Posts Tagged ‘Husker Football’

Graduation: Party Safe, Party Sober

I have spent nearly four decades in rural Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa as a principal, coach or   superintendent, and during this time, I have seen over 1600 students graduate from the four communities.  Graduation is one of the most exciting happenings in any family as it is for the school and community. However, graduation parties are a double edge sword for many, both in and out of education.  The parties are a celebration of this great event, but it appears for many that alcohol is a prerequisite. I question the need for alcohol at these important events as much as, if not more than, Tom Osborne has questioned the need for alcohol to watch  a sporting event.  There are too many young people around both the football game and the graduation party. The idea that alcohol is needed at either event sends a strong message to young people, and that message is clearly stronger than any of the advertisements against  underage drinking. If parents want to give a message to their child, let it be that our families and communities can do without alcohol at a graduation party. 

Submitted by Ed Rastovski, Retired Superintendent

I want to thank our board member for submitting this article and I appreciate that it is still relevant today.  As we prepare to watch many young adults step out into the world – let us collectively ensure that they all get the chance to enjoy life, live life and laugh.  They have the world by a sting!


I want to take a moment to thank the leadership at the University of Nebraska for setting  solid standards for the student athletes and following through by holding  players accountable .  MADD applauds Coach Pelini for holding those that make the choice to drink and drive accountable for their actions. 

In Nebraska, collegiate athletes are held to very high standards by the fans in our state.  From football, volleyball, baseball and even bowling our student athletes strive for the best that they can and as fans we appreciate their sportsmanship.  However, when an athlete makes the choice to break the law by driving drunk-then all of us are impacted by that action.

With that said, here at MADD we do know that driving over the legal limit is not unique to student athletes. In fact, alcohol misuse is a serious public health problem across the state.  The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services came out with survey results yesterday.

According to the Nebraska Young Adult Alcohol Opinion Survey,  here’s what randomly sampled 19-25 year olds said about:

Alcohol use

  • Two-thirds of 19-25 year olds in Nebraska reported drinking alcohol within the last month.
  • Two out of every five reported binge drinking (5 or more drinks for men/4 or more drinks for women within a couple of hours).
  • Young adults living in urban areas of the state reported the highest percentage for alcohol use.
  • Young adults 19-22 enrolled in school full time were more likely than their non-full-time peers to consume alcohol and binge drink.
  • 21-25 year olds were about twice as likely as 19-20 year olds to drink and binge drink.
  • Females and males were equally likely to drink and binge drink.
  • Most young adults consumed alcohol at their home or another person’s home.
  • Three in five young adults reported that they usually drank beer. Beer was followed by liquor, wine and then flavored-malt beverages.

Alcohol-impaired driving

  • About three in every 10, 19-25 year olds said they drove a car under the influence of alcohol over the past year.

 MADD encourages everyone to have a plan in place prior to going out, stick to your plan and always have a designated driver. It is not only a gift to your friends it is a gift to the community.

The NFL and NFL Players Association will partner with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) on programs and activities to prevent drunk driving. 

Saints' linebacker Scott Shanle

Now some may say why would Nebraska care?   There are 42 reasons to care.  A total of 42 former Nebraska players are on National Football League rosters as of May 18, 2010. 

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell

This partnership began in the spring but it is really coming together  now that football is in full swing. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and MADD CEO Kimberly Earle made the announcement in Dallas.  

Is is exciting to see MADD and the NFL partner to work together on awareness programs that promote our MADD  “Campaign to Eliminate Dunk Driving.” 

Some of the initiatives that are going to be on the front burner are: 

  • MADD will serve in an advisory role to NFL in its initiatives to promote responsible behavior and prevent drunk driving.
  • MADD and NFL will pilot a game day program this season at the stadiums in Buffalo and Oakland.  Here at MADD, we know that the most import position at the NFL is the Designated Driver!
  • The NFL and NFL Players Association also will help promote MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving – that is a message we can all agree on.

Here in Nebraska we are Husker Fans first! Thus, we want to support our former Husker players that are now in the NFL and encourage them to support MADD. Together we can ask fans to make a responsible choice regarding alcohol consumption and ensure everyone understands the danger for fans & players when they choose to drive over the legal limit.

I am all about treats and NO tricks!  Remember the days of walking hand in hand with your folks down the neighborhood to visit friends and knock on doors.  I loved going out and coming home to warm cider, donuts and popcorn especially on a school night – that was a treat in itself.

As I fondly think of my times in Wahoo going about with friends, I also think about where we are today and that this year Halloween is on a Saturday – EEKKK!!!

To me that spell’s trouble with a capital “T”. Little ones will scurrying about, while young adults are out traveling in cars and everyone in between being festive & enjoying a good old Husker Game Day.images

I know I have said it before but it can never be stated too many times. Your seat belt is your best defense against a drunk driver.  Staying in the car during a crash increases your survival rate by 65%, any coach would welcome a figure like that for their defense come game time. So when you and the little ones travel to see family and friends – buckle up each time every time.  When the twenty something’s head out the door for the costume party remember – buckle up each time every time. And be a sport when you and your friends head for home after the Husker game Saturday – buckle up each time every time.

buzzedlogoIf we all do our part by: wearing our seat belts, making sure kids are in costumes that reflect light, young adults don’t drink unless they are 21,  and always have a designated sober driver.

Make sure your Halloween isn’t scary and make sure your home is filled with treats! trick_or_treat_cover_lrg 

Simera Reynolds, M.Ed.
State Executive Director

Nebraska Says No Can Do!

On behalf of our members and MADD, I want to extend a note of gratitude to our Athletic Director Tom Osborne for asking not to have certain adult beverage cans in our college colors. 

Osborne said in a statement issued Wednesday that the university’s athletic department backed the position of the NCAA Board of Directors, which looked unfavorably on the promotion.

“If cans of beer incorporating University of Nebraska colors are marketed, we hope that people will realize that this is being done independent of athletic department approval,” Osborne said. “We have taken a strong position against alcohol in Memorial Stadium and encourage our student-athletes to abstain from alcohol use.”

Memorial Stadium, Lincoln NE

Memorial Stadium, Lincoln NE

With Labor Day around the bend, kids in school, state fair kicking off and our first home football game but a week away.  MADD expresses

 sincere gratitude for taking the high road against underage drinking and ensuring that our citizens know Memorial Stadium is a safe place for fans and families.

Simera Reynolds, M.Ed.

State Executive Director

I am saddened that a sports figure in our state would go out and drive drunk  only 72 hours after a major sports figure, and two others, were cut down by a repeat drunk driver in California.  I know what everyone thinks  – it will never happen to them.  I don’t want to preach – I just know all too well drunk driving does not discriminate.  

Mr. Paul needs to take a step back and consider himself  fortunate that he didn’t seriously injure himself or somebody’s mom.

Don’t think the irony doesn’t hit home hard when you consider that Joba Chamberlain was just setenced  here in our state for drunk driving – a Yankee’s Pitcher.  When you make the choice to play sports, be it collegiate or professional, you make the choice to set an example – like it or not.

Simera Reynolds

Executive Director