Wednesday, kids from L.A. schools watched a demonstration of Punt, Pass & Kick competition skills. They took football instruction from ex-NFL players Sharpe, Jamal Anderson, Roger Craig, Eddie George, Brian Mitchell, Warren Moon, Jason Sehorn and Thurman Thomas, as well as a former NFL head coach by the name of Pete Carroll. They heard a nutritionist tout the benefits of the four food groups. They watched a group of Raiderettes perform – the sixth-grade boys might have felt their pulses quicken and not even know why. Finally they all toured health-info booths set upin the Coliseum’s peristyle end. Good stuff, all of it. Now, what if the NFL backed up all this message-making by setting a better example on the field? Among the statistics to rattle across the league’s crowded dining table after Herrion’s death: The number of 300-pound players in the NFL has jumped from 39 in 1990 to 370 last season. Thirty of the 32 teams have offensive lines that average 300 pounds or more. There are persuasive studies that show how heart-disease risk multiplies for players that big. Let’s just say that even if we all understand that changes in the game have created the shift from sleek Green Bay Packers pulling guards in the 1960s to super-size pass-blockers in the 2000s, a lot of these guys could stand to drop a few. If stick-figure runway models are partly to blame for making girls believe they must starve themselves, then soft-bellied linemen share some responsibility for teaching boys they can be overweight athletes. “You know children look up to these football players,” said dietician Bettye Nowlin of Calabasas, organizer of Action for Healthy Kids (actionforhealthykids.org), a program founded by David Satcher, the former U.S. surgeon general. “They think if you want to be a guard, you’ve got to be big.” ReCharge! is billed as the first nationally distributed after-school sports and nutrition program. Packages of materials were on display Wednesday for use by teachers and coaches hoping to get the Internet and video-games generation back out on the playing fields. The message is a good one that would get better if the NFL actually lived it. The league is asked to put its actions where its mouth is. And hold the cheese. Kevin Modesti’s column appears in the Daily News three days a week. He can be reached at [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The NFL brought 1,000 third- to sixth-graders to the Coliseum on Wednesday for a program promoting youth sports, physical fitness and smart eating habits. Running through the day of punt-pass-and-kick competition, instruction from ex-players, and informational displays was an anti-obesity message that’s truly laudable. You could see that the kids were listening to the NFL. Now, is the NFL listening to the NFL? AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 “Every (kind of football) player has gotten bigger,” former Broncos tight end Shannon Sharpe, one of the ex-players taking part in Wednesday’s portion of the NFL Kickoff Celebration. “Quarterbacks have gotten bigger, running backs have gotten bigger, defensive linemen have gotten bigger. Offensive linemen say, ‘I’ve got to be bigger to block these guys.’ ” This was just Sharpe talking to a reporter. Discussion of the NFL’s weight issues definitely was not part of the official program. “Granted, in getting bigger (and) stronger, it can get to the point where it may be too much,” Sharpe said. “Do you really need to be 375 pounds to play in the NFL? If you’ve got a 20 percent (body fat) index, you’re fat. “You can tell a Pop Warner kid, ‘You’re too big to play.’ You can’t tell a (professional) player, ‘You’re too big to play.’ It comes down to the individual saying, ‘I can do the job as well at 310 as 330.’ ” The NFL’s heart seems to be healthy in one sense. The NFL and its players’ union, under a program inaugurated in 1999, spend $150 million to promote youth football and the related virtues of team-sports participation. And the league just announced an affiliation with the Action for Healthy Kids program to promote after-school physical activity nationwide under the ReCharge! banner. Pro football is preaching healthy living for little children just as its commitment to healthy living or its own players has come open to question. Last month, the San Francisco 49ers’ Thomas Herrion dropped dead in the locker room after a game against the Denver Broncos, and this week the coroner ruled that the 315-pound lineman was the victim of a blocked coronary artery. The Herrion tragedy has focused attention on a different sort of NFL expansion as the league opens its season with tonight’s Oakland Raiders-New England Patriots game.
Related posts:No related photos. The drive in to work will become far more taxingOn 10 Aug 2004 in Personnel Today HR Hartley – our irascible insider on… being driven to distractionA story that scared the bejesus out me hit the national headlines a coupleof weeks ago: car tax and petrol duty could be phased out within 15 years, butdrivers will have to pay for every mile they travel. It is proposed that two taxes will be replaced with a new system of roadtolls using satellite tracking of every vehicle on the road and motorists willapparently pay between 1p and £1.34 a mile, depending on how much congestionthere is on the road they’re on. Transport minister Alistair Darling proudlyannounced nationwide tolls could cut congestion by half. Now I am all for radical moves to bring some respite to the roads and aidsurvival of the planet. But this one would force me to give up my current job(that’s if I haven’t been hoofed out by then, of course). I have a 120-miledaily round commute. I choose to do it by car because (a) the train takes two-and-half-hours eachway as opposed to just over an hour by road, (b) it works out about £1,500 ayear cheaper than by rail, and (c) I get to sit down, instead of having tobalance on foot because the other couldn’t fit into an overcrowded carriage. Naturally, I would change my mind overnight about taking the train if ourcreaking rail system was brought up to scratch. I would also choose to worklocally if the towns and cities near to my home offered good employmentopportunities and decent salaries. Like many workers, family commitments bind me to living where I do. Yet inthe overcrowded South East, it seems that only Londoncan offer me real career opportunities and the right wage to support myfamily’s living costs. If the Government goes ahead with these plans I’ll be up the Thameswithout a paddle. So will a lot of other workers. Prepare for a problem, HR.Hartley is an HR director at large Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article