Chess and the NFL

In almost every NFL football broadcast, a commentator pronounces, “There’s a real chess match going on between these teams!” Motifs of chess in popular culture reinforce the idea that anyone who plays chess is a successful strategist. People identify chess as a game that implies skill in critical thinking and decision-making. As a result, chess and the NFL intertwine to create a positive image for professional athletes.

That narrative is reinforced in this wonderful story about NFL Quarterback Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals. The account describes Kyler’s background in chess and how the game “shaped his strategy and confidence on the field, while sharpening his mind off it.” Seeing ahead. Taking risks. Learning from losses. Lessons learned at the chess board in elementary and high school are paying off now.

Of course, one does not have to be an athlete to enjoy the benefits of chess. The Chess in Education Coalition advances the idea of chess as an educational tool for all students. To discover how you can build your own local chess in schools initiative, visit our website.

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