The National Football League and NFL Players Association will support October's National Breast Cancer Awareness Month with their fourth-annual national breast cancer screening initiative and fundraising campaign. In collaboration with the American Cancer Society, the initiative, called "A Crucial Catch: Annual Screening Saves Lives," reminds women 40 and older about the importance of having an annual mammogram.
To date, the partnership has raised more than $3 million for the American Cancer Society, with the majority of the donation coming from the sale of pink items at retail and on NFL Auction. Beginning this year, money raised through A Crucial Catch will support the American Cancer Society's Community Health Advocates National Grants for Empowerment (CHANGE) program. This program provides outreach and breast cancer screenings to women who need them. The NFL markets being supported in the first year of the program are Atlanta, Baltimore, New England, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Seattle, and Washington, DC.
Beginning tonight and continuing throughout the month, NFL breast cancer awareness games will feature:
» Game balls with pink ribbon decals used for every down and pink kicking tees
» Pink equipment for players including: cleats, wristbands, gloves, sideline caps, helmet decals, captains' patches, chin straps, shoe laces, skull caps, sideline towels, eye shield decals and quarterback towels
» Pink coins used for the coin toss
» Pink sideline caps for coaches and sideline personnel and pink ribbon pins for coaches and team executives
» Pink caps, wristbands, whistles and pins for game officials
» On-field pink ribbon stencils and A Crucial Catch wall banners
» Pink goal post padding in end zones
» Breast cancer awareness pompoms, shirts and wristbands for cheerleaders
Game-worn pink merchandise and footballs will be autographed post-game and auctioned at NFL Auction (www.nfl.com/auction). All NFL Auction proceeds from the sale of breast cancer awareness items during the month of October will benefit the American Cancer Society. Special pink merchandise will also be available at www.NFLShop.com, www.neweracap.com, www.nike.com, in stadium retail stores, at Dick's Sporting Goods, Hatworld and Lids, with a portion of proceeds going to breast cancer charities.
The NFL and its teams will also be supporting The Tutu Project this year by providing photographer Bob Carey with access to select stadiums around the country to produce new images. Carey takes photographs of himself wearing a pink tutu in locations nationwide, with all net proceeds from the sale of his photos going to non-profits that support women with breast cancer. Carey's just-released book will be sold on NFL Auction, with proceeds going to the American Cancer Society. The New York Giants, Arizona Cardinals and Indianapolis Colts will be collaborating with Carey for his project this year. For more information, visit www.thetutuproject.com.
In 2011 alone, the NFL's A Crucial Catch campaign reached more than 151 million viewers, including 58 million women age 18 and older. The campaign's message is making a real impact-64% of NFL female fans and 61% of all NFL fans identify the importance of annual screenings, especially for women over 40, as the key message of the A Crucial Catch campaign.
Tanya Snyder, wife of Redskins owner Dan Snyder, Susie Spanos, wife of Chargers president Dean Spanos, and players including Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, Panthers tight end Greg Olsen and running back DeAngelo Williams have all embraced A Crucial Catch-each has been touched by breast cancer. In addition, Saints quarterback Drew Brees recently filmed a breast cancer awareness PSA with the American Cancer Society to show his support for A Crucial Catch.
During the primetime match-up on October 7 between the Saints and the Chargers (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC), the City of New Orleans will 'paint the town pink,' as the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, City Hall and other prominent areas will be lit pink. During the game, the Saints will provide pink rally towels to all fans in attendance, and breast cancer survivors will participate in halftime activities.
In addition, the Buffalo Bills will work with local organizations to light Niagara Falls pink in honor of the Billieve Breast Cancer Awareness program. The Falls will be illuminated pink on October 19. The Indianapolis Colts will work with the city to turn the canal that runs through downtown pink for the month of October, beginning with a special ceremony on October 5.
NFL Network's "A Football Life" series will feature former player Chris Spielman on October 31. Spielman's wife Stefanie, lost her battle with breast cancer in 2009. Spielman has devoted much of his post-football life to breast cancer awareness and fundraising.
The NFL and the American Cancer Society will extend A Crucial Catch to the youth and high school level again this year. With help from USA Football, Andy Reid, head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, sent a note to every youth and high school football coach across the country offering suggestions and ideas for how schools and teams can "go pink" along with the NFL and the American Cancer Society to show support for the cause. Coach Reid's late mother, Elizabeth, was a radiologist who treated many breast cancer patients, and his mother-in-law, Virginia Garrett, passed away from breast cancer. Interested schools and youth programs can visit cancer.org/coachestoolkit to get involved.
