As friends and family gather to celebrate Thanksgiving, the NFL will continue its tradition of encouraging children to be active during special NFL PLAY 60 themed games throughout Thanksgiving weekend. NFL PLAY 60 is a league wide effort to fight childhood obesity by getting kids active for at least 60 minutes a day.
A special NFL PLAY 60 television spot will debut during each of the three Thanksgiving games. The 90-second ad features Detroit Lions Coach JIM SCHWARTZ, players including QB MATTHEW STAFFORD, WR CALVIN JOHNSON and DT NDAMUKONG SUH, a special appearance by Pro Football Hall of Fame member BARRY SANDERS, as well as other players from teams around the league, joining children to take part in PLAY 60 activities to get healthy and active. The spot also will air during the Sunday and Monday Night Football games on Thanksgiving weekend. In addition, the Lions-Packers Thanksgiving game will include a United Way PLAY 60 PSA featuring Bears players, including DE ISRAEL IDONIJE. Links to the spots are posted on **www.nfl.com/thanksgiving*. *
Earlier this season, the NFL debuted another new PLAY 60 television spot featuring the Carolina Panthers players encouraging local students to get active, alongside team owner JERRY RICHARDSON.
In support of NFL PLAY 60, all Thanksgiving weekend games will raise awareness of the childhood obesity epidemic and showcase the NFL and its clubs' commitment to help reverse this trend. Beginning on Thanksgiving and continuing in the coming weeks, teams will designate a home game as an 'NFL PLAY 60' game. On-field elements will include PLAY 60 field stencils, banners and goal post wraps. Teams also will invite 'NFL PLAY 60 youth ambassadors' to be recognized on-field at each PLAY 60 game. These youngsters were selected by each team for their commitment to being healthy, through NFL PLAY 60 programs like NFL FLAG Football and NFL Punt, Pass & Kick and through participation in the NFL-American Heart Association PLAY 60 Challenge and NFL-National Dairy Council Fuel Up to Play 60 programs.
"Thanksgiving is a great day to encourage families to be active," said Commissioner ROGER GOODELL. "NFL PLAY 60 continues to impact more children with each passing year, and we're proud to feature the campaign on a holiday that celebrates family, food and football."
Designed to tackle childhood obesity, NFL PLAY 60 brings together the NFL's long-standing commitment to health and wellness with partner organizations like United Way. PLAY 60 also is implemented locally, as part of the NFL's in-school, after-school and team-based programs. Since the program was launched in 2007, the NFL has committed more than $250 million to youth health and fitness through programming, grants, and media time for public service announcements. The NFL and its teams have built more than 100 NFL Youth Fitness Zones, organized more than 1,500 PLAY 60 youth events, and integrated programs into more than 77,000 schools nationwide since the campaign launched
Starting this Thanksgiving, communities across the country can enter for a chance to receive a visit from the NFL PLAY 60 bus featured in the PLAY 60 commercials. Families can enter the "NFL PLAY 60 Bus Stops With You" contest by writing a short essay and submitting a photo on how the PLAY 60 school bus could help the youth in their town get more active and healthy. One deserving community will receive a visit from the PLAY 60 bus full of sports equipment and gear. Fans can visit www.NFLRUSH.com to learn more.
The focus on youth continues on Thanksgiving with special National Anthem performances from popular teenage musical acts. American Idol alumna Lauren Alaina will perform the Anthem at the Lions-Packers game, and hit Nickelodeon group Big Time Rush will take the stage at the Cowboys-Dolphins game. Nickelback will perform the NFL United Way Thanksgiving halftime show in Detroit and Enrique Iglesias will headline the halftime concert in Dallas as part of the Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign.
Below is a list of ways NFL teams will celebrate youth health and fitness at upcoming home games.
NFL PLAY 60 GAME DETAILS
The Cardinals will invite youth football participants to lead the team on-field prior to the team's December 4 game.
In honor of Play 60, the Falcons will recognize 11 First Down for Fitness MVPs pregame on-field. They also will participate in the National Anthem ceremonies, and each will receive a medal to honor their commitment to physical fitness and leading a healthy lifestyle. These students were selected from the 50,000 students in the Falcons First Down for Fitness Program. In addition, participants of the First Down for Fitness program will serve as the honorary Falcons Fitness Flag Crew by unfurling a large Falcons flag on the field during player introductions
The Ravens will host top performing students as their Play 60 ambassadors during the team's Thanksgiving Day game. Winning students were chosen from more than 15,000 youth who took part in various Ravens Play 60 programs (Play 60 in-school challenge, Playworks/PALA Challenge and Project ACES).
