A bunch of retired guys played flag football in San Jose last night, in hopes of creating a product someone will watch on television.
But Saints quarterback Drew Brees is aiming even higher with his attempt to popularize the safer version of his sport.
According to Mike Triplett of ESPN.com, Brees is launching a co-ed youth flag football enterprise called the Football ‘N’ America League with an eye toward the future of the game.
“I think that this has the opportunity to really save the game of football, honestly,” Brees said. “I think we’re filling a void that is much-needed.
“We felt like, you know what, we have the opportunity here to really create what will be the premier youth co-ed flag football league in America.”
Brees said he came upon the idea while coaching a kids team in San Diego the last few offseasons. The league will begin in New Orleans and around Louisiana this fall, before expanding to other states next year.
Brees played flag football as a kid in Texas and didn’t play tackle until his freshman year in high school And he’s turned out OK. But now that he has four kids, he’s even more sure of the need for such programs.
“I would not let my kids play tackle football right now, because I don’t think that’s necessary, and I don’t think it’s as fun at this level, and I just think there’s too much risk associated with putting pads on right now at this age,” Brees said. “So how can I still allow them to enjoy the game and learn about the game and develop a passion for the game and enjoy everything it has to offer? Well, flag football.
“I think that flag football is the perfect alternative to the parents who have concerns about concussions and the injuries around football. Because you’re still able to enjoy the game of football, but in a very fun, safe and yet competitive environment. And you can still learn all the same life lessons and values from a game of flag as you would tackle.”
Between concussion concerns and the cost of equipment and insurance, it’s possible that the move toward flag football becomes a trend anyway. But while Brees is getting in this is as a business venture, he also raises some valid points, and his support can only help the movement.