They would listen to Stacey Jackson. The football players would pay attention, and that’s what everyone says the best coaches can do: grab and hold the minds of young men worn to a nub by constant physical pounding and the tedium of studying endless X’s and O’s while crammed into meeting rooms.
Stacey Jackson could reach the ones who think that they can down liquor all night long and drive themselves home, because the worst consequences won’t come to them. Everybody thinks that way in youth, Jackson told Piers Morgan on CNN, after he realized that she had an extraordinary message to deliver and booked her on his show.
Football players have to think that way to do their jobs. They watch teammates go down in heaps. They see them taken off on stretchers or limping away with their damaged bodies supported by trainers, and they go back for the next snap, telling themselves without really thinking it through: “That won’t happen to me.’’