The Buffalo Bills will celebrate Play 60 at their December 4 game. Fourteen students and 14 teachers from Western New York elementary and middle schools who completed the Play 60 Challenge and Fuel Up to Play 60 programs will be recognized on- field pregame and will participate in Stampede Row during Buffalo Bills player introductions. On December 6, the Buffalo Bills and their players will host 400 students at the annual Play 60 Challenge fitness party in the Buffalo Bills Healthy Zone Fieldhouse, in partnership with BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York and the American Heart Association. On December 13, the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council will host their annual Fuel Up To Play 60 health and wellness party in the Healthy Zone Fieldhouse.
The Panthers' Play 60 game will be held on December 11. Play 60 'tunnel run kids' will run on-field prior to the team. The student were chosen by schools that participated in the AHA Play 60 Challenge and from the local 2011 Play 60 Super School. On November 29, there will be a Play 60 pep rally in partnership with the Fuel Up to Play 60 program held at East Lincoln High School held for 1400 students—the audience will be comprised of high school students (who won a milk consumption contest) and elementary school students.
The Bears will host their Play 60 game on December 4. The team will host a local youth football team, who will watch pregame warm-ups on the sidelines, run out of the tunnel during starting line-ups to form a tunnel for players to run through, and play in the Mascot Melee football game at halftime against Staley da Bear and several other Chicago-area and NFL mascots.
At their Play 60 game, the Bengals will work with the American Dairy Association will select 16 area youth that demonstrate healthy lifestyles to deliver the game ball with the team mascot, Who Dey. In addition, the 16 youth will join the Ben Gal cheerleaders in a tunnel formation as the team comes on-field. The American Dairy Association also held their annual Fuel Up To Play60 Youth Summit on October 25 where local schools came to learn about healthy lifestyles with Bengals Play 60 representative Michael Johnson.
The Browns will feature Play 60 during their home game on December 4. The top students from the Play 60 Challenge will be recognized as they lead the team out of the home team tunnel before player introductions. The gauntlet will be formed by local students and advocates of Play 60. The male and female student who logged the most minutes of activity during the Play 60 Challenge will be the Honorary Coin Toss Captains. The top three teachers who excelled with promoting the Play 60 Challenge in their schools will be recognized pregame. As the National Anthem is performed, 80 representatives of the American Heart Association will hold the American Flag.
The Cowboys will dedicate their Thanksgiving game to The Salvation Army and the National Red Kettle Kickoff. The team's Play 60 youth team from The Salvation Army Cedar Crest Community Center Pop Warner Football League will meet DEMARCUS WARE the day before Thanksgiving, when he presents them with their Play 60 jerseys and donated Xbox 360 consoles with Kinect. On game day, the Play 60 youth will be involved when the team is introduced pregame and on-field during the televised National Anthem.
The Broncos' Play 60 game will be on December 11. At that game, the team will host 50 children from Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver who have completed the Broncos' 9-week Play 60 fitness challenge that began in early September. Western Dairy Association, Mile High United Way, and American Heart Association all partnered with the team on the effort.
On November 18, Lions players hosted a turkey and Thanksgiving meal giveaway for 500 families in Detroit. Players' wives delivered Thanksgiving baskets to a shelter in Detroit on November 22. During the Lions' Thanksgiving Day game, the team's Play 60 kids will be part of the pregame festivities and will line up behind the National Anthem singer. The Play 60 kids will come from the Dick and Sandy Dauch campus of the local Youth Education Town/Boys & Girls Club. NICKELBACK will perform during the 2011 United Way Thanksgiving Halftime Show.
Green Bay Packers
The Packers will hold their Play 60 game on December 11. The team will host group of kids selected through the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. The children will enjoy a tailgate prior to the game and will be recognized during pregame. The team also will feature NFL Punt, Pass & Kick participants on-field for a pregame passing exhibition. The Packers will promote Play 60 throughout the game by placing the logo on TundraVision screens and encouraging the crowd to get active.
