Teams participate in 10th annual United Way Hometown Huddle

NFL players, coaches and executives are spreading the word on the importance of health and fitness today during a league-wide day of service. During the 10th annual United Way Hometown Huddle, a series of volunteer projects implemented on the same day in NFL cities nationwide, teams will be rebuilding playgrounds, hosting youth football clinics and helping kids stay active for 60 minutes a day, as part of NFL PLAY 60, the league's youth health-and-fitness campaign.

Designed to tackle childhood obesity, NFL PLAY 60 brings together the NFL's long-standing commitment to health and fitness with an impressive roster of partner organizations -- Action for Healthy Kids, Ad Council, American Heart Association, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Home Depot, HOPSports, Kellogg's, JC Penney, National Dairy Council, Nickelodeon, Nike, United Way and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Since the program was launched last year, the NFL has committed $90 million to youth health and fitness through programming, grants and media time for public service announcements.

"Our players recognize the value of staying healthy and it's important that young fans also understand the benefits of exercise," said commissioner Roger Goodell, who will participate in a league office Hometown Huddle event today in Manhattan, in partnership with the United Way of New York City. "PLAY 60 is a significant tool in ensuring children get their necessary daily physical activity."

The 10th Annual Hometown Huddle is part of United Way's nationwide call-to-action for individuals to LIVE UNITED™ -- to give, advocate and volunteer on issues relating to education, income or health. United Way has declared bold, 10-year goals in each of those three areas. In the area of health, the goal is to increase by one-third the percentage of healthy youth and adults by 2018. Preventing and controlling childhood obesity is one aspect of meeting this goal.

As part of the day's focus on fitness, teams will engage their communities with the following events:

Arizona Cardinals*: On October 21, Cardinals players will build four fitness stations on the property of a lower-income housing complex and teach local kids fitness drills on their new equipment.

Atlanta Falcons: Every Falcons player will participate in physical fitness and nutrition activities at local United Way facilities.

Baltimore Ravens:Ravens players, including Le'Ron McClain and Daniel Wilcox, will join Sandtown Habitat for Humanity in refurbishing homes. The team's charitable arm will present $25,000 to the nonprofit, a charitable partner for whom the team has pledged consistent financial and volunteer support.

Buffalo Bills*: On October 14, the Bills will partner with HOPSports, an interactive fitness training system for kids for their Hometown Huddle event. Bills players will help children at a local school learn how to use the training system and will discuss the importance of health, nutrition and staying active.

Carolina PanthersPanthers players will host a day of rafting and outdoor activities at the U.S. National Whitewater Center with local children from the YWCA, followed by dinner with the players and cheerleaders.

Chicago Bears: The Bears will host a ribbon cutting of a Bears Fitness Zone and engage kids in an interactive mini-camp with Bears players.

Cincinnati Bengals:Bengals players will install a youth fitness course at College Hill Pool and Park.

Cleveland Browns:Browns players, executives and staff will join other community volunteers for a day-long project to create an outdoor play area and indoor fitness zone for children with autism at the Bellefaire Monarch School.

Dallas Cowboys: The Dallas Cowboys Rookie Club