Archive for August, 2011

USAA and NFL Team to Honor America’s Armed Forces

Multi-year sponsorship will engage fans in shared legacies, traditions of football and the military

USAA, which provides insurance and more to the military community, and the National Football League (NFL) announced today that USAA is the first Official Military Appreciation Sponsor of the NFL, beginning with the 2011 season.

USAA and the NFL will honor and thank U.S. military members for their service, and engage fans of America’s favorite sport to show their appreciation of the military through several programs that will be announced throughout the season. USAA also will become the Official Insurance Sponsor of the NFL.

USAA’s designation as the Official Military Appreciation Sponsor of the NFL is unique. Although many teams have individual military appreciation activities, this is the first national, League-wide corporate sponsorship in all of sports to honor and thank all members of the military, past and present.
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HGH testing sends right message to kids

by Don Hooton

The use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) continues to grow among our nation’s youth.   According to the Centers for Disease Control, 5.1 percent of high school males and 2.7 percent of all high school females now use steroids.  The rate of steroid use among 12th graders is more than double that for heroin and exceeds that for other drugs like PCP.

These statistics do not take into account the even larger numbers of young people who are unknowingly taking steroids and other PEDs.  Two recent, independent studies have found that 20 to 25 percent of body building supplements purchased off the shelf contained steroids.   Steroid-tainted food supplements have become so great a threat that the Food and Drug Administration has issued warnings to consumers that certain over-the-counter supplements are spiked with steroids.

To a large extent, our young people are motivated to do those things that they see their role models doing in order to make it to the top of whatever sport that they are playing.  Sadly, there have been too many examples of athletes who have sent the wrong signals to our kids.  None us have any trouble recalling examples of high profile athletes in various sports who have been caught using anabolic steroids.  Sadly, these examples have not been lost on our young people, and many of our kids have been getting the message that it’s okay for them to use PEDs.

The performance enhancing drug that is currently in vogue is Human Growth Hormone (HGH).  A number of elite athletes in various sports have been using these drugs because they work and there has been little risk of getting caught.  But, it appears that this situation may be changing.

The NFL recently completed negotiations of their collective bargaining agreement with the players union and their new agreement includes random testing for HGH.  This testing is intended to increase the price of cheating and chances of getting caught.  Ideally, it will deter the use of HGH by NFL players.

Perhaps more important than deterring use by players in the NFL is the signal that this move sends to our children.  By implementing professional sports’ first real HGH testing program, the NFL and players are sending a strong signal to youth football players that this behavior is not acceptable and that use of these drugs will result in serious punishment.

We at The Taylor Hooton Foundation applaud this move and are hopeful that this new program will be as successful as NFL leadership expects it to be.

Don Hooton is president of the Taylor Hooton Foundation.

About the Taylor Hooton Foundation: 

The Taylor Hooton Foundation is the only entity, public or private, in North America dedicated to educating young people and their adult influencers about the dangers of appearance and performance enhancing drugs. The Foundation has educated hundreds of thousands of people across the United States and Canada via their Hoot’s Chalk Talk programs. The Foundation was founded in 2004 in memory Taylor E. Hooton, a 17-year old student athlete from Plano, TX. Taylor committed suicide as a result of his anabolic steroid abuse.

For more information on The Taylor Hooton Foundation visit

NFL Supports Delaware in Signing of Senate Bill 111, Aimed at Protecting Young Athletes

The NFL offered its support and thanks to Delaware governor Jack Markell who will sign on August 30 a law that will protect young athletes.

The law, Senate Bill 111, mandates a more formal and aggressive approach to the management and treatment of concussions. The law stipulates that athletes, parents and coaches must be educated about the dangers of concussions each year and if the athlete is suspected of having a concussion, he/she must be removed from a game or practice and not be permitted to return to play. In addition, a licensed health care professional must clear the young athlete to return to play in the subsequent days or weeks. Coaches must also be trained in these new procedures.

The bill’s co-sponsors include Senator Bethany Hall-Long, Senator Joseph Booth, Representative Rebecca Walker and Representative Biff Lee. The new law will be implemented under the auspices of the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association.

Former Philadelphia Eagles player VINCE PAPALE, who inspired the movie Invincible, and NFL Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Public Policy JEFF MILLER will join Governor Markell at the signing on Tuesday.

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NFL and NFL Players Association to donate $1 million to 9/11 memorials and charities

The National Football League and the NFL Players Association will contribute $1 million to three memorials and two charities related to the events of September 11, 2001, it was announced today.

The first Sunday of the NFL regular season falls on the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001.

The NFL and NFLPA will contribute $500,000 to the 9/11 Museum & Memorial in Lower Manhattan, and $250,000 to be divided between the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, PA and the Pentagon Memorial Fund in Washington, D.C.

In addition, the NFL and NFLPA will donate all proceeds from the sale of auction items from games played on Sunday, September 11.  These items, which fans can bid on at, will include game-worn autographed player jerseys, coaches and player hats, and commemorative game coins used during those games.

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Preseason concludes with three national TV games and final roster cuts

Colts at Bengals, Broncos at Cardinals and Raiders at Seahawks will air live on NFL Network

It’s the final week of the preseason and young players around the league know this is their time to shine.

With final NFL roster cuts to 53 players this Saturday, this week’s games are a last chance for many players to make their team’s roster. The starters are basically set throughout the league as are the key backup positions. It’s the “bubble” players who are out to impress.

“The young guys in the NFL, they know this is their game,” says ESPN analyst and former NFL head coach HERM EDWARDS. “It’s real important for a young player and a rookie trying to make a team.”

For many of these young players, they know this is their last opportunity to make the final 53. 

The final week of the preseason features three games on national TV as NFL Network delivers all the action.