The Texans Play 60 game will be on December 4. Before the game, more than 60 kids will participate in Punt, Pass & Kick activities, and the male and female winner in each age bracket will be recognized on-field. In addition, kids from the YMCA wearing Play 60 gear will line up with cheerleaders to introduce Texans players. On November 28, the team will hold a Play 60 field day with 100 children from the YMCA & Boys and Girls Club. The participants will take tours of Reliant Stadium, attend a nutrition presentation from the team nutritionist while receiving healthy snacks from Dairy Max, and then they will perform Play 60 drills in the Methodist Training Center with Texans players and TORO.
At their Play 60 game, the Colts will recognize ten winners of the Play 60 Challenge and ten participants in the Fuel Up to Play 60 program during a pregame on-field presentation. The youth will then stand in the tunnel to welcome the team as they run on-field.
The Jaguars will host their Play 60 game on December 11. Prior to the game, the Jaguars annual Punt, Pass & Kick competition will take place on the main field and the winners will be recognized during the third quarter break. More than 250 kids will be recognized on-field for their achievements in their school's Play 60 Challenge. The team will be lead out onto the field by 12 Play 60 youth. The American Flag will be held by Pop Warner football players and cheerleaders from Japan. At halftime, the Jr. ROAR cheerleaders will perform. Following the game, 500 children will be given the opportunity to catch a touchdown pass from alumni players on the field.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs will celebrate Play 60 by teaming with the Midwest Dairy Association's Fuel Up to Play 60 program. Sixty youth from that program will attend the game and also partake in a tailgate party, complete with healthy food options. Ten of the students will then participate in pregame ceremonies as the Chiefs take to the field for player introductions. On November 29, members of the Chiefs Women's Organization will assemble BackSnacks at Harvesters: The Community Food Network, to provide healthy weekend nutrition options for the 90,000 metro-area children receiving free and reduced-price school meals.
On November 15, Dolphins players joined Miami Dolphins Women's Organization members including JEANETTE SPARANO to distribute 1,000 Thanksgiving meals for 10,000 people with Feeding South Florida. The meals came from monetary donations from Dolphins players and coaches. On November 29, players, alumni and staff will join Lift Up America to hand out 30,000 pounds of Tyson food to agencies at Sun Life Stadium. On December 11, the Dolphins will celebrate Play 60 with a Punt, Pass & Kick competition and an on-field display to honor the program's 50th anniversary. Prior to the game, the Play 60 kids will engage in physical fitness activities in the Grand Plaza, with the opportunity for fans to win ticket upgrades and other prizes.
The Vikings' Play 60 game is December 4. The team will host 11 kids from Athletes Committed to Educating Students to run out of the inflatable Vikings ship prior to player introduction. A.C.E.S. is an after-school mentoring program that uses sports-themed curriculum to teach the students math, science, and history. In addition, 22 kids from the team's Fuel Up to Play 60 program will line the ship where the players come out during introductions.
New England Patriots
The Patriots' Play 60 game is on December 4. The New England Patriots Charitable Foundation will host 11 children from Special Olympics Massachusetts and Student Ambassadors from the Fuel Up to Play 60 program to participate in team introductions with Patriots cheerleaders and will be featured in in-game announcements.
New Orleans Saints
The regional Punt, Pass & Kick program will take place during the Saints' Play 60 game. All participants will be included in pregame ceremonies and will lead Saints players out of the tunnel and on-field for team introductions. Saints staff will promote the Play 60 message at two additional events in November by hosting a JTC and Saints Experience with inflatables at the LHSAA's High School Football Game of the Week and at "Gleason Gras" in Champions Square of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, also in support of Steve Gleason, a former Saints Special Teams standout who was recently diagnosed with ALS.
New York Giants
The Giants' Play 60 game will be held on December 4. Eleven students from West New York, NJ who participated in the team's Play 60 Challenge will be selected to be the Giants' Play 60 Ambassadors for the game. They will participate in an on-field moment pregame and will receive tickets to the game.
New York Jets
At the Jets game presented by Verizon, 11 6th graders from Florham Park, Madison and Harding, NJ who were selected for their commitment and involvement in the Jets Play 60 Challenge will lead the team out of the tunnel during introductions and each receive an Xbox 360 console with Kinect. In addition, 40 6th graders from Summit and Chatham, NJ won the opportunity to compete in Play 60 activities at the MetLife Turf Field on the Plaza, tour the stadium field and attend the game. Prizes for these 40 winners will also be provided by Kinect for Xbox 360.
