The National Football League and its teams will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 - October 15) with a series of special events focused in week 3 of the season.
All NFL teams will enhance the celebration with local efforts throughout the month including designated home games with in-stadium themed elements and local community outreach in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.
For the 2013 celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the NFL, Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) and Courtyard by Marriott have partnered for the third annual NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Awards. The awards recognize the contributions of Hispanic leaders in each NFL market. Each award recipient will be recognized in-stadium at a Hispanic Heritage game in their local market and will select an organization of their choice that serves the local Hispanic community to receive a $2,000 donation.
The NFL is also teaming up with United Way and local teams for a series of NFL PLAY 60 youth service projects in Chicago, Denver and Philadelphia to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. The legacy projects are designed to provide kids in predominately Hispanic communities with opportunities to increase physical activity and learn more about healthy food options. (See chart for event details in Chicago, Denver and Philadelphia).
In Denver, the Broncos and the NFL will co-host an NFL PLAY 60 Character Camp featuring Hall of Fame offensive tackle Anthony Muñoz at the Broncos Training Facility as part of the team's Hispanic Heritage Month celebration on September 22. NFL PLAY 60 Character Camps were held in 12 NFL markets this summer and are presented in partnership with the Muñoz Agency and USA Football. The camps are part of the NFL's year-round Hispanic outreach initiative, focused on offering youth opportunities to play and experience the game of football while emphasizing exercise and reinforcing the importance of character in athletics and life.
Throughout Hispanic Heritage Month, fans can visit www.NFL.com/HispanicHeritage for a look at the personal stories of Hispanic players in the NFL.
A national spotlight will shine on the NFL's celebration during Thursday Night Football, Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football broadcasts which will highlight in-stadium elements as well as community events.
The Chicago Bears face the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night, September 22 (8:30 PM ET, NBC) with Telemundo's sportscasters Rene Giraldo and Edgar Lopez providing coverage in Spanish via SAP. Twelve year old Paola Guanche, winner of the 2013 season of Telemundo's La Voz Kids (The Voice), will perform the national anthem. Guanche has a musical library with 15 songs of her own that she has composed.
The Oakland Raiders visit the Denver Broncos on Monday, September 23 (8:30 PM ET, ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes Radio). The broadcast team for ESPN Deportes, the official Spanish-language television home for all Monday Night Football games, will feature Spanish-language Emmy-nominated play-by-play voice Álvaro Martín, analyst and former NFL kicker Raúl Allegre, and sideline reporter John Sutcliffe. The Broncos will recognize the 2012 NFL Tochito flag football championship team from Coahuila, Mexico during pregame. The team will serve as special guest coaches during the NFL PLAY 60 Character Camp in Denver.
On Saturday, September 28, Telemundo will air a NFL Hispanic Heritage Month special, Fútbol Americano Celebrando el Mes de la Herencia Hispana, at 4:00 PM/3:00 PM Central highlighting the NFL's Hispanic players.
Beginning September 20, fans will have an opportunity to enter the NFL Game Time Ritual Contest and Sweepstakes Presented by Courtyard by Marriott on www.NFL.com/espanol, the official Spanish-language website of the NFL, powered by Univision.com. Fans can enter for a chance to win a trip to Super Bowl XLVIII by explaining how they prepare for game time and submitting photos depicting their ritual.
Team events include:
Arizona Carindals - In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Arizona Cardinals will host a Cardinals Kids Camp for Chicanos Por La Causa and reading events including Cardinals players for Friendly House, a non-profit organization that offers programs in early childhood development, youth education services, family and crisis services, workforce development, adult education, homecare for the elderly, and immigration and citizenship services. The Cardinals presented Gary L. Trujillo with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award during pregame of the September 15 contest against the Detroit Lions. Cardinals Spanish Speaking cheerleader Carla was recognized as Cheerleader of the Week on the Cheerleaders Spotlight. Hispanic Heritage messaging and imagery from past events will be displayed on Facebook.com/AZCardenales, the Cardinals Spanish-language Facebook page.
