Registered: Sep 2008
10-27-12 05:44 PM
Pink flags at Jets-Dolphins game started as a simple idea by New Jersey boy
The game itself was unremarkable, other than its unique color scheme and the message that it implied. The pink gloves and pink cleats caught Dante Cano’s attention that day as he sat on his couch in Marlboro, and some time during the first half of the Giants-Browns game, his resourceful 11-year-old mind started spinning.
He knew the color was a statement, a vehicle with which the NFL shows its dedication during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. But now it was Oct. 11, the month was nearly half done, and young Mr. Cano decided it was time for the league to enlarge its message.
"It seemed that every little thing was pink — like cleats and gloves — but they’re not major things," Dante said yesterday afternoon, after arriving home from Asher Holmes School. "So I thought about it after a couple of penalties: The flag is more important to the game, and everyone looks at it. It can afford for its color to be changed, too."
Because this idea was put in a letter and sent off to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell — just a handwritten note from a thoughtful fifth-grader, comprising 40 words — that is why you will see the officials at the Jets-Dolphins game throwing pink penalty flags Sunday afternoon.
Some world, eh?
Hopefully, Dante will keep the commissioner’s address until the next lockout.
Anyway, you might consider his idea nothing out of the ordinary. Children are profoundly influenced by illness in their families, and roughly 300,000 of our mothers, sisters and daughters develop breast cancer each year in the U.S.
But this is what makes Dante’s brainstorm extraordinary: His family hasn’t been touched by the disease, which took 40,000 lives last year.
"Fortunately, no," said his mom, Laura Cano. "But he’s always shown a great deal of sensitivity to others, particularly his sister. And in this case, he was watching a game with his father and decided to write the letter. He Googled Roger Goodell’s address, and I just handed him the stamp.
"I did take a picture of the letter, because I thought it would either get lost in the mail or ignored. It was such a nice idea, I just wanted a copy to put in his scrapbook."
It was neither lost nor ignored.
It was opened at the office on Park Avenue by an executive assistant named Flora Taylor, who is responsible for all the commissioner’s mail, and she placed it on Goodell’s desk.
"So Roger looked at it and said, ‘This is a really good idea,’ " NFL spokesman Greg Aiello recalled with a laugh yesterday. "He just thought it was great that the kid showed that kind of initiative and took the time to write, so he just said, ‘Let’s do this.’ "