Football fantasy

Published 8:03 pm Thursday, June 13, 2013

Football: the great American pastime. It long ago supplanted baseball as the most-watched sport out there. From September to February, how many people are chained to the HDTV, yelling in triumph, groaning in defeat, as their team takes, and leaves, the field? Considering that the last Super Bowl — which included a Superdome, a power outage and a 49ers’ comeback — was the most-watched television event in American television history, the answer is: many.

Whole generations have grown up on tackles, touchdowns and Hail Marys. What child’s dream doesn’t, at some point, revolve around tossing a football with a pro? Being part of the team?

This weekend, every child in Beaufort County has the opportunity to be part of the team. Thanks to a collaborative effort by the Washington Police Department, the Police Activities League and the Beaufort County Pirate Club, professional football is leaving the realm of the TV and making a visit to Washington.

Tonight, 14 NFL players from the Kansas City Chiefs, the Dallas Cowboys, the Baltimore Ravens and Green Bay Packers, will sign autographs, shake hands and talk football, and, essentially, put stars in children’s eyes. Later, Washington Police and Fire will take on the NFL guys in an exhibition basketball game at Washington High School. And the fun continues into Saturday, when children ages 7 through 17 can learn the game from the pros at football camp.

It’s all free. Anyone can attend. And for many of these children, to see the success of these professional football players, success only won through hard work and perseverance, just may create the spark of future inspiration, a new generation of success. For everyone involved, it’s a football fantasy come true.

See the NFL Weekend schedule of events on Page 5 for more information.