1 out of every 8 American women. That is the odds that face our mothers, wives, sisters, grandmothers, friends, and every other female we cross during a day in our lives. It does not come with a warning sign, and does not give you a chance to avoid it. It’s Breast Cancer, and October is the month that we dedicate to the awareness of this disease.
This season the NFL, perhaps the largest audience based activity in America is going all out to help show awareness and raise funds to help fight for the cure. This past weekend as well as every weekend throughout the month several NFL players will wear the color pink to show their support. Pink cleets, pink wristbands, hats, socks, decals, gloves and lots of other items will be visible on the players. The Cheerleaders in some cities will wear all pink uniforms to show support as well. The NFL Referees will also donate a portion of their game checks to the cause, which is an estimated $24,000 dollars.
After most of this gear is worn and used it will be autographed by players to be sold at an auction organized by the NFL, and that money will be donated in the name of the league. The league is calling the campaign “The Crucial Catch.”
Stories come from all over in the league and players and owners alike have stepped up with some stories. Redskins owner Dan Snyders wife is a survivor, and went through it last year. Brett Favres wife is also a survivor. But sometimes it’s not always a happy ending like the loss suffered by star wide receiver and Arizona Cardinal, Larry Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald lost his mom last year to the disease and he has made it his goal to dedicate a large amount of his free time to build organizations and raise awareness.”The Crucial Catch initiative reminds us all how important it is to take care of the women in our lives,” said Fitzgerald. “I hope to keep my mother’s legacy alive by taking part in this campaign.”
Of course who could forget Texans running back Ryan Moats losing his mother-in-law to Breast Cancer and not being able to say a final good-bye due to an unwarranted detainment by local police. Moats, in an attempt to get to the hospital with his wife to say final good-byes, ran a red light as he pulled up to the hospital and a 15 minute stand-off insued with officers going as far as to draw weapons on the couple. Despite pleas with the officers to allow him to go and to see his dying mother-in-law, Moats remained outside to obey the officers orders. “If I could change anything I would love for it not to happen and for Jo to be here,” Moats told The Associated Press about his mother-in-law. “But bad things happen and you can make good things out of them.” An absolutly inspiring statement by a man seen as “just another athlete.”
As an onlooker I could not help but get a little choked up in watching this past weeks action. Here in a field of larger then life men and hard hits, the color pink was pronounced and visible everywhere. The game was just a game, and the players, while trying to win and trying to play hard also were walking billboards for something so much bigger. Some people I talked to said the pink looked kind of silly on players, and thought that it should have been kept to billboards and cheerleaders. Perhaps this is why we still have so many women who must go through the riggers of this disease.
In a game filled with big money players and some guys who want it all their way, this was that step back, that surreal moment when every hit, every pass, every play had meaning. There was no big egos, just big hearts. No one was too proud to wear the color, no coach to shy to be seen wearing pink brimmed hats. Makes you wish everyday was a day for any such of a cause. Sometimes we as people take life way to much for granted. Sometimes we take on that, “It will never happen to me or anyone I know approach.” A time has to come in everyones life when they realize that they must do their part no matter how small.
If you follow my stories or my contest here on this site then you know how I try to get women more involved in sports. It’s something that we can all share as a small diversion from life. I reached out to my friends from facebook to get some words on what they thought about the NFLs efforts and got plenty of good responses. I heard opinions such as: “very cool”, “really a sweet gesture”, “real men can wear pink, and its done for a good cause.” Some women even found the gear appealing and impressive that the players would wear it. Even a male friend spoke up and gave kudos to the league for this movement.
In all I think each one of us should take a moment to recognize this month, perhaps make the smallest of donation, or just remind the women in our lives how much they mean to us. Maybe this isn’t a full blown sports story like we are used to seeing here, but it is a story that we can all share and i’m glad to have the outlet to express my thoughts. Thank you to everyone who took the time to read this, and i’d like to thank my friends who took the time to comment and leave a thought for this article.
If you’d like to know more about donating or some more information about Breast Cancer, you can visit these sites:
or the Susan G Koman Breast Cancer Awareness Site.
And you can go to NFL.com to see the list of players who will be wearing the gear and merchandise available for purchase. www.NFL.com
If you’d like to hear anything else from me on topics or ideas I can be reached at [email protected]
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