’Tis the season for football mania

Published 8:34 am Wednesday, September 8, 2010

To the Editor:

Millions are glued to their TV screens, others spend weekend after weekend at college stadiums, and still others at the “Y” or other community fields, watching their young ones play the game.

Whatever the case, countless hours, as well as dollars, are spent on the game of football.

Youngsters dream of becoming pros; parents urge their sons to play the game because they may have an opportunity to receive a college scholarship; and pros rake in millions of dollars each year for playing the game. Many of them give in to drugs to enhance their performance, become involved in crime — not to mention the potential of life-threatening injuries.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m an avid football fan and look forward to this season with great anticipation, but have we carried our love of the game too far? It is for this reason I am writing this letter.

Recently on a trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles office, I overheard a conversation between a mother and her young son that caught my attention. In order to occupy himself during their wait, he became interested in the display of license plates.

After looking over them, he came back to his mother and announced he wanted to attend one of the colleges shown in the display. She quickly informed him he was not going to attend this college because it was not a “good school.” Her reason was based on the fact that this particular college does not have a football team.

Did she dash the dreams of her son? I don’t know the answer to this question, but I was appalled at her answer.

I have not been able to get this conversation out of my head. Several questions keep popping up in my mind. When did we come to the conclusion that a good school is based on the fact that they have a football team? What happens to the kid who has no interest in playing football? Whatever happened to just wanting our children to get the best education possible?

What about music, art and drama? What about good teachers, nurses, doctors and lawyers? What about construction workers who build homes, highways, bridges, etc.? What about our farmers who help put food on our tables? What about ministers who teach and preach the gospel? What about _______? You fill in the blank.

No, there is nothing wrong with football, but I believe it is more important for us, as parents, to support and encourage our children to work to their full potential, to give their best, and by doing so, they will be successful in whatever vocation they choose.

Remember, children learn by example. As parents, we should be honest, responsible, caring and loving to the children we have in our care, and in doing so, we will have done our part to prepare them for the future.

Gwen Overby,
Mother, grandmother