Swing against cancer
Oct. 6, 1982 Top stories of the Pleasanton Times
Headline: Pleasanton Group Forms NFL "fan union"
This is the hometown of Gene Upshaw, union president of the National Football League striking players. It is also the birthplace of the union for professional sports fans. What started as a friendly discussion over the NFL players strike has turned into a serious effort from a group of Pleasanton men to form NERFF the National Equal Rights For Fans organization and a steering committee, SHAFT (Stop Harassing All Fans Today!). The names may sound like it's all a big joke, but according to steering committee member George Spiliotopoulos, they are dead-serious.
Spiliotopoulos, a member of the Alameda County Planning Commission, owns the famous Cheese Factory on Main Street. Across the street at the Pleasanton Hotel, he met with other steering committee members to discuss the organization's fundamentals. Pleasanton dentist Frank Dobronte was the first to introduce the "union" idea. In the NERFF news release, Dobronte is quoted as saying "I've had my fill of this! We have got to bridge the gap and pull the fans together." He was, according to the release, getting to the root of the problem.
"Everyone's talking about the players conditions, the lack of working conditions, the owners talking about TV rights, stadium rights ... but nobody has said a word about the fans," said Spiliotopoulos -- except the media and a "60 Minutes" segment with Andy Rooney in particular.
"I think Andy Rooney capsulated our whole feelings" said Spiliotopoulos. "He sat there and went through the whole plight of the fan, everything from the cost of the season tickets to the cost of items normally bought for use in watching football games."
Although football is the current issue, the purpose of NERFF is to provide a union for fans of all professional sports. Future plans include membership polls and voting, periodic newsletters, creation of local chapters, a legislative lobby and a national convention.
NERFF traces the current NFL strike to "the culmination of years of fan neglect and abuse." Since there are many more fans than there are players and owners, Spiliotopoulos says NERFF has the capability of becoming the 'biggest organization in the country."
"We are even going to have a Hall of Fame for fans".
Real Estate: Allied Brokers, Pleasanton. Six-bedroom in Highland Oaks neighborhood, original floor plan, needs paint and carpet but has tremendous potential. Your handyman talent makes this the ultimate home bargain at $130.000.
At the Movies: Dublin Cinema Theater. "On Golden Pond" with Henry and Jane Fonda. Also playing -- "Yes, Giorgio" starring Luciano Pavarotti.
Groceries: Lucky, Pleasanton. Beef chuck roast, 87 cents a pound; bananas, 22 cents a pound, Crisco oil, 24 ounces, $1.21 and Perfection spaghetti, 12 ounces, $1.15.
Trivia Question: On Oct. 2, 1954 who won the 51st World Series?
Answer to Last Week's Question: The Sony CDP-101, the world's first commercially released compact disc player, cost 168,000 yen ($730) in October 1982.