NFL pro plays Financial Football with Delaware students

While Brandon Stokley is best known for catching passes for the Baltimore Ravens, the veteran wide receiver helped Delaware students score a touchdown in “Financial Football” this afternoon.  

Stokley joined Delaware Treasurer Chip Flowers for the statewide launch of the financial literacy game at Christiana High School in Newark.

Financial Football was developed by a Visa and NFL partnership with Delaware as a way to get students thinking about building credit, saving money and planning for the future.

“I think the earlier you learn, the better off you’ll be, especially when you start making money and you have to start planning for the future,” said Stokley. “The things you learn now will help you better when those obstacles come in your way and those situations arise out of nowhere. You know what to do with your money.”

Stokley explained to students that even if they make millions of dollars as a star athlete someday, it’s easy to make the wrong decisions and lose it all quickly.

Since NFL players only get paid during the season, Stockley said the key is learning to make it last.

“I’ve seen over and over where guys get their checks and by the end of the year they’re broke,” he said. “It’s a lonely feeling to have all that money and then it’s gone.”

The Financial Football curriculum is taught at the high school level and comes with a computer game for classes to play as they learn. A group of business and marketing students at CHS tested the game, with Stokley and Flowers serving as team captains. They answered questions about credit, bank accounts, applying for student loans and saving strategies.

“I was impressed with the knowledge that they showed when I was sitting in the back,” said CHS Principal Noreen Lasorsa. “I’m not necessarily sure I would have been able to answer all of those questions, I think it’s a testament to our marketing and business department of the work they’ve done with our students.”

Lasorsa explained that students who choose business and marketing as their career pathway in high school take introductory courses, and the game helps students better relate the information they’ve learned to their everyday life.

“A lot of our students come from low income homes so they’re out in the workforce as well,” she said. “They’re full-time students and part-time at work and some of them are full-time and contributing to the finances of their homes,” she said.

Flowers said Financial Football is part of a statewide effort to get more Delawareans to make better financial decisions.

“Financial education is important and our economic well being in Delaware is tied to it,” he said.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal