Disability and Football

DO-IT '98 Scholars Nick and Brian

When people think about sports, they mostly think about the players. For instance, when people think football, they usually think about all-stars like Jerry Rice, Steve Young, and John Elway. But, what about those people who are not physically able to play, and still want to be involved?

My name is Brian. I am in high school and I have cerebral palsy. I love the game of football. When I was a freshman I decided to go and help the freshman team. I went out to their first practice to survey the situation. I tried to talk to the coaches, and tell them that I was there to help the team in any way possible. The coaches weren't really sure what I was asking. So I kept going to practices hoping the coaches would let me do something for the team. Two weeks went by and nothing came up. I became frustrated and wanted to quit. My parents suggested that I go to the Junior Varsity (JV) team. When I arrived at the JV practices, the guys were very supportive of me and accepted who I am. The team even gave me the title of manager. I've been their manager for three years. I'm glad that I didn't quit.

My name is Nick and I am visually impaired. In middle school I played football for a year. Football was hard to learn since I really didn't understand it. I never had followed football up until that point. I have since then followed high school, college, and professional football teams. I guess you could say it changed my life. There is a lot that can be done to get involved in football as you can see with Brian and me. The situation can work around you. Don't think it won't.