Atlanta Falcons - The Atlanta Falcons are joining the NFL's celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month by hosting a football camp at the Walters Boys & Girls Club in Gainesville, GA for Hispanic youth on September 24. The camp will be led by USA Football Master Trainer and former Falcons linebacker Buddy Curry. The children will learn the new Heads Up Football techniques and participate in a variety of drills assisted by Falcons players. The celebration continues on September 29 when the Falcons present Tisha Tallman with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award and have 60 teachers from a predominantly Hispanic local school serve as the Flag Crew during pregame introductions.
Baltimore Ravens - The Baltimore Ravens will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by hosting a youth football clinic for 150 predominately Hispanic children at Bonvegna Field on September 17. The Ravens will also recognize Dr. Elizabeth Morgan with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award during the September 22 game, as well as highlighting her achievements in the gameday program.
Buffalo Bills - The Buffalo Bills will present the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award to Lucy Candelario, Executive Director of the Belle Center in Buffalo, NY at their game against Baltimore on September 29. The on-field ceremony will be shown on the Diamond Vision Scoreboard in front of fans at Ralph Wilson Stadium prior to kickoff. Additional elements of the Bills Hispanic Heritage Month celebration include the donation of game tickets, as well as Fútbol Americano t-shirts and footballs, to the Belle Center in Buffalo on behalf of Bills Linebacker Kiko Alonso. The Bills will also place Hispanic Heritage Month banners on the stadium ringwall, include a full page Hispanic Heritage Month advertisement in the game program, make P.A. announcements in regards to Hispanic Heritage Month throughout the game and recap the announcement of Lucy Candelario's Leadership Award with stories in Bills Digest and on BuffaloBills.com.
Chicago Bears - In Celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Bears participated in Fiestas Patrias at River Edge Park on September 13. Elements included the promotion of the Bears Spanish language play-by-play Broadcast team and Vamos Bears movement. Vamos Bears t-shirts and magnets were distributed and signs were on display. The Bears honored NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award recipient, Carmen Velásquez, during their September 15 contest against the Minnesota Vikings. On September 17, the Bears are teaming up with United Way of Metropolitan Chicago and the Brighton Park Neighborhood Council to provide Thomas Kelly High School with a renovated fitness center utilized by the school's sports teams and P.E. classes. Bears player Roberto Garza will join the school's varsity and junior-varsity football team for a morning of education, fun, and a little heavy lifting. Garza will facilitate a morning pep talk on the importance of healthy living and education, followed by painting of the fitness center and a demonstration of his favorite strength-training moves with the high school players. The updated fitness center, once complete, will house new weight equipment as well as freshly-painted walls showing off the school's colors. Additional events hosted by the Bears in celebration included the Grito de Indepencia at Petrillo Shell on September 15 and a Children's Memorial Radiothon in October.
Cincinnati Bengals - The Cincinnati Bengals will honor Dr. Liliana Rojas-Guyler, Associate Professor of Health Promotion and Education at the University of Cincinnati, with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award at their game on September 22. Rojas-Guyler will serve as honorary captain and will be introduced on the field prior to the coin toss. In addition, participants from the NFL PLAY 60 Character Camp that was held in at Paul Brown Stadium in June will be recognized on the field pregame as the Bengals celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.
Cleveland Browns - The Cleveland Browns will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by hosting a PLAY 60 event for students from Walton School on September 17. Browns players and students will participate in relay races and other physical activities in order to help the youth learn the importance of exercising at least 60 minutes a day. The Browns will present Victor Ruiz with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award and continue the celebration with in-stadium activations on September 29 when the Browns square off against the Bengals.
Dallas Cowboys - In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Dallas Cowboys will present Carlos A. Branger with the Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award during pregame of the Cowboys contest on September 22. Additionally, there will be a presentation of Latin American flags during the national anthem. Ballet Folkorico Dancers, Mariachi performers and the Salvador Santana Band will be stationed around the stadium plazas on gameday.
