Beta Theta Pi - University of Minnesota

Spring 2022 Newsletter

Beta Pi Chapter of Beta Theta Pi at the University of Minnesota

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I n 2020, the Kansas City Chiefs won their second Super Bowl—precisely 50 years after their previous Super Bowl appearance (and first win). Included in that 1970 championship team was linebacker Bob Stein '69, who also played football for the University of Minnesota as a defensive end and place kicker. After retiring as an athlete, Bob served as the first president and CEO of the NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves. He also put his law education to use, representing many football, basketball, and hockey players over the years. Bob has received many accolades for the accomplishments in his lengthy and varied career. Among them are an induction to the Beta Theta Pi Hall of Fame and, in 2020, into the College Football Hall of Fame. In college, he was a two-time All-American, Academic All-American, and three-time Academic All- Big Ten player. "The world of professional sports is hypercompetitive, and everybody that I'm aware of works very, very hard," Bob said of finding success in athletics. "I think they would also tell you that there's a lot of luck and timing involved—such as genetics, being fortunate on the field, and being in the right place at the right time." Bob is thankful for the many opportunities he's been fortunate to find in his life and career. One of those fortunate opportunities was his decision to join Beta Theta Pi. Young Men of PrinciPle Bob attended UMN on a football scholarship and got to know the Beta Pi brothers through good food and good parties. Many of his best friends came from those years at 1625 University Avenue, such as his Big Brother, the late Pat Fallon '68; both men became chapter presidents as undergraduates, and Pat went on to become a legendary advertising executive. Bob also had several football teammates as Beta brothers—some went on to the NFL while others moved on to different careers. Regardless of their individual talents and goals, Bob found close friendships and a network of brothers that has remained influential throughout his life. Just HaPPY to Be Here When Bob looks back on Super Bowl IV, he considers how fortunate he was just to be part of it. "At the time, I didn't yet appreciate how many truly great players never get to play in that championship game—let alone be on the winning team." He can say the same for making the College Football Hall of Fame a mere two years ago. "That stunned me more than any other [honor]," he said. "Partly because it's been so long since I played in college, but also partly because, statistically, nobody makes it in." Of the roughly 5 million athletes in college football history, only about 1,050 have made that list. "I still kind of pinch myself and wonder how that happened—and think about how fortunate I've been." Bob truly appreciates the honor, as did the family and friends who attended his induction. Beta Pi Brothers Jim Carter '70 (ex-Packer Pro Bowl MLB) and Kip Knelman '71 bought tickets to the $800 per plate event to show their support. suPPorting our atHletes Bob did not expect to stay in the sports world when he attended law school. Initially, he saw it as a broad skill set for life after the NFL. But in his first year of law practice, former teammate Ed White (now a fellow College Hall of Famer) asked Bob to represent him during his training camp walkout from the Minnesota Vikings. That led to many more clients and referrals, and Bob became a sports lawyer for the next 10 years. "That, too, came in part from luck, timing, and coincidence," Bob said. He has used that luck to support fellow athletes who are less fortunate—specifically, representing them in concussion-related cases. Bob has had about 20 football-related surgeries, but he considers himself fortunate compared to many friends. "I wasn't decimated by it, but a lot of guys are." In 2009, Bob started the first class-action lawsuit against the NFL on behalf of retired NFL players. The case, Dryer v. NFL, resulted in the league's first retired player benefits for dental and vision care. His work in collective bargaining negotiations helped further increase their benefits as well. tHe Power of relationsHiPs Bob's advice to undergraduate Betas? Get to know your brothers and try to maintain fraternal connections after college. "There's great value in learning about different people's backgrounds and points of view," he said. "Those brothers can become valuable business contacts or just be there to support you emotionally and intellectually. Everyone goes in different directions, and you never know when that can be helpful." Bob lives in Savage, Minnesota, and enjoys outdoor activities such as hunting and fishing (and improving his golf game). Beta Theta Pi remains a big part of Bob's life—he and several alumni started a group called the 1625 Club, which regularly gets together to catch up and share meaningful life experiences. If you'd like to connect with Bob, he can be reached at the betA Piper PAge 2 Bob Stein '69 (#84) with the 1968 Playboy All-America college football team. Others pictured include NFL Hall of Famers Ted Hendricks, Joe Green, and Roger Wherli. Bob Stein '69 (#84) during a Minnesota football game vs. Wisconsin. Bob Stein '69 holds the football announcing his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. Hall of Famer Bob Stein '69 Talks Sports and Brotherhood Teamwork, Talent, and a Little Luck

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