Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

New football video game teaches kids how to score financially

Knowing how to read a credit report may be as important to a student's future as basic reading and math. But there's no room for that on the FCAT.

So, to spur schools in that direction, an unlikely duo teamed up at Northeast High in St. Petersburg on Tuesday to unveil a tool for boosting financial literacy on kids' terms.

A video game.

Know how a down payment affects a mortgage? On Financial Football, your team marches up the field.

Don't know the minimum payment on a credit card? Your QB gets sacked.

"Ohhhhhh!" Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman cheered, high-fives all around, as his team of students defeated another "coached" by Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater.

The interactive game is a joint effort among Visa, the National Football League and the NFL Players Association. It's also part of a statewide initiative led by Atwater, whose office is distributing the free game to every public middle school and high school.

"There were some tough questions" but there should be, Atwater said. "There's nothing easy about navigating your financial future."

Schools in 30 states use the game. It comes with curriculum for a weeklong program.

For the Florida rollout, supporters chose Northeast High, home to the well-regarded Academy of Finance. About 40 students were split into two teams while 50 others watched.

The game allows players to choose which NFL teams they want to be, which plays to run and how difficult the questions are. If the offense misses a question, the defense gets a chance.

After its first touchdown, Freeman's team (Bucs, of course) fielded this question for the extra point: A new car loses 20 percent of its value as soon as it's driven off the lot. True or False?

Freeman's team chose true.

Correct. On the screen, a football flipped through the goal posts.

(For those who believe in premonitions, Freeman's Bucs beat Atwater's Saints 13-0. The real Bucs and the New Orleans Saints play Sunday.)

Freeman addressed the students briefly, offering a cautionary tale. A young football player he knows got a shot in the NFL as a free agent, but took out a $50,000 line of credit before he secured a job.

"Two weeks later, he gets cut," Freeman said. "He's on the street … in terrible debt.

"Whether it's your parents, whether it's your teachers," he continued, "you have to take into account what they're saying."

Students got the message.

Schools don't teach enough about money, said KayAnn Kennedy, 18, an Academy of Finance student who plans to attend St. Petersburg College, then study business at Florida International University.

"It's why students get into debt," she said. "They don't learn how to plan for the real world."

Northeast football player Auggie Sanchez, 16, said the game taught him a lesson in a matter of minutes.

"It was kind of hard. I don't study this stuff every day," he said. "It made me realize that finances and money are a big part of life."

Ron Matus can be reached at matus@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8873.

Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman, right, celebrates Tuesday with Northeast High junior Orjada Dashi, 16, far left, Dragana Bilic, 16, Emily Thammavong, 16, and Christine Leonard, 17, after winning a Financial Football video game.

SCOTT KEELER | Times

Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman, right, celebrates Tuesday with Northeast High junior Orjada Dashi, 16, far left, Dragana Bilic, 16, Emily Thammavong, 16, and Christine Leonard, 17, after winning a Financial Football video game.

New football video game teaches kids how to score financially 10/11/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 10:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect

    Bucs

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  2. Hopes fade after landslide destroys Chinese village (w/video)

    World

    Crews searching through the night in the rubble left by a landslide that buried a mountain village under tons of soil and rocks in southwestern China found 15 bodies, but more than 110 more people remained missing.

    Vehicles and people line a road leading to the site of a landslide in Xinmo village in Mao County on Saturday in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province. More than 100 people remained missing after the village was buried under tons of rocks and soil.
  3. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  4. Thousands converge in two St. Pete locations celebrating LGBT rights

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom Rockhill didn't know what to expect Saturday, but by noon people were knocking on the door of his bar Right Around the Corner in Grand Central.

    (From left to right) Emma Chalut 18, gets a rainbow sticker on her cheek from her sister Ellie, 15 both of Jacksonville before the annual St. Pete Pride parade in downtown St. Petersburg on Saturday. This year the route was changed from the Grand Central and Kenwood area to Bayshore Drive.
[EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
  5. Retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald dies

    TALLAHASSEE — A former Florida Supreme Court justice, who wrote a decision that prevented lawyers from excluding jurors because of their race, has died.

    Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald died Saturday, the court said in a statement. He was 93.