Monday, July 1, 2013

Why Football Players Should Pick-up a Handicraft

This past week has been crazy in the world of sports, especially football.   Did you know that since this past Super Bowl 27 players have been arrested? Three were just last week.  It's just crazy.  What's going on fellas? I mean seriously.  I get it.  Football is an extremely aggressive sport.  But why can't they leave all that crazy on the field?  When did it get like this?  Are there any classy players out there? I'm sure there are.

Do you know who comes to mind when I think of classy football players? Rosie Grier.  Do you know him? My mom is always talking about him.
He is a defensive lineman who played for the NY Giants from 1955-1962.  He also played with the Rams from 1963-67.  He would later become a body guard for Robert Kennedy.  Although he was not guarding Kennedy on the day of his assassination,  he was the one that took the gun from the assassin.   He was guarding Mrs. Kennedy that day.  There is your history lesson for the day.    He is not only known as one of the best defensive lineman in the game of football but for a very interesting hobby that he practiced off the field.  Can you guess what it might have been?  No, it was not a DWI or gun charges. It was needle point, knitting and other fine handicrafts!  He even wrote a book.  I might get it for every football player I know (I don't know that many).  Maybe I'll get it for  EVERY man I know. 

I bet you if more NFL players were making needle point gifts for their mommas or knitting baby beanies for the local NICU, there would be less angry football players running around.  I mean who can be angry after making something so adorable?

 Craft projects are said to destress and sooth the soul.  I believe it.  As the mother of two very active boys, knitting and crocheting are one of the only ways I can destress and relax. An article by Betson Corkhill describes why and how knitting can be therapeutic:

The rhythmic repetitive movements of knitting are important - quite how, we're not absolutely certain of yet, but we have our theories. Anecdotal evidence strongly suggests that they induce a form of meditation very similar to Mindfulness. Recent research has shown that Mindfulness can be very effective in treating depression and chronic pain. It can also help those who are fit and healthy to combat stress and to manage life's downs. It helps you to put into perspective any traumatic issues that would normally dominate your waking thoughts helping you to find a stable balance between problematic events and feelings and more positive, pleasant sensations within the current moment. It's a state of mind where you're not mulling over the past or fretting about the future.

Mindfulness? Mindfulness.  Merriem-Webster defines mindfulness as 1: bearing in mind : aware
2: inclined to be aware 
We live in a society that is no longer mindful of each other.  We are careless not just in our thoughts towards others but even with each others lives.  If only we were mindful and intuned with other people's needs and feelings as opposed to our selfish wants and desires.
Betson Corkhill goes on to write about the research done on knitting for therapy and mindfulness:

Research done by Professor Richard Davidson of Wisconsin University has shown that practising just eight weeks of daily Mindfulness can have a positive effect on brain function and even strengthen the immune system. Dr Herbert Benson, Director of the Institute for Mind, Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School has carried out many clinical trials involving Mindfulness and has found that it can evoke the relaxation response to bring down blood pressure, heart rate and help to prevent stress related illnesses. He's even found that it can improve fertility and mentions knitting as one of the activities capable of evoking the relaxation response.

The most intresting part of the article was how knitting is used to treat those suffering with PTS.  I believe that football players at some point suffer from PTS.  There is no way you can injure the brain so many times and not suffer from it.

The action of knitting slows down thought processes, which is important in our modern, stressful world. Thoughts can often whiz around in our heads preventing sleep and keeping stress levels high. Slowing them down enables us to view, sort and process them. This could have important implications for those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress (PTS). Indeed knitters tell me their knitting significantly improves their PTS and in some cases cures it completely. This links in with research done at University College London by psychologist Dr Emily Holmes in 2002. She found that if a person performed a repetitive visuo spatial task during a traumatic event they experienced significantly fewer flashbacks. The report recommends looking at knitting and worry beads further.
I would like to offer a suggestion to help curb the aggressiveness off the field that has been going on.  Pick-up a handicraft fellas!  Maybe Commissioner Goddell should put it in every players contract that handicrafts are a must!  And  to all you coaches out there and moms of young football players, make it a "point" to teach your boys a handicraft.  Sign them up on ravelry and get them a pinterest account ASAP!  Go to Youtube!. And it's all free!

Mike Rivera has the right idea

I learned to knit about seven years ago.  I took that bag of yarn everywhere.  I will never forget what a student said to me once when she saw my bag by my desk.  She said, "Oh, you knit?  That's cool.  My grandmother taught us to knit when we were really young.  She would tell us, 'Idle hands are the devils workshop.' That proverb has stuck with me ever since.   Keep those hands busy doing good things and stay out of trouble. If Rosie was man enough to needle point and knit then so are you! So get to knitting gentlemen.  Your wife or girlfriend would like a new scarf for Christmas this year and don't forget about the babies!

S. Vanessa

"We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies.  Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat.  And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good."~ 2 Thessalonians 3:11-13 NIV

In case you needed to see more men knitting...

Can you tell who this is? It's just the 32nd President of the United States, FDR.

Cary Grant in the film "Mr. Lucky"

Russel Crowe.  I'm not sure if he really knows how to knit.  But so what? He's the Gladiator!!!