Thursday night, September 1, will showcase a doubleheader. The Indianapolis Colts will visit the Cincinnati Bengals in the early matchup (7:00 PM ET) and the Arizona Cardinals will host the Denver Broncos in the nightcap (10:00 PM ET). On Friday, NFL Network will bring fans live coverage when the Seattle Seahawks welcome the Oakland Raiders to town (10:30 PM ET).





Thursday, September 1

Indianapolis at Cincinnati

7:00 PM



Denver at Arizona

10:00 PM


Friday, September 2

Oakland at Seattle

10:30 PM


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“NFL Kickoff 2011 presented by EA Sports” to celebrate start of the NFL season and Green Bay Packers Super Bowl Championship Thursday, September 8

Show to feature performances by Kid Rock,  Lady Antebellum &  Maroon 5

NBC/NFL Network Special On Sept. 8, 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. ET

Precedes NFL Kickoff Game:

It’s time to get Back To Football as the NFL begins its 92nd season with an unprecedented celebration in its special pregame show, “NFL KICKOFF 2011 PRESENTED BY EA SPORTS” – 7:30 PM ET Thursday, September 8.  KID ROCK, LADY ANTEBELLUM and MAROON 5 are scheduled to perform.

There will be simulcast coverage of the 60-minute pregame show from Lambeau Field which will air from 7:30 – 8:30 PM ET on NBC and NFL Network.  The live pregame broadcast also will be available via NFL Mobile only from Verizon.

The musical performances are part of the celebration to kick off the 2011 season and to honor the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers.  This is the 10th consecutive Kickoff celebration to start the season and the eighth consecutive year the NFL has saluted the Super Bowl champions with the opening game in their stadium on a Thursday in primetime.

The show leads into the season opener between the Packers and the New Orleans Saints at Lambeau Field (NBC, Westwood One Radio Sports, 8:30 PM ET). 

For the complete release click here

Unprecedented Full-Season Wiring of Patriots’ Bill Belichick Highlights Series Debut of ‘A Football Life’ on NFL Network

From the Shores of Nantucket to the Halls of Patriot Place, NFL Films-Produced Two-Part Documentary takes a Look at the Life of

NFL’s Winningest Active Head Coach

‘Bill Belichick: A Football Life’ Premieres Thursday, September 15 at 9:00 PM ET

While the Patriots’ Lombardi Trophies speak for themselves, NFL fans can now get an intimate on- and off-the-field look at New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick, who in 2009 was the first person ever wired for an entire season by NFL Films.

On Thursday, September 15 at 9:00 PM ET, part I of Bill Belichick: A Football Life debuts exclusively on NFL Network with part II airing in the series’ regular time slot of Thursday, September 22 at 10:00 PM ET. Belichick is the first subject of a new series by the Emmy Award-winning producers at NFL Films, offering untold stories into the lives of some the NFL’s most recognizable icons. Each documentary provides unprecedented access to each featured individual to tell the story of how their legacy is forever intertwined in the fabric of NFL history.

 “Bill Belichick doesn’t only make history – he studies it; he understands his place in it; and he appreciates our desire to capture it,” said NFL Films President Steve Sabol. “Like Vince Lombardi’s Packers in 1967, Belichick and the Patriots gave us access to his football life and what we created is a portrait of the coach, the father, the taskmaster – and most importantly – the man.”
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NFL Network to nationally televise rescheduled Jets-Giants game live Monday at 7 PM ET

The New York Jets at New York Giants preseason Week 3 matchup rescheduled for 7:00 PM ET Monday, August 29 will air LIVE on NFL Network (except in the New York market where it will be broadcast over-the-air on WNBC Channel 4).

The game has been postponed until Monday, Aug. 29 at 7:00 PM ET due to Hurricane Irene.

NFL Network will show WNBC’s telecast with Bob Papa and Giants Hall of Fame linebacker Harry Carson calling the action on a game with storylines that include Jets wide receiver Plaxico Burress facing his former team for the first time. Former Giants tight end Howard Cross and Bruce Beck are sideline reporters.

NFL Network’s live preseason game coverage continues Saturday at 7:30 PM as host Rich Eisen and analysts Marshall Faulk and Warren Sapp provide live look-ins of nine games on Around the League: Preseason 2011.
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Giants-Jets game moved to Monday night at 7:00 PM ET

The Giants-Jets game, originally scheduled for tomorrow (Saturday, Aug. 27), has been postponed until Monday, Aug. 29 at 7 p.m. due to Hurricane Irene.

 “Along with the NFL office and the Jets, we have closely monitored the hurricane and the forecast and its potential impact on our area for the past several days,” said Giants President and CEO John Mara. “After conferring with (New Jersey) Governor (Chris) Christie, (Jets owner) Woody Johnson and (NFL) Commissioner (Roger) Goodell, we have determined the best course of action for the safety and well being of all is to move the game to Monday night.”

NFL announces plans for fans to attend “NFL Kickoff 2011” in Green Bay Thursday, Sept. 8

“NFL Kickoff 2011” Precedes NFL Kickoff Game:  New Orleans Saints Vs. Green Bay Packers

Media May Apply for Concert Credentials at

The NFL announced today ways for NFL fans that will be in Green Bay to be part of NFL KICKOFF 2011 Presented by EA SPORTS at Brown County Veterans Memorial Plaza adjacent to Lambeau Field on Thursday, September 8.

The NFL will get back to football and ring in its 92nd season with an unprecedented celebration of the Green Bay Packers Super Bowl XLV championship. There will be a concert from a stage outside of Lambeau Field as well as a screening of “America’s Game: 2010 Green Bay Packers” as part of the event.  More details about the concert, including musical acts, will be announced shortly.
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