Denver Broncos - The Denver Broncos and Mile High United Way teamed up with Playtime and Scholastic to develop an innovative "Play and Read" room at Greenlee Elementary School in one of the state's highest need communities. The school serves over 90% Latino families and has 100% free and reduced lunch rate. The room features Playtime's kid-friendly flooring and interactive, soft play equipment as well as 800 new books from Scholastic. In addition, each student will receive a $7 voucher to purchase a book during the Scholastic Book Fair and the school will receive $1,400 to purchase additional books. Broncos players, Miles, the Broncos mascot and the Denver Broncos Cheerleaders will be on hand at the September 18 event with kids participating in PLAY 60 activities. While the kids are playing, parents will participate in a Scholastic presentation (in English and Spanish) on developing successful readers. Broncos players are scheduled to attend and read stories with kids rounding out a full day of learning and physical activity. On September 19, the Broncos will host Broncos en Español at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos will continue their celebration by presenting Jim Garcia with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award on September 23 when Denver faces off against the Oakland Raiders.
Detroit Lions - The Detroit Lions will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month on September 29 by highlighting the many contributions of Southwest Detroit-which possesses some of the strongest Hispanic and Latino neighborhoods and commercial districts in the city-including the historic Mexicantown. The Lions will honor long-time community volunteer, Mary Puente Luevanos, specifically for her volunteer work at Young Nation, a non-profit organization based in Southwest Detroit that promotes holistic development of youth in urban settings through building relationships, community education, and passion-driven projects, with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award. Luevanos provides free weekly art workshops for Detroit youths. Mary will be honored with a special presentation by Lions CFO Luis Perez during a pregame sideline ceremony. Close to ninety youths from Southwest Detroit will comprise the upper fan tunnel cheering on the team as they enter Ford Field.
Houston Texans - The Texans will honor Hispanic Heritage Month by hosting the annual Hispanic Heritage Day game presented by XFINITY on September 29. The game will be headlined by Ballet Folkloric and Mariachi Band performances at halftime. Grammy award winners La Mafia will lead the Texans out of the tunnel prior to team introductions as the Home Field Advantage Captain for the game. Flamenco and castanet dancers will perform at stadium entrances, and members of the Texans Hispanic Fan Club, Toros Bravos presented by Verizon, will hold the Texas flag during pregame festivities. Karina Iglesias, who starred on NBC's hit show The Voice, will perform the national anthem. During halftime, the Texans will recognize Rick Noriega, President & CEO of Avance Inc., as the recipient of the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award. On September 24, Houston Texans players and cheerleaders will hold a family education night about health and nutrition at Avance, an organization that strengthens families in at-risk communities through effective parent education and support programs. Additionally, members of the Texans Hispanic Fan Club, Toros Bravos, will hold a volunteer event at the Houston Food Bank to help hungry families in Houston.
Indianapolis Colts - The Indianapolis Colts celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month by hosting a free youth football camp and recognizing local members of the Indianapolis Hispanic community. The team opened up the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center to more than 200 youth on September 10 for a free football clinic. Colts players, along with Mascot Blue, were on hand to interact with the students and help them run through football drill stations. On September 21, the Colts will join La Plaza for FIESTA Indianapolis at the American Legion Mall in downtown Indianapolis. The Colts PLAY 60 Zone will be on-site to allow children to run through football drills. Colts Cheerleaders will also make a special appearance. The Indianapolis Colts continued their celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month at their game on September 15 by presenting the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award to Juan Gonzalez, local community leader and financial services professional, during pregame.
Kansas City Chiefs - In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month and to help kickoff the Kansas City Chiefs Art Program, the Chiefs linebackers will host youth from the Guadalupe Center's Alta Vista Middle School on an educational field trip to Arrowhead Stadium on September 24. Paired with members of the Chiefs linebacking corps, these youth will receive an exclusive tour of the initial 11 pieces in the Chiefs Art Program housed on the Scout Investments Club Level. Led by Paul Dorrell, this tour will also include an appearance by Adolfo Martinez, a local Latino artist who is featured in the exhibit. Martinez will discuss how local Hispanic artists are impacting Kansas City. The Chiefs will continue the celebration at their game on September 29 when they honor Juan Sepúlveda with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award.