From cleats to gloves, towels to caps, NFL partners including Gatorade, Longaberger, Nike, Pro Specialties Group, Riddell, Under Armour and Wilson are creating pink merchandise for Breast Cancer Awareness games. Many other partners and licensees including, EA Sports, Panini and Topps will support A Crucial Catch through various products and promotions.
This year, Ticketmaster, ticket service provider to all 32 NFL clubs and the NFL Ticket Exchange, the official ticket exchange of the NFL, will contribute 10 cents for every NFL ticket sold during the month of October to the American Cancer Society, with a $40,000 limit. Additionally, Ticketmaster is printing pink tickets throughout the month to show its support for the cause. FOX broadcaster and Pro Football Hall of Fame member Troy Aikman, the official spokesperson of the NFL Ticket Exchange this season, will promote this joint effort and unveil the new pink ticket stock with Ticketmaster in Dallas, Texas.
Barclaycard will support A Crucial Catch throughout October with a contribution to the cause (up to $100,000) based on consumer spending using the NFL Extra Points credit card.
New Era will also donate women's hats to every club to be distributed to breast cancer survivors and worn during breast cancer awareness games.
Gatorade will again provide both on and off-the-field support for the cause. Pink towels will be used on the sidelines at every A Crucial Catch game. In addition, Gatorade is producing special edition A Crucial Catch bottles of 32oz. G Series Thirst Quencher that will be sold in Kroger stores nationwide through October 12.
PepsiCo and Kroger are once again partnering to attach real faces and star power to the campaign. Kroger-employed breast cancer survivors and New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez are once again featured in a PepsiCo product display, and are celebrated in Kroger's online community. Susie Spanos, wife of San Diego Chargers president Dean Spanos, and Houston Texans linebacker Bradie James will take part in the campaign as well.
In its first year as an NFL sponsor, Tide will be incorporating A Crucial Catch messaging throughout its ongoing "They're not just colors" NFL campaign.
Fans can visit www.NFL.com/pink to learn more about the campaign, the youth and high school football initiative, as well as important breast cancer detection information, prevention tips and how to participate in their local American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk.
NFL Players will be raising money for breast cancer awareness with collective and individual efforts across the country. Through the NFLPA's One Team for the Cure and their own foundations, players will host a variety of events and fundraisers in their team cities and home communities. More information can be found at www.nflplayers.com/About-us/One-Team-One-Community/.
Many teams will extend the national platform with local efforts, including the distribution of education cards and more than 850,000 pink ribbons facilitated by volunteers from Zeta Tau Alpha (ZTA) sorority chapters. Teams will designate home games in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and plan special in-stadium or pregame events with local organizations. Team events include:
The will provide custom pink jerseys, socks, wristbands, laces, towels and painted pink ribbon logos on the fields for Central High School and a youth football team. In addition, Cardinals players, in partnership with the American Cancer Society, will provide a luncheon at the ACS "Hope Lodge" for current breast cancer patients and their breast cancer survivor mentors. Breast cancer survivors be on the field during the National Anthem and perform a cheer routine at halftime at the Cardinals October 14 game. Tutu Project photographer Bob Carey will photograph himself during this game to raise funds for breast cancer awareness. His wife, a breast cancer survivor, will be included in the activities on field. Members of ZTA will be on hand along with local high school football players to collect donations and distribute pink ribbons to fans as they enter the stadium.
The Falcons will host a Dazzle & Dine event on October 2, treating breast cancer survivors to a day of pampering and a night of fine dining with Falcons players. During the Falcons breast cancer awareness game, the cheerleaders, operations crew, drumline and Freddie Falcon will dress in pink uniforms, Dazzle & Dine winners will be honored in a pregame ceremony, and the National Anthem will be performed by a breast cancer survivor. A large pink ribbon will be held by breast cancer survivors during the National Anthem, and the Falcons flag used for player introductions will be unfurled by breast cancer survivors. Halftime will feature a BMX stunt show with pink ramps and riders dressed in pink.
The Ravens will host an on-field survivor tribute prior to kickoff on October 14 and distribute more than 50,000 pink ribbons to fans as they enter the stadium. All survivors honored on-field will receive a pink Ravens t-shirt and breast cancer awareness hat from New Era. During the morning of October 14, "Team Purple" (comprised of Ravens fans, wives and staff members) will be participating in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. In partnership with the American Cancer Society, the Ravens will host a check presentation pregame to highlight funding the A Crucial Catch Campaign has provided to ACS in order to implement a mammography program for women in Harford County, Md. In addition, the Ravens and ACS volunteers will distribute boxes of birthday candles to fans as they leave the game. Ravens cheerleaders will also be in breast cancer awareness gear for the game and Baltimore's Marching Ravens will sport pink plumes.
