Jimmy Graham hosting cornhole charity event Sunday in Green Bay

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GREEN BAY – Jimmy Graham doesn’t consider himself a pro at cornhole, but he believes he can hold his own at the popular backyard/tailgate/beanbag game.

“I love cornhole. I’m 6-foot-7 and can kind of feed down into it,” the Packers’ new tight end said. “But I imagine there are some very experienced cornhole players in Wisconsin.”

He’ll find out this Sunday when he hosts his own tournament, the Jimmy Graham Charity Cornhole Challenge 2018 at Green Bay’s Badger State Brewing.

Event information can be found here. Teams can enter and/or individuals can sign up for a chance to beat Graham’s score, with all proceeds going to two charities, the Wounded Warrior Project and Angel Flight.

The two nonprofits mean a lot to Graham. With a mother and father who both served in the armed forces, Graham often has supported the military with his community work during his NFL career.

Back in 2013 while with the Saints, Graham did a USO tour, visiting the U.S. Marine Corps base known as “Camp Leatherneck” in Afghanistan. He tried out his basketball skills against soldiers he called some of the toughest competitors he’s ever been around.

“They don’t let you get an easy layup, especially out there in the desert,” he said.

In more recent years with the Seahawks, Graham gave Wounded Warriors tours of the team facility and concluded their visits with impromptu flying lessons in his seaplane. Graham has a pilot’s license and flying is a favorite hobby.

Along those lines, since his days with the Saints he’s also been a pilot in the Angel Flight program, which provides medical transport to patients who for financial or other reasons cannot get where they need to for treatment.

“One time I had the privilege to fly a young lady who had 80 percent of her body covered with burns,” Graham said. “She couldn’t really get on a commercial airplane, and she couldn’t be around many people because of infection. I was the second leg of her flight and that was a pretty special moment.

“That’s where those two charities have been in my heart,” he continued. “I’m a military kid, and to be able to share my passion for flying with Warriors and families that really need the help, for me, that’s where those charities struck and made sense for this event.”

Graham said some teams of Wounded Warriors are competing in the tournament. In addition to helping those organizations and playing some cornhole, Graham is also looking forward to meeting more Packers fans.

He’s gotten a small taste of the atmosphere around the team since signing as a free agent back in March, but he sees this as a chance for the fans to get to know him, too.

“There’s one thing everybody loves in Green Bay, and that’s the Packers,” he said. “Not only that, but they know so much about the team. They know history, they know stats, they almost know the playbook better than you do.

“That’s been awesome to see, so this will really be my first introduction hopefully before I do many Lambeau Leaps.”

As for the cornhole score he’ll put up as the one to beat to win prizes, Graham said he does plan on warming up Sunday morning before it counts.

“I have a feeling just about every Sunday this game is played around here, and I’m going to have to show my best for sure,” he said.

“I know it’s really fun, and I know everybody can play it. What better event to meet the community than cornhole. It just seems perfect for Green Bay, really.”

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