In the Pink

Usher in October. A month that the Steeler Nation truly hopes is a little better and brighter than September. While we wait to see what tidings the month brings us, we can pause a moment to reflect on the fact that it is also National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the NFL joins in with their month-long tribute. The theme this year is “A Crucial Catch”. I know many of us, myself included, are often critical of the NFL front office in general, and Commissioner Goodell in particular, but we should pause for a bit to give credit where credit is due, and the NFL throwing the weight of its considerable influence into this important cause is a good thing.

At my most callous, I appreciate that it’s good business and draws a female audience to a male dominated sport, so I can admire from a strictly entrepreneurial standpoint. But, sometimes it is possible to do what’s both good for business and right for society, and this may be such a case on a grand scale. The American Cancer Society reports that, “The chance of a woman having invasive breast cancer some time during her life is about 1 in 8. The chance of dying from breast cancer is about 1 in 36. Breast cancer death rates have been going down. This is probably the result of finding the cancer earlier and better treatment. Right now there are more than 2.9 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.” The NFL currently has a page set up (http://www.nfl.com/pink) promoting annual screening. The organization has teamed up with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation to have an impact on that downward trend by raising awareness. Suddenly it’s cool to “think pink”, even if you’re a big, tough guy.

You probably know someone who has suffered from breast cancer, maybe more than one. I do. My aunt died from breast cancer, as did our neighbor when I was growing up. Now I have friends who can claim, happily, that they are survivors, in large part probably to early detection. Cancer impacts all of us, one way or other, so I thank the NFL for bringing it to the forefront and promoting education about it. So, go ahead, ladies – and gentlemen – and wear your best pink this month. But, please, after October, ladies, can we all agree to go back to our team colors? Because I have to tell you, your pink Emmanuel Sanders jersey looks an awful lot like the Cowboys Dez Bryant jersey, and I just can’t tell us versus them in the stands. Pink may be pretty, but Black and Gold is beautiful. But, of course, healthy women sitting in those stands are the most beautiful sight of all.

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