The NFL and The 100-Year Game Commercial
The Super Bowl is seen as the biggest football game of the year, a time to celebrate the achievement of two teams who fought for and won the chance to be crowned champions. During that game this year, the NFL aired a two-minute commercial to celebrate 100 years of playing football. It is a fun two minutes. And if you know some NFL history, you will recognize some of the game’s greatest players and recreations of some very famous plays, we see you catching a deflected pass and running with it Franco Harris! (I’ve told you before, at Project-Nerd we can nerd out about anything)
The best part about the commercial was that it just felt fun. For so long the NFL was the “No Fun League” and they’re working hard to move past that reputation, points are coming fast and furious and this year they allowed players to celebrate with their teammates after touchdowns, what a crazy idea. So we got a fun commercial where current and former players take a black-tie dinner and break down into kids playing football in the house.
Towards the end of the commercial, there’s a young woman telling Richard Sherman, one of football’s better defenders, that if he wants the ball to come and get it. It’s another great moment. But who is this young woman standing amongst football’s giants? Her name is Sam Gordon, and there’s a good reason she was included.
As a nine-year-old girl, Gordon played tackle football with players up to two times her weight and showed them what she could do. She ran the football 232 times for 1,911 rushing yards, or 8.2 yards per carry, and accounted for 25 touchdowns. That’s pretty damn good. Her dad uploaded her highlight video and it quickly had over 5 million views! This girl can play.
But Sam wasn’t happy being just “one of the boys.” She decided to go on and help found the first all-girls tackle football league in the US. This is amazing. She’s changing things for the better as all-girls tackle leagues are popping up all over. In fact, she’s doing such an amazing job that the NFL awarded her the first-ever Game Changer award in 2017, “created to celebrate those who are committed to moving the game forward.”
Let’s all pause for a minute and think about Sam Gordon and how she’s doing all the things we celebrate in the US. She had a dream and didn’t let anything stop her from doing what she wanted to do. On top of that, she made it possible for other people to live out their dream as well. The Super Bowl, and the NFL in general, is supposed to show and celebrate the achievement that can be won through hard work and perseverance. I’m glad the NFL is honoring Sam Gordon by showing her as an example of what we all can do if we put out hearts and minds to something.