The Buffalo Bills will hold their 7th Annual Billieve event on October 19 in Niagara Falls, NY to help raise awareness and money for the fight against breast cancer. The evening will be highlighted by a concert from national recording artist Belinda Carlisle as well as the International PINKTOBER Living Ribbon. The living ribbon will be formed by American and Canadian Breast Cancer supporters and will stretch from the border of the U.S. to Canada across the Rainbow Bridge. In addition to the live entertainment, much of Western New York will be "going pink," including the Falls themselves, which will be illuminated pink to help raise awareness for the cause.
On October 6, DEANGELO WILLIAMS, who pioneered the idea of NFL players wearing pink cleats 2009, will captain the "Williams Warriors" Komen for the Cure race team for the fourth consecutive year. On October 7, a group of 50 survivors representing Susan G. Komen Charlotte and the American Cancer Society will lead the team onto the field prior to the start of the game in the KEEP POUNDING Survivor Tunnel Run. Sandra Hill (DeAngelo Williams' mother) and Susan Olsen (GREG OLSEN'S mother), both of whom are breast cancer survivors, will also participate in the tunnel run and will serve as honorary Keep Pounding Drummers. TopCats cheerleaders will use pink poms, and ZTA will distribute 70,000 Think Pink! ribbons at the stadium gates.
Bears Care, the charitable beneficiary of the Chicago Bears, has been selling Real Bears Fans Wear Pink t-shirts and will continue throughout October. Net proceeds will be distributed to area programs providing care, assistance and support to breast cancer patients and their families. Fans are encouraged to wear the t-shirts to the October 22 game. Two Bears Care supporters will serve as honorary captains and participate in the coin toss. Flag-runners will be carrying special pink Bears flags that will be used during starting line-ups and every time the Bears score. Breast cancer survivors will help hold the 4th Phase flag prior to kick-off, and all 100 of the flag holders will be wearing pink New Era BCA hats. Volunteers from ZTA also will be handing out pink ribbons to fans.
The Bengals will have ZTA volunteers on-site distributing pink ribbons and information cards to fans as they enter the gates of Paul Brown Stadium. In the pre-game fan zone area (the Jungle Zone), there will be a Women's Services Van with volunteers distributing information, courtesy of team partner TriHealth. Pre-game, they will honor the Marvin Lewis Community Fund's Pink Football Award Winner with a special presentation. The winner also will deliver the pink coin to midfield for the coin toss.
The Browns breast cancer awareness games will be October 14. At the game, the Browns & ZTA will celebrate the 10th Anniversary of their partnership by providing fans with free Think Pink ribbons. Breast cancer survivors will join pregame festivities, including the gauntlet formation for player introductions. Survivors will also receive special New Era hats. In addition, on October 2, the Browns Women's Organization will host a 'pink tailgate party' at the Hope Lodge, which is funded by the American Cancer Society. In 2012, MIKE HOLMGREN and JOE THOMAS recorded PSAs on breast cancer awareness, while several players have been impacted by breast cancer including JOSH CRIBBS, PHIL DAWSON, SCOTT FUJITA and USAMA YOUNG.
Ambassador Nancy Brinker, Founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, will attend the Cowboys breast cancer awareness game tonight and speak to the 500 halftime participants touched by breast cancer prior to the game. Bank of America, the game's presenting sponsor, will pass out breast cancer awareness themed signs to fans as they enter the stadium and present a special halftime extravaganza that features approximately 250 breast cancer survivors from Komen for the Cure alongside 250 alumnae Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders in forming two "human" pink awareness ribbons on field. The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders will switch out one of the iconic blue stars from their uniform for a pink star for the game. The squad will also introduce a new Lucchese Boot which features a pink star and pink stitching and add a touch of pink to their traditional silver and blue poms. The team's iPromise merchandise line will be available exclusively at Old Navy stores across the nation, with proceeds benefiting Komen for the Cure.
A celebration of survivors in New Era breast cancer awareness caps is planned for half time at the Broncos October 28, complete with stadium-wide pink pompoms. These celebrated survivors will also be treated to a special pink champagne celebration pre-game before their half time recognition tribute. ZTA will be on site to distribute game day programs and pink ribbons. The Broncos will also field a race team for October 7 Race for the Cure and will be a partner of the annual Pink Tie Affair Gala on October 27.
