treatments needed to provide some relief from their football-related injuries. Some of these players who have given so much to the game during their NFL careers, often feel embarrassed by their predicament, becoming hopeless, living in loneliness and isolation, desperate for help.

2. What is the Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund? (GGAF)

The Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund raises money to be immediately dispersed to retired NFL players, while also funding the Gridiron Greats programs and services. The Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund is registered as a non-profit, 501 (c) (3) corporation. The Board of Directors includes: Mike Ditka, Gale Sayers, Marv Levy, Kyle Turley and Matt Birk.

Retired players may apply for temporary assistance for medical costs as well as some of the basic necessities of life including, but not limited to, food, housing, transportation, clothing and other basic needs. In addition to financial support, Gridiron Greats also assists with the coordination and resourcing of other types of assistance that may be available through a variety of different agencies and social services. Efforts are also made to secure “pro bono” medical care, medications, and other needs specific to the player.

The GGAF is supported through numerous donations and fundraising activities throughout the year including special events, auctions of memorabilia, autograph events, corporate and public donation drives, sponsorships and special Super Bowl related events.

3. How is Gridiron Support associated with GGAF?

Gridiron Support is the Official Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund Fan Support Club,  dedicated to providing a consistent revenue stream to Mike Ditka’s Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund, as well as developing an loyal fan base willing to support all of Gridiron Greats humanitarian initiatives. By maintaining our Gridiron Support Fan Site, we create one-of-a-kind opportunities for NFL fans to connect on a more personal level with the sport they love.

4. How do I know my money is going to a good cause?

The net proceeds from all Gridiron Support Medallions sales go directly to Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund.

The Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund (GGAF) is a non-stock, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization providing financial grants and ‘pro bono’ medical assistance to retired NFL players in dire need. The organization focuses on the humanitarian side of post-football related issues, which include coordination of social services to retired players who are in need due to a variety of reasons including inadequate disability and/or pensions.

The GGAF’s mission is to assist dire need retired NFL players who were pioneers of the game and who have greatly contributed to the NFL’s status as the most popular sport in America. GGAF provides hands-on assistance to help retired players and their families deal with hardships they face after football. The services include medical assistance, transportation costs for medical evaluations and surgeries, housing assistance, financial assistance for utilities, medication, and coordination of services for food, automotive payments and childcare.


5. How Can I Help?


Spreading Awareness: Facebook | Twitter | eNewsletter

Financial Support: Buy or Gift a Medallion | Donate | Sponsor