NFL Health and Safety Update – May 29, 2013

HEADS UP FOOTBALL ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEMBER CHRISTINE GOLIC ADDRESSES PARTCIPATION IN INITIATIVE

The USA Football Heads Up Football Advisory Committee will meet at NFL headquarters in New York for the first time this week. The full advisory committee will be announced Thursday during the meeting. CHRISTINE GOLIC, a member of the committee, recently addressed her decision to become involved in Heads Up Football. 

Why did you decide to become involved in Heads Up Football? Why is the program important to you?

This is definitely something special to me because of our family’s involvement in football: my husband Mike played, our two sons play, and Mike’s father and two brothers played, too. Needless to say, I want to see the game made as safe as possible on every level for my kids and their kids. This opportunity came about at a perfect time – our last child, Sydney, just finished her freshmen year at Notre Dame (on the swim team), so as empty nesters we now have more time to be involved with causes that are meaningful to us. 

Ed Note: Mike Golic played at Notre Dame and eight years in the NFL with the Oilers, Eagles and Dolphins; Mike and Chris’s sons Mike, Jr. (signed with the Steelers) and Jake (taking a fifth year and playing at the University of Cincinnati this fall) each played at Notre Dame; Mike’s brothers Bob and Greg each played at Notre Dame with Bob playing 14 years in the NFL with the Patriots, Browns and Raiders; Mike’s father Lou played at Indiana and in the Canadian Football League. 

What do you hope to gain and/or share as part of the HUF Advisory Council?

I see myself as the voice of a mother, spouse and fan. When I look at the impressive roster of committee members, I see my role as representing the ‘foot soldiers’ as opposed to the superstars. I feel as if the experiences of the average player during the journey are very different than that of a superstar, especially when it comes to injuries. I hope to bring some of that perspective to the committee. 

If there were one thing you could tell other football moms out there, or moms signing their kids up for football for the first time, what would it be?

I would tell first-time football mothers that there has never been a better time for your child to become involved in organized football. I say this because the educating and regulating on the lower levels is on the upswing and I only see it getting better thanks to programs like Heads Up Football. It’s important to have a uniform and correct way to teach the sport to our kids on the lower levels, and I feel the momentum is definitely heading that way. The sport has given so much to our family, and taught all of us about life, responsibility, and hard work. If I had the chance to do it all again with my boys, I wouldn’t hesitate to have them play again. 

For more information on Heads Up Football, click here. 

2012 FNIH ANNUAL REPORT HIGHLIGHTS NFL PARTNERSHIP, SPORTS AND HEALTH RESEARCH PROGRAM

In its Annual Report: Collaboration for Innovation, the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) features the NFL’s $30 million grant establishing the Sports and Health Research Program. 

“Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an important area of interest for professional football and other contact sports,” according to the report. “Research, to better understand ways to recognize and prevent brain injury, is a major focus of discussions within this new program. The impact of research on brain injury will extend far beyond the NFL, as TBI is the signature wound of soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, and each year, across America, an estimated 1.7 million people suffer a brain injury due to trauma.” 

The FNIH hopes to welcome other donors, including additional sports organizations, to the collaboration. 

For the press release announcing the partnership (September 2012), click here 

CHIEFS HOST HEADS UP FOOTBALL LAUNCH EVENT

On Tuesday, May 21, the Chiefs held a Heads Up Football launch event for more than 100 youth football players, 20 coaches and 40 parents from the Wyandotte County Youth Football League at the Chiefs Youth Field at The University of Kansas Hospital Training Complex. 

Representatives of the Chiefs’ Community Caring Team were joined by former Chiefs linebacker and Heads Up Ambassador SHAWN BARBER, who spoke to the parents, players and coaches about the importance of Heads Up Football, highlighting proper form and player safety. 

While the kids participated in a series of conditioning stations and technique drills, Barber encouraged parents “to learn Heads Up Football fundamentals and reinforce the terminology and drills at home.” 

For the Chiefs’ photo gallery of the event, click here

For more information on the NFL’s health and safety work, please visit www.nflevolution.com

 

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