Miami Dolphins - The Miami Dolphins launched their celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month by hosting "Football Fiesta", a community activation event at Dolphin Mall. On September 22, world renowned Chef Michelle Bernstein will be honored for her commitment to the local Hispanic community and presented with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award when the Dolphins square off against the Falcons. Additional in-game elements include the national anthem performance by Latin Grammy and Latin Billboard Award winning singer and songwriter Luis Fonsi, Latin inspired music during pregame, appearances by DJ personalities and giveaways from four local Hispanic radio stations. The Dolphins will also host a Scholastic Read & Rise event at Lloyd Estates Elementary School on September 24.
Minnesota Vikings - The Minnesota Vikings will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month on September 17 when Vikings players Robert Blanton, Greg Childs, A.J. Jefferson, Josh Robinson, Jerome Simpson and Adam Thielen, along with Vikings Cheerleaders and Viktor the Viking, visit Partnership Academy in Richfield. The Vikings Fútbol Americano PLAY 60 clinic will feature Vikings players and members of the Sanneh Foundation. In addition to putting the 4th and 5th graders through various football and soccer drills, Vikings players will stress the importance of education at the college level and recognize the school's leadership Stand Up club. The Vikings will continue their celebration by presenting Ruby Azurdia-Lee with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award at their game on September 22.
New England Patriots - The New England Patriots will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by honoring Gladys Vega as their NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award winner during the pregame ceremony of the September 22 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Robert Kraft, CEO and Chairman of the New England Patriots and Andre Tippett, Executive Director of the New England Patriots Charitable Foundaiton and Pro Football Hall of Famer, will be present Vega with a commemorative check on the sidelines. Additionally, Vega will be featured in the Patriots Spanish-language newsletter and gameday magazine.
New Orleans Saints - The New Orleans Saints will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at their September 30 game with Hispanic Heritage-themed electronic messaging throughout the game and on-field signage as well. Volunteers of LatiNOLA will participate as one of the gameday volunteer crews and will receive tickets to the game. During a pregame on-field recognition, the Saints will honor David Gallegos, Program Director of the Advocacy Center and Board Member of both Puentes New Orleans & Language Access Coalition, as their NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award recipient.
New York Jets - The New York Jets will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at their game on September 22 against the Buffalo Bills presented by JetBlue Airways. Popular singer, songwriter and WWE personality Lillian Garcia will sing the national anthem. The JetBlue Hispanic Heritage Punt Challenge will be featured as the halftime performance. Select fans will have the opportunity to win round trip airfare to one of the following locations based on how far they kick the ball: Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Liberia, Costa Rica; or Cartagena, Columbia. Additionally, Mariachi bands will be featured throughout the stadium and the food item of the week will be of Hispanic flavor. The Jets will present Martin Perez with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award. Jets Hispanic Heritage Day is presented by JetBlue Airways and El Diario.
Oakland Raiders - The Oakland Raiders will kick off Hispanic Heritage Month with a Gatorade Junior Training Camp event at their Alameda practice facility for 50 local students on September 24. The Raiders will continue to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month on September 29 with the 12th annual Fiesta Latina game. Fiesta Latina will offer a variety of Hispanic musical performances before the game, including mariachis and a traditional Ballet Folklorico show. Special events during the game include Spanish radio calls played in-stadium and the presentation of flags from Spanish speaking countries. The Raiders will also honor Alejandro Velez, Founder & Board Chairman of The Sage Mentorship Project Inc. and Co-Founder of Back To The Roots, with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award at the game.
Philadelphia Eagles - The Philadelphia Eagles and United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey teamed up with Green Light Pantry on September 10 to launch the grand opening of a food pantry that offers healthy food options in addition to providing free nutrition workshops, health screenings and other services. Green Light Pantry is located within Casa del Carmen, a multi-service center serving a large inner-city Hispanic demographic. Christina Weiss Lurie, President of the Philadelphia Eagles Youth Partnership, and award-winning Iron Chef, Jose Garces performed a cooking demonstration for Casa del Carmen families using foods available from the Green Light Pantry. Children benefiting from the pantry gathered closely as Chef Garces made Mexican salsa, guacamole and granola parfait. Later this month, the Eagles and United Way will build a raised-bed community garden on the Casa del Carmen grounds-an environment where local children can grow fresh produce, learn about its health benefits and ultimately taste the "fruits" of their labor. The effort is designed to encourage community members to adopt a healthier lifestyle. The Eagles will honor NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award recipient, Jennifer Rodriguez, during their September 19 contest against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Eagles will also host a Scholastic Read & Rise event at Cayuga Elementary School on September 24.
