The following is a guest post by the Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP) Executive Director, Rhonda Reda:
When most people think of modern-day, football, they think about cleats, helmets, shoulder pads, stadium lights, and what each season is sure to hold: tailgating, fantasy football, rivalries, tradition, and the talented players and coaches that make up America’s favorite spectator sport.
What is often overlooked is how the products that have helped make the game safer and more viewer-friendly are due to the numerous products made from oil and natural gas byproducts. From your local high school games to professional football, these products are found everywhere.
Identifying players on the field is made easier thanks to jerseys made from nylon, polyester and spandex. Checking to see if that last run is a first down is possible thanks to the plastic markers used by the referees. The shoulder pads and helmets worn by players are all manufactured from petrochemicals designed to help keep players safe.
Even the playing field benefits from products made from oil and natural gas. Keeping a green, consistent field for games is an important aspect of the sport. Fields with natural grass are closely monitored and upkeep often includes the use of fertilizers to grow a lush field. And fields with artificial grass, often referred to as AstroTurf, are made using nylon, polypropylene, or polyethylene. Artificial grass has the added advantage of an underlying layer of rubber which helps lessen the impact when a player hits the ground.
Even the Friday night lights associated with the tradition of watching your hometown football team each fall take on a rival community were brought to you thanks to natural gas. Natural gas provides over 30% of electric generating power in America which brings lights to the stadium and makes sure you can watch your favorite college team from the comfort of your own home.
Oil and natural gas are a big hit at tailgates, too. From powering your grill to cook hot dogs and hamburgers to the coolers keeping your drinks cold to the tents used to help keep your party protected, these products are there to help you have a wonderful time cheering on your favorite team.
The next time you look around a stadium or watch a game on TV remember that it is all made possible by oil and natural gas development and petrochemical manufacturing.