U.S.A. Football Can Teach Us About Life

Running back Jamaal Charles  when he was a member of the Kansas City Chiefs.


Running back Jamaal Charles when he was a member of the Kansas City Chiefs.

I want to talk about American football. I like football because I think football is funny. The first time I played football I thought it was very hard. I like to just play the game, but I don’t really want to learn all the rules because I think there are too many rules, and it’s just too hard to learn everything about this funny game. So, I just enjoy playing the game with my friends. We usually have two teams with 12 to 18 players total; sometimes we just have five players on each team. It depends on how many kids want to play each time. 

“Football” is a family of team sports. The word football normally means the form of football that is the most popular where the word is being used. So if you are not in the United States or Canada, football would mean the game of soccer, or even the game of rugby. 

The National Football League (not the same as the modern NFL) was the first known professional football league in 1902. During the 20th century, several of the various kinds of football became some of the most popular team sports in the world. In 1920, the American Professional Football Association was founded; two years later, they changed their name to the National Football League, or NFL, which we know today. 

Jamaal Charles (full name Jamaal RaShaad Jones Charles), born on December 27, 1986, was a running back on the Kansas City Chiefs. He played college football for the University of Texas and was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the third round of the 2008 NFL Draft.

In Charles’s first year as a Chief he was not in the starting lineup; he was a backup to halfback Larry Johnson. His breakout season came the following year in 2009. In his second year, Charles rushed 190 times for 1,120 yards, despite only starting in 10 games after Larry Johnson was suspended. Shortly thereafter, Johnson was released, leaving Charles as Kansas City’s starting running back. 

What I learned from reading about Jamaal Charles is that you should never give up. If you work hard and do your best, you will become successful. Charles was a second-string player, but when his team needed him to step up, he was ready, and he became their go-to halfback. Other professional football players have also been in the same situation, like the New England Patriots’ quarterback, Tom Brady. His first couple of years on the team were as a second-string quarterback to Drew Bledsoe. But Brady made sure that he was in good shape physically and prepared mentally by learning all the plays, so that when Bledsoe got injured in 2001, Brady was ready. And he has been New England’s starting quarterback ever since. 

So even though I think the game of American Football is funny and very hard to play, I learned about some of their players, and I learned that they work very hard to become good at this difficult sport. When it’s their time to perform, they are ready, and they become successful because of all their hard work. And that’s what we have to do as students, too. We need to study hard and do all of our work so that we can get good grades and learn as much as we can. If a subject is difficult for us, we need to ask our teachers questions and keep practicing and studying so we can become better at it. That is what I need to do to learn English, too. English is hard for me right now, but with the help of my teachers and my tutor at Rectory, I know I can learn English and do well in school, if I keep working hard.