The Lions will sponsor the ACS Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk on October 13 in Detroit. The Lions' Women's Association will participate in the walk. The team has dedicated its October 28 game as its A Crucial Catch game. Forty breast cancer survivors wearing Pink New Era caps will form a fan tunnel that players will run through during pregame introductions. ZTA sorority members will pass out THINK PINK ribbons as fans enter the stadium. ACS volunteers will have a table on the Ford Field concourse for the team's first three home games to promote breast cancer awareness and provide fans with information on screenings.
Green Bay Packers
The Packers will recognize breast cancer awareness month on October 28 with Lambeau Field and Packers players prominently featuring the color pink in several ways. Fans will receive pink Kohl's Cares rally towels as they enter the stadium. A group of 60 Breast Cancer survivors will be on the field making up the gauntlet for player introductions wearing pink. Halftime will feature Oneida Nation Dancers dressed in pink performing a healing dance, and pink ribbons will be unfurled on the field and pink balloons released by survivors and fans touched by cancer. Lights around the stadium will glow pink in the evenings the week leading up to the game. The game also will feature collegiate and alumnae members of ZTA distributing pink ribbons and information in the Lambeau Field parking lots. In addition, Packers coaches' and players' wives be participating in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Awareness Walk on October 13.
The Texans and Kroger will launch an online fundraiser today benefiting Susan G. Komen. Fans can make a monetary donation and get a chance to win Texans tickets for the Pink Ribbon game. On October 2, the Texans will hold our "Texans Tickled Pink Spa Day" where women undergoing breast cancer treatment and their caregivers will enjoy lunch, spa services and a Look Good, Feel Better presentation from the American Cancer Society. BRADIE JAMES will visit the spa day guests. On October 6, the Texans will be a sponsor at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. The team also will have more than 150 participants on the race team that day. During the team's Pink Ribbon game, they will recognize JANICE MCNAIR and DEBBIE PHILLIPS as the Home field Advantage Captains and Coin Toss Captains. Women undergoing breast cancer treatment and their caregivers will hold the Texas Flag and the Anthem singer will be Lyle Lovett. Kroger will do a stadium card stunt and "pink out" the crowd and ZTA sorority will hand out ribbons at the gates.
The Colts will kick off Breast Cancer Awareness month with a visit by players to the IU Simon Cancer Center on October 2. That week, the team will also turn Colts.com pink, host the "Pinking of the Canal" event on October 5 to dye Indianapolis' downtown canal pink and dedicate their October 7 game to breast cancer awareness. Gameday elements will include a pink ribbon passout, on-field recognition of nearly 150 breast cancer survivors and a special edition "pink" gameday program. Throughout the month the team will accept nominations for their "Pamper Her Pink" program to give breast cancer survivors and women currently the disease the opportunity to receive lunch with Colts players and a day of a pampering. The Colts mascot, Blue, will also turn pink for all of his appearances in October, and the Indianapolis Colts Women's Organization will have Limited Edition Colts Breast Cancer Awareness T-shirts for sale with all proceeds benefiting the IU Simon Cancer Center.
At their October 7 game, the Jaguars will be led out onto the field by a player carrying a pink breast cancer awareness flag. Pink ribbons providing breast cancer detection information will be given to fans. Pink caps, canvas bags and ladies tees also will be on sale. Cheerleaders will use pink poms. The American field flag will be held by 60 breast cancer survivors. The honorary captain will be a local breast cancer survivor.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs annual breast cancer awareness game presented by Hy-Vee and The University of Kansas Hospital will take place on October 7. Together with The University of Kansas Hospital, the team has identified over 50 breast cancer survivors who will participate in on-field pregame festivities. This includes displaying the large Arrowhead flag, participating in the game's honorary first pass along with Ambassador RB TONY REED and serving as the honorary captain for the coin-toss. Thanks to a partnership with New Era, these survivors will each wear special Chiefs-themed breast cancer awareness hats during those ceremonies. Also, as fans enter Arrowhead Stadium, they will receive a pink breast cancer awareness ribbon that will be distributed by members of the Chiefs Women's Organization as well as volunteers from ZTA. The team will sell pink merchandise in its Pro Shop on game days and through October. Proceeds will support The University of Kansas Hospital Cancer Center. Kcchiefs.com also will feature pink graphics.
Howard Mudd, former All-Pro OL and longtime NFL assistant coach, passes away at 78
Howard Mudd, a former NFL lineman who coached in the league for 38 seasons, passed away Wednesday, his family announced. Mudd was surrounded by family after suffering multiple injuries from a motorcycle accident in late July. He was 78.