Mr. Boyd Goes to Washington

Former Viking Brent Boyd was among several former NFL players that spoke at a Senate committee hearing Tuesday blasting Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFPA Chairman Gene Upshaw for what it calls abandoning former players who face serious health risks as a result of playing football.

Brent Boyd was back in the spotlight Tuesday – a spotlight he's been wanting to avoid but hasn't been able to.

Boyd was among those to testify in front of the Senate Commerce Committee investigating complaints from retired players that the NFLPA isn't adequately representing their needs. Boyd, a former Vikings guard who suffered the first of several concussions as a rookie but played through the injuries, is now suffering from severe headaches and the onset of Alzheimer's disease.

Boyd was one of several former players, including Mike Ditka and Gale Sayers, that spoke to the committee about the inequities in the current system – that pays retirees about $200 a month for each vested year of service in the NFL.

NFLPA Chairman Gene Upshaw and Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke in defense of the league and asked Congress for more power to act on claims.

The NFL could face anti-trust issues if Congress decides to take over its own investigation. Boyd spoke before a similar House committee earlier this summer.

* The Vikings begin practice in earnest for the Chiefs today and we will get a much better handle on the status of Tarvaris Jackson and the pecking order among Vikings quarterbacks heading into Sunday's game.
* Darren Sharper is one five finalists for Defensive Player of the Week honors. Sharper, who had two interceptions and a forced fumble vs. the Lions joins the Bears' Lance Briggs, 49ers Nate Clemens, Patriots Rosevelent Colvin and Colts Bob Sanders as the nominees. Fans can vote for their favorite at – the league's official website.

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