PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Steelers’ wide receiver Mike Wallace coached a team of high school kids Tuesday at Taylor Allderdice High School in a game of Financial Football.
“I didn’t have an opportunity to have a meeting like this or have a school that had Financial Football meetings and things,” said Wallace. “We never had anything like this. It’s important to get the message out to let them know that you have to start saving your money, no matter how much you have.”
The game uses something familiar – football – to teach something the kids may not know much about – handing money.
Pennsylvania State Treasurer Rob McCord coached the Pittsburgh Steelers in the game.
“There is a lot of evidence that starting kids young about financial literacy pays off in the long run, and as little as 10 hours of financial literacy can really matter,” he said.
The treasurer went on to say, “hopefully parents will pay attention, too.”
McCord coached the Steelers while Wallace was in charge of the Saints. The game is the brain-child of Vvisa who launched it in 2006.
Nancy Panter is the brand & marketing manager for Visa.
“Financial Football is a very engaging way to learn about financial literacy. Kids have a ball,” said Nancy Panter, the brand & marketing manager for Visa. “They have so much fun playing it; and what I love is the competitive spirit comes out, whether you are answering financial questions or playing on the football field, it’s that competitive nature of wanting to beat the competition.”
For the kids at Taylor Allderdice High School who played the game, they say it – and Wallace’s message – hit it’s mark.
Senior football player Cornelius Ray says he learned a lot from Wallace.
“Save your money. As much as you make, you could make a million dollars or billions,” Ray said. “It’s just the simple fact that at the end of the day, you could come up with nothing, and at the end of the day he helped me understand that.”
It’s a message Wallace is trying to teach his young daughter.
“I started talking to her about a year ago. She’s two,” Wallace laughed. “I had to let her know she is spending too much money already. She keeps growing up fast, costing me money for clothes. She eats up everything in sight. She’s already been running me through a lot of money, so I had to tell her to tone it down just a little bit.”