Ndamukong Suh and Richard Sherman faced some interesting questions from elementary school students in Edmonton and Surrey during recent NFL Take a Player to School visits
The rising NFL stars were visiting the schools as part of the league’s Take a Player to School sweepstakes. Suh, a dominant defensive tackle with the Detroit Lions, spent Wednesday April 10 at Good Shepherd Elementary in Edmonton, Alberta. Sherman, a Pro-Bowl defensive back with the Seattle Seahawks, spent Tuesday April 9 at Cambridge Elementary in Surrey, BC.
“What is your favourite animal?” one student asked Sherman.
“A turkey is a heck of an animal,” Sherman responded. “But I’m going with a lion, because turkeys get eaten all the time.”
“Where is your favourite place to play?” another student asked.
“Dallas. They have this huge scoreboard there that’s as big as this room,” said Sherman. “You should get your parents to take you there.”
“What is your favourite planet, Neptune or Jupiter?” another student asked.
“Neptune, I think,” said Sherman. “It’s way out there.”
The first question for Suh, who had flown from Portland, Oregon the night before his visit, was posed by a first-grader.
“How was your flight?”
A laughing Suh replied “you know it was pretty good until I got to Denver, then there were some delays, and I got in late. I didn’t get much sleep. But you kids have woken me up now.”
Another student asked what a 300-pound lineman eats before a game.
“For an afternoon game, it’s an omlette and French toast,” said Suh. “For a night game it’s steak and potatoes. But I eat my greens every day. Spinach salads are great.”
When one of the teachers at Good Shepherd then told the students that spinach would be added to the school cafeteria menu by next week, she heard the only boos of the day.
Suh was also asked who inspired him most in his life.
“My older sister is my biggest inspiration,” said Suh. “She is a professional soccer player, and to this day she keeps me in line.”
In addition to the question and answer session, the schools received a $5,000 technology grant courtesy of Samsung’s Hope for Children initiative, and the players led the students in an NFL ‘Play 60’ exercise session. Play 60 is a National Football League initiative that is designed to instil lifelong habits of physical activity. Each NFL team conducts Play 60 assemblies and workouts in local schools. Students are left with the motivation, equipment and practical ideas necessary to get more active (60 minutes per day).
The players showed students their technique with skipping ropes, sit ups, pushups, and of course throwing and catching a football.
Suh, who is now 25 years-old, told the Edmonton Sun that the Play 60 message is especially relevant for today’s kids.
“Just staying active, a lot of kids in this day and age are watching TV and playing video games,” he said.
“My generation wasn’t really like that. I always remember being outside, running around.”
C.J. Spiller, a star running back with the Buffalo Bills, will be visiting Kitchener Ontario’s W.T. Townshend Public School on April 22. Spiller is a former first round draft pick who finished among league leaders with 1,244 rushing yards last season. Spiller will be visiting the grade four classroom of sweepstakes winner Ronan Freeborn, and then speaking to the entire school. Spiller will also lead the day’s NFL ‘Play 60’ activities.
On May 1 the students at New Brunswick’s Centreville Community School will be visited by Nate Solder, a first round draft pick of the New England Patriots who also happens to be an accomplished artist and the recipient of several academic awards. Solder, an offensive tackle who started all 16 games for the Patriots last season, will be visiting the classroom of grade two student and sweepstakes winner D.J. Wolverton. Solder will also lead a motivational assembly and the day’s NFL ‘Play 60’ activities.