Thanksgiving - for what can we be thankful?
OK-admit it with all the violence in this crazy granite planet you're probably asking yourself; for what can I be thankful for? I admit, it took me a "checkup from the neck up" to be reminded to be thankful. Across the globe, I am thankful for medical science research and how it continues to find ways to avoid sports injuries. But also, improved equipment including new helmet designs and better surfaces to improve safety. I served over ten years as Vice President of Sales for Fieldturf Incorporated. Fieldturf surfaces reduced injuries and performed better than grass in independent research studies. I am thankful I was able to help communities across the country install a safe "field of dreams". One can never compare youth football to the biggest and strongest game of all; the National Football League. Yet, I am thankful that the NFL has implemented 39 changes to the sport of professional football safer. NFL Concussion are down 35% from 2012. I am thankful for the millions of dollars donated by the NFL to Boston University researchers. I am a thankful coach.
The NBC show, 60 minutes featured a look at researcher's attempts to make professional football safer. The research has a long way to go, yet we must be thankful for the benefits that already in play. Ed Reed, retired NFL Baltimore Ravens defensive star's interview inspired me.
He was asked, "If you knew that you could be have been injured playing football, would you choose to play again?"
He did not hesitate to reply "I would do it all over again - I am thankful for my health, for my nice house, the food on my table and my wonderful family".
Ed was one of the games toughest players and he continues to honor the game. We are thankful for players like Ed Reed of today and thankful for those players who played through out footballs history of over one hundred years. I am thankful Football continues to define American values of courage, stamina, and teamwork.