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ICYMI: Excerpts from Congressman Tim Ryan’s Speech at NFL Helmet Challenge in Youngstown

November 14, 2019
Press Release

Youngstown, OH – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) this morning spoke at the NFL Helmet Challenge Symposium in Youngstown, hosted by the NFL and America Makes. Below are excerpts from his speech:

“Teamwork, innovation—essential. We’re here today for a very high purpose. And that’s to make sure that this game of football, that teaches us teamwork, that teaches us innovation, sticks around for a while. Because if we’re going to be a successful country, if we’re going to be a successful society, if we’re going to be a successful and model civilization, the two essential components of that, you must be a society that works together, even within your differences. You must work as a team for the greater good, and you must always be a society that innovates if you want to stay ahead of the game.”

“So the NFL being in Youngstown, Ohio today, working on cutting edge solutions with a cutting-edge technology, with business people like Mike Garvey, with cutting edge universities like Youngstown State, and with innovative researchers like yourselves, trying to solve really, really big problems.”

“And that’s how Youngstown, Ohio and the Mahoning Valley got here today. We remembered our victories. And what were our victories that we’ve always had? Of course, we’re a hotbed for sports. You can’t turn the TV on Saturday or Sunday and not hear about the York Family, the DeBartolo family, or coaches all over the United States who they say are from Youngstown, Ohio, are from the Mahoning Valley. But all of our victories here came from team work. All of them.”

“The world-class incubator across the street. Public, private, business, labor, education. We created a tech belt in  2007 that incorporated Western Pennsylvania, Northeast Ohio. Because we came together—a partnership, teamwork—we were able to out-compete for the additive manufacturing center across the street, Georgia Tech, MIT, The Ohio State University. Why? Because we had Carnegie Mellon, and Case Western, Youngstown State, and Akron University all together on the team. It was teamwork that made it happen. And so it’s only fitting that you’re here working as a team to solve this very big problem.”

“We were always on the cutting-edge in the industrial revolution. And now we’re on the cutting-edge of this next revolution, the fourth industrial revolution here in Youngstown. It’s fitting that you are here, and it’s fitting that we’re doing this for football.”

“I remember watching a documentary a few years back on Paul Brown. They were telling all of these stories about innovations that he had. One of them was he tried to get to be able to communicate into the football helmet from the sidelines when he was coaching for the Browns. Great story about innovation and failure because, as the story goes, the quarterback is on the field and the play gets called in, and something happened, and Paul Brown asked the quarterback, “What happened, you didn’t get the play?’ He said, ‘Yeah I didn’t get the play, but I think there’s a murder happening on West 83rd St. in Cleveland.’ So, this innovation takes time and effort”