The Intellectual Assassin: Ron Mix

Imagine being an American pro football player, while attending law school, at night. One can only imagine the physical and mental toll such a feat would take. It would certainly require a stick-to-itiveness aptitude. For much of pro football history, players worked secondary jobs to sustain themselves and their families. Pro football players were decades from revenue sharing and collective bargaining. Players had to develop or find other means of income, especially after retirement.

In the 60’s, such a transfer of vocation into another paying job was made easy for players such as Ron Mix. Mix attended the University of San Diego while playing for the San Diego Chargers. Star tackle by day, law student by night. He passed the bar before being traded to the Oakland Raiders in 1970. Mix soon retired and started his own law practice, first as a civil litigator then pivoted focus to representing retired professional athletes in claims for workers compensation benefits. His practice represented approximately 3,000 professional athletes from all sports. His son took over the practice in 2016.

When asked what one advice he would give to his rookie self, he says he’d ‘like to think he did things right’. Mix reflects instead on how he monitored his lifestyle both on and off the field to perform at the highest possible level. He continued his education, he gave his job the respect it deserved, gave his employer the loyalty deserved. He maintained an offseason workout regimen, which wasn’t common in his era. He’d like players to understand that they owe it to themselves, their employer, and teammates, to monitor their lifestyles accordingly. To consider road trips as business trips and not to be used to indulge in the nightlife distractions.

From civil litigator to general manager of the WFL Portland Storm, to his work with companies like Bottom Line Concepts, a cost reduction consultancy that services major corporations including fortune 500 companies, Mix’s ethos and work ethic seems indicative of someone destined for boardroom success. Mix is also the President of the Pro Football Retired Players Association (PFRPA).

PFRPA is a champion for retired NFL players, dedicated to bettering the lives of those who contributed to the game. PFRPA, the first court-established retired NFL player organization, through its leadership, has been on a mission to solidify and preserve the legacy of retired NFL players. Through the Greater Good Fund, their 501(c)(3) charitable foundation, PFRPA develops various health and welfare programs designed exclusively for retired NFL players. The Football Greats Alliance, PFRPA's licensing agency, develops partnerships to drive meaningful revenue for retired NFL players and provide revenue for the Greater Good Fund to support all retired players. To date, more than 10,000 retired players and more than 2,500 players' spouses have enrolled in PFRPA insurance benefits.

Mix believes the generosity towards retired players increased in direct proportion to the number of black athletes who have taken over leadership positions in football and basketball. That perhaps their economic backgrounds and experiences made them more sympathetic. If sympathy were a commodity, Mix would probably be a majority shareholder. He was the first white player to join his black teammates in a civil rights boycott against the 1965 AFL All-Star game being held in the racist environment of New Orleans. Mix understands the value, as detailed in an opinion piece he wrote for USA TODAY SPORTS.

Despite his accomplishments and success, what Mix says he misses most about playing football is being ‘really good at something’. Shallow as it may seem but to him it was very satisfying.

Mix resides in San Diego and spends his time exercising his two high energy dogs, a greyhound and a whippet in Fiesta Island. He gets a cardio workout from his dogs and makes time for the gym every other day. He attributes his fitness regimen to the daily use of CBD.