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LOST IN OUR OLD WAYS MAKING ROOM FOR THE NEW


College football is a lone sport to be a fan of if you happen to be a Latino.  Every Saturday I find the time to watch my favorite college football team play, the Alabama Crimson Tide. No, I did not attend the University of Alabama and yes, I am aware that Alabama is not the friendliest state for us Latinos.  I am also aware that there is not a single Mexican-American playing for Alabama.  But that is my favorite team, I’m hooked.

 

Growing up, I played fútbol just like most Mexicans kids do.  For some reason, we feel that fútbol is the sport for us to play, we have dreams:  to play pro but most of us end up just being cascareros in the neighborhood.  Very few Mexican and Mexican-American parents don’t want their kids playing sports, other than fútbol, for all we know, our kids would probably be great at many other sports if we didn’t limit them, but we are stuck having our kids play fútbol.  We shy away from stepping out of our comfort zone to try “new” sports, to watch “new” sports.  Week by week during the college football season I find myself watching my favorite team, the University of Alabama, with my wife, my daughter, and my seven year old son wearing one of his many Chicharito jerseys asking me “cuando juega México papi.”  Luckily my son is seven and he can sit and watch the game with me and now shows interest.  Watching college football can change a man’s heart and thinking.  It makes you realize that there is a world of opportunities for your kids out there and we can no longer be stuck in our old ways.

“Hispanics are the largest ethnic minority group in the country. However, the demographics of our [NCAA] member institutions do not reflect this growth in the student-athlete population,” says Mark Cabrera, a soccer player at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Fla.

I encourage everyone to have your kids try out for different sports, you never know, they might someday be great and find themselves playing for the University of Alabama or some other university. Watching college sports will also plant a seed in their head and they will have college superstars to be inspired by, not just professional athletes.

If you have some time to kill while you wait for the Mayweather vs. Canelo fight this weekend (team Canelo for those who care), watch the Alabama vs. Texas A&M game, the most important game of the year for both schools… I guarantee you won’t regret it!

By: Luis Rico

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