There’s just two days until Superbowl 2013. If you’re not excited about the teams playing, at the very least you should be a tad bit excited about the commercials or the halftime show. I mean, isn’t that why the non-football fans watch?
I love football. It’s my favorite sport. I grew up as a Miami Dolphins fan, thanks to my dad, but when I got married it was all but in my marriage vows that I would become a die hard Dallas Cowboy fan. Yes, there was an actual “shout out” to the Dallas Cowboys in my wedding program by my husband.
That's us at our first home game in Dallas in 2007.
One of the reasons why I love football is probably because it was the only sport we ever watched in my home while growing up. It was the only sport my dad ever liked. ( I had cousins that played baseball, but those games were just TOO long and not enough action for me. ) I realized, however, the biggest reason I love football is because football season was always a sign of new beginnings- a new school year, a new year of my life (my birthday is in August), the beginning of my favorite season- Autumn, the return of the sounds of high school bands all over the country playing after school, a new season of half-time performances from my dance team, the beginning of cooler weather, the start of the holidays, and the leaves finally falling to the ground.
With all these reasons to love football and football season, I recently found one more:
The Melanoma Exposed campaign.
In May of 2012, former Steelers coach, Bill Cowher, teamed up with advocacy groups and Bristol-Myers Squib to become the spokesman and help launch Melanoma Exposed, an educational campaign to encourage more people to get screened for melanoma.
The former NFL coach lost his wife Kaye to melanoma in 2010. She was only 54 years old.
"Having lost my wife to melanoma about two years ago, I saw how devastating it can be and how quickly it can happen," said Mr. Cowher in a phone interview. Source
The motto of Melanoma Exposed is Screen, Protect, Know, and Tell.
- Screen yourself monthly and visit a Dermatologist.
- Protect yourself by using sun safe habits daily.
- Know the dangers of too much UV exposure.
- Tell a friend or family member to help spread awareness.
Four teams partnered up with Melanoma Exposed to provide the local skin screenings. The teams were the New York Giants, Baltimore Ravens, Miami Dolphins, and the Denver Broncos. The first screening was sponsored by the Miami Dolphins in June of 2012. Each team also provided their own spokesperson. One of them was former New York Giants QB Phil Simms who recently had skin cancer. In order to promote the screening events, the NFL partners posted info on their social media pages, team websites, during games on the Jumbotrons, email blasts, and local TV and radio channels. Men’s Fitness even ran an article highlighting Cower’s story and his involvement with Melanoma exposed. Source
The site includes melanoma stories, and shares one especially dear to me. Jillian, (the beautiful warrior who I "carried" around during the AIM Walk) is one of three stories on living with melanoma. Sadly, Jillian's battle ended recently. Her brother has started his own blog, The Melanoma Ripple Effect, to help our community and others get LOUD about melanoma.
How’s that for some awareness? I only wish I lived in one of these areas to see it first hand (Particularly New York , my favorite place EVER!) It's nice to know there are people out there, FAMOUS people, who are working hard to do what us little people are trying so hard to do.
Since coaches and players spend a lot of time out in the sun, it's no surprise that Cowher is not the only NFL member familiar with melanoma. Former Cowboys QB turned sportscaster Troy Aikman, had a melanoma removed from his shoulder in 1997 and long-time defensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles, Jim Johnson, died from melanoma.
Here’s a video of Cowher talking about Johnson and why it is so important to spread awareness. This video can also be found at Men's Fitness.
You can find out more about Melanoma Exposed at their website www.MelanomaExposed.com.
Regardless of who you are rooting for this Sunday,( I was leaning towards the 9ers, but I must say, the Ravens are looking better now) the four teams who have already joined to help spread awareness, the New York Giants, Baltimore Ravens, Miami Dolphins, and Denver Broncos all deserve a ring in my book.
Enjoy the Superbowl everyone! While you're watching, take some time to spread the word about melanoma. Tell others about the Melanoma Exposed campaign and encourage them to get their skin checked.
Thanks for reading. Until next time, practice safe sun!!!