The sport of football has taken some hits off the field. The effects from head trauma is a growing concern of parents; even Hall of Famers like Troy Aikman and Terry Bradshaw have made it known that they wouldn’t want their boys playing the very game that they made a career out of. Saints head coach Sean Payton, though, sees more benefits than negatives about life on the gridiron.
“A mother in Dubuque, Iowa and a father in New Orleans and Dallas want their sons to play football because of the lessons…so many life lessons”, said Payton at the NFL owners meetings. “It’s a safe sport. It teaches leadership, it teaches grit and overcoming adversity.”
A 54 year old Payton has been involved in the game, from playing to coaching, almost his entire life. Football has proven it can be even be a teaching tool at home.
“My son Connor is a junior; they moved him to linebacker," Payton shared over breakfast in Orlando, Florida. “I’m going to say in the last 5 years we have these moments where we talk. You’re in a sport like this, and your buddies may be starting and you might not be in the starting lineup. It happened to me as a high school junior. And, you have those low moments and then you continue to practice, you continue to fight. And, then you get those opportunities and have success. And, you realize… it’s just like life. I think it brings so much to the character and the building of the character of an individual. It’s the greatest sport for our kids.”