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For these NFL stars, Super Bowls are great, but parenting is tops.

Some things are more important than a game — like family.

For these NFL stars, Super Bowls are great, but parenting is tops.

When it comes to professional athletes, few things are as memorable as a game day — especially when something big is on the line.

A new video by Just Not Sports features Charles Tillman and Greg Jennings, two former NFL stars with enviable careers. In it, the players are asked if they can name the event just based on being given the date.

Some dates, such as Tillman's performance in Super Bowl XLI as a member of the Chicago Bears or Jennings and the Packers' January 2011 victory in the NFC Championship Game, were easy for them to remember. Other, more obscure games from the middle of a season, were, understandably, a little trickier for them to recall.


But there are some dates you just don't forget — like the birth of your child.

Without hesitation, the two players recalled the dates their children were born. They remembered being in the room and how special that moment was; they wouldn't have missed it for the world.

Last month, Cincinnati Bengals star A.J. Green found himself with a similar choice: miss a game or miss the birth of his child?

The wide receiver announced that if his pregnant wife were to go into labor on a game day (her due date was at the end of September), he'd choose his family over his team. As it worked out, his son was born on a Wednesday, and he didn't have to miss a game.

Still, these are the types of questions that not just athletes, but all working individuals have to prepare themselves for.

Oh, how we love you!! Easton Ace Green. 8lbs, 8oz. 22 inches long. Born September 21. Welcome to the world, Eazy! 💙

A photo posted by Miranda Green (@mirandabrooke_) on

Unfortunately, it's not always an easy choice to make. Fans, teammates, and coaches aren't necessarily on board with a player skipping a game for any reason, even the birth of their child.

In 1993, Houston Oilers lineman David Williams missed a game to attend the birth of his first child. The reaction was brutal. Fans and coaches alike criticized his decision to miss out on the team's game against New England. While it's certainly less likely these days that a team would come out against a player publicly, the pressure to play hangs heavy.

A recent Pew Research report showed that out of 41 countries surveyed, the U.S. is the only one that doesn't offer any government-mandated parental leave. While new parents may have read "What to Expect When You're Expecting" cover to cover, one thing they still might not expect is not being financially stable enough to take time away from work after giving birth. A quick glance at online forums for moms- and dads-to-be shows this is a really tricky situation.

But in the end, we all need to be able to make decisions about what's important in life, and there should be as few barriers as possible to do that.

You may think that it's easy for an NFL player, a millionaire, to make the decision to skip a game to be at the birth of their child — and maybe it is, comparatively. Many people don't have the ability to take unpaid time off work, and unfortunately, there's no mechanism in place for parents to receive paid leave in the U.S.

But that's exactly why paid parental leave — for mothers and fathers regardless of whether their new child is one they gave birth to or adopted or was born via surrogate — should be made a reality in this country. No one should have to miss the birth of their child, and no one should have to miss those important first few weeks of life. Whether you're a football star or a sales clerk, you shouldn't have to miss out on life's most important moments.

Watch the powerful #PlayersGonnaParent video below:

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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Simon & Garfunkel's song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has been covered by more than 50 different musical artists, from Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson. It's a timeless classic that taps into the universal struggle of feeling down and the comfort of having someone to lift us up. It's beloved for its soothing melody and cathartic lyrics, and after a year of pandemic challenges, it's perhaps more poignant now than ever.

A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less