The Raiders will celebrate Play 60 by welcoming students from the East Oakland Sports Center and the Department of Park and Recreation to serve as Play 60 ambassadors. They will participate in a pregame field presentation. The Raiders also will host the regional championship round of the Punt, Pass & Kick competition during the pregame festivities.
The Eagles will celebrate Play 60 by recognizing a youth fan from the Eagles Kids Club to lead the team out of the Eagles tunnel. The young fan was chosen after submitting a 200 word essay on how they 'play 60.'
The Steelers' Play 60 game will be held on December 8. The team's 17 Play 60 students will be lined up on the sideline for the National Anthem, and they will then be part of the coin toss. The Steelers also will have Pittsburgh-area students distributing Play 60 information at the team's GameDay Live area prior to the game.
San Diego Chargers
The Chargers will celebrate Play 60 on December 11. The regional round of the Punt, Pass & Kick competition will take place during the game and all participants will be included in pregame Play 60 ceremonies. They will also lead Chargers players out of the tunnel and on-field for team introductions. The children will enjoy a tailgate prior to the game and will be recognized during pregame festivities. The Chargers will promote Play 60 throughout the game by including special messages on the Jumbotron and in the team's game day publications encouraging the crowd to get physically active.
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers' Play 60 game will take place on December 4. Eleven local youth were selected as Play 60 ambassadors, and they will be invited to the 49ers training facility to participate in a special 49ers Junior Training Camp and tour of the team's headquarters. All 11 kids will be recognized on-field during the game.
Prior to their Play 60 game, the Seahawks will honor 12 youth who have pledged to play 60 minutes a day and will showcase youth fitness with a Punt, Pass & Kick halftime exhibition and presentation. In the Touchdown City pre-game area, kids and adults will be able to receive healthy snack samples from the Washington Dairy Council and Chelan Fresh. In addition, during pregame, the Seahawks and Washington Dairy Council will present the Fuel Up to Play 60 challenge featuring students from schools currently participating in the Fuel Up to Play 60 program.
St. Louis Rams
At the Rams Play 60 game, Play 60 Ambassadors will watch pregame warm-ups before being recognized on-field. During the game, the Rams will show a video feature about the area's NFL Play 60 Super School. The Rams are also recognizing participation in PLAY 60 Challenge and Fuel Up to Play 60 activities by donating more than 150 game tickets to youth participants and their families throughout the St. Louis area.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers will host the regional championship round of the Punt, Pass & Kick competition at Raymond James Stadium during the team's December 17 game. Forty young athletes will compete to win a spot in the NFL Punt, Pass & Kick national championship. In conjunction with the Dairy Council of Florida, the Buccaneers will be led on-field by 15 students who took part in the Fuel Up to Play 60 program. The participating students were chosen to represent the 860,000 children who partake in the program throughout Central Florida. The Coin Toss Captains for the game will be youth athletes from Special Olympics Florida.
On December 11, the Titans will host 11 Play 60 kids who participated in the Titans Play 60 Challenge during the season at local middle schools. One winner from each school was chosen to be the Titans Play 60 Super Kid, and they will receive two tickets to the game and sideline passes. The kids will be recognized on-field as along with representatives from the American Heart Association and the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association. In addition, on Tuesday, November 22, Titans players provided meals for 500 families for families in need and visited with children at a local community center to encourage them to get 60 minutes of exercise per day.
On November 22, Redskins owners DANIEL M. SNYDER and DWIGHT SCHAR joined players and their families joined the Hogettes, Santa and more than 400 volunteers from organizations including FedEx and Harris Teeter to distribute turkeys and food baskets at FedExField to area residents in need. The Redskins provided 3,500 families with a whole turkey, and more than 45,500 pounds of turkey provided by Harris Teeter was distributed. In addition, more than 110,000 pounds of food was provided by Operation Blessing. All children in attendance received a visit with Santa and a gift bag which included a Redskins Read activity book, toys and treats. This is the ninth year the Redskins have hosted this event. At their Play 60 game on December 4, the team will host 11 local children to greet the players when they are introduced on-field.