Former Heisman Trophy winner and current New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram made a stop at Calera High School Jan. 24 to announce the launch of Financial Football, an educational video game and classroom curriculum created to help junior high and high school students learn the value of money management skills. (Reporter Photo/Drew Granthum)
Former Heisman Trophy winner and current New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram laughs with students at Calera High School Jan. 24. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

Archived Story

Saints star Ingram comes to Calera High

Published 3:00pm Friday, January 24, 2014

By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Writer

CALERA — Former University of Alabama and current New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram made a stop at Calera High School Jan. 24 to announce the launch of Financial Football, an educational video game and classroom curriculum created to help junior high and high school students learn the value of money management skills.

Ingram, the 2009 Heisman Trophy Winner, in a partnership with Regions Bank, Visa Inc., the National Football League and Alabama State Treasurer Young Boozer, appeared at Calera to debut the game to a group of students made up of football players, cheerleaders and the top-10 in GPA, all from the junior and senior classes.

“I think financial education is very important, especially at a young age,” Ingram said. “The younger you are, the better. It’s like football; the more you practice at it, the better you get.”

Ingram said that he learned about financial decision making the hard way, after his father — former NFL star Mark Ingram Sr. — was sent to federal prison for issues related to poor financial decision making.

“I learned a lot about financial education as a young man,” he said. “When (my father) was done playing, he made some mistakes investing his money and some financial decisions that weren’t always the best for him or the family, I think that contributed to (him being) incarcerated in a federal prison right now.”

After Ingram, Boozer, South Region president for Regions Bank John Turner and Head of U.S. financial education for Visa, Inc., Nat Sillin spoke, the juniors and seniors were split into two teams — with Boozer coaching the juniors and Ingram the seniors — and played the game.

The two squads (Ingram’s Saints and Boozer’s Atlanta Falcons) chose in easy, medium and hard categories. In order to gain yards, the squads had to answer financially based questions. If the offense missed the question, the defense was given the opportunity to take advantage by answering correctly

Sillin served as the emcee of the game, which saw Boozer’s Falcons upset the Ingram-led Saints, 15-8, on a last second touchdown.

 

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