Former NFL football player Langston Moore joked with students at Felix G. Botello Elementary School that the league’s initials stand for “Not For Long.”
Moore played for 10 years in the NFL, for the Cincinnati Bengals, Arizona Cardinals and Detroit Lions. The point he aimed to make was that athletes must have a career plan for after their relatively short professional sports careers end. He said one way to do that is to read as many books as possible, which boosts speaking and writing skills – tools that can lead to many ways to succeed.
“The more books you read, the more opportunities for you to get stronger,” Moore said. “The brain is probably the most important muscle in your body.”
Moore read his book, #JustaChicken, to the students to celebrate World Read Aloud Day and encourage them to read more often. He said a way to boost reading time is to pick up a book for the same amount of time a student plays a video game or watches TV.
Shaun Smith, whose eight-year NFL career included stints at the Arizona Cardinals, New Orleans Saints, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Kansas City Chiefs and Tennessee Titans, said that finding success takes work. “You can be anything you want to be,” Smith said. “You just have to make the right choices.”
Smith encouraged students to write in their journals every day, adding that each person in the room is an author. “We all have a story,” he said. “Write your story every day.” He formed the 91 Ways Foundation to help others achieve their dreams.
Nate Livings, who played for the Dallas Cowboys and Cincinnati Bengals, read a book he wrote based on a road trip with his son. After getting home and seeing all the photos they had taken, he decided it would make a great children’s book, and Big Boy Nate Adventures: Football Road Trip was born.