Pittsburgh Steelers - The Pittsburgh Steelers will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with a variety of elements throughout their September 22 game. Pregame performers include the California University of Pennsylvania Marching Band, as well as a Latin Salsa band and Mariachi band. Additionally, the Steelers will honor Lourdes Sanchez Ridge with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award. Paola Guanche, the winner of Telemundo's La Voz Kids, will sing the national anthem. Steelers Alumni player, Daniel Sepulveda, will serve as honorary co-captain.
St. Louis Rams - The St. Louis Rams will recognize Hispanic Heritage Month through the team's Staff Days of Service program. Since 2009 the St. Louis Rams have spent more than 7,500 hours volunteering in the St. Louis community through this program. Rams staff members will volunteer with Helping Hand Me Downs to deliver baby clothes, toys and other necessities to two Family Care Health Centers which serve approximately 2,200 members from the Hispanic community. As part of the Hispanic Heritage game, the Rams will recognize their NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award recipient, Guillermo Rodriguez, during the pregame of the September 26 contest. A feature on Rodriguez will also run in the gameday magazine, Rams Insider, and on the team website. A recap, written in Spanish, of the team's Hispanic Heritage plans will also run on both mediums.
San Diego Chargers - The San Diego Chargers will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at their September 29 game with pregame and halftime festivities. Pregame the team will honor the Tijuana Little League team who represented Mexico in the Little League World Series. Joining the presentation will be the Mayor of Tijuana. The Chargers will also honor Lidia Martinez, Manager, Corporate Community Affairs for Southwest Airlines, with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award. There will be halftime performances by Mariachi Real de San Diego and traditional ballet Folklorico dancers from Chula Vista. Prior to gameday, the Chargers will host a Scholastic Read & Rise event at Kimball Elementary School on September 17 and will also host a PLAY 60 Jr. Chargers Camp at King-Chávez Academy located in Barrio Logan. Both events are part of the team's annual celebration of Hispanic Heritage. Players Kendall Reyes and Donald Butler will join the students at Kimball Elementary on September 17, as will the Chargers Hispanic Heritage Award winner, Lidia Martinez. During that assembly, the players will challenge the students to exercise their minds and bodies and present a check for 400 books to Kimball's Principal, Sonia Ruan. For the Jr. Chargers PLAY 60 Camp on September 24, Chargers players DJ Fluker & Manti Te'o will be present to run King-Chavez's heavily Hispanic student population through fun health & fitness drills.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Tampa Bay Buccaneers players, cheerleaders and Captain Fear will join more than 100 youths at the Town 'n Country Boys & Girls Club for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Fútbol Americano Fiesta on September 24. The event will feature an opportunity for children to learn about Hispanic culture, while also infusing American Football instruction. On September 29, the Buccaneers will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at Raymond James Stadium. Jolie Gonzalez-Padilla, President of the Latin Times and Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Tampa, will be presented with the 2013 NFL Hispanic Leadership Award. The game will also feature a colorful display of support for the Hispanic countries that represent residents of the Bay Area.
Washington Redskins - In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Washington Redskins will present Gabriel Albornoz with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award during pregame on September 22. The Redskins will distribute Fútbol Americano merchandise to the Latin American Youth Center, the organization Albornoz selected to receive the Leadership Award donation. Additional elements of the Redskins Hispanic Heritage Month celebration included hosting a Read & Rise Scholastic Book Fair event at Kerrydale Elementary School in Woodbridge, VA, on September 13, utilizing the "Viva Los Redskins" fight song in-stadium and inserting a Spanish learning activity into the annual Redskins Read Activity Book.