The NFL isn't the only football league under threat of severe cutbacks or cancellation. With budget limitations threatening a number of different high school athletic departments, scholastic football teams across the country are scrambling to find new and innovative fundraising techniques to try and close the shortfalls that threaten their 2011 season.
Yet, none of those efforts may be more out of character than one in Utah, where teenage football players have taken to selling products that could only be considered extremely out of character, given high school football machismo: They're selling women's cosmetics.
According to the Deseret News, Pleasant Grove (Utah) High's football team set up an impromptu beauty shop at one of the town's movie theaters as a way to bring in customers among women who were attending films. The mother of two Pleasant Grove players is a saleswoman for a beauty line, and she volunteered to provide the proceeds from her products to help raise money toward a $400 quota which each player will have to contribute before official practices begin in August.
While the availability of the beauty products made cosmetic sales a surprisingly natural fit for teenage football stars, that doesn't mean the Pleasant Grove players have done extensive study on what they're peddling at the theater.
"I don't know what most of this stuff is except the nail polish," Pleasant Grove lineman Daniel Estrada told the News. "But if selling it helps pay my football bills, then I'm gonna sell it. Winners do what losers don't."
Not surprisingly, the cosmetic sales wasn't the first idea that the Pleasant Grove team came up with. Varsity players have also sold coupon books, mowed neighborhood lawns, held sponsored lift-a-thons, and even offered to move odds and ends, like family furniture.
The various efforts have all helped, but players who haven't reached their $400 ceiling yet insisted they would keep doing anything and everything necessary to hit the annual donation mark … even if it required more peddling of nail polish.
"We've got more important things to focus on, like winning games," linebacker Thomas Ludwig told the News when asked if he and his teammates were concerned about being teased. "And we'll have the nicest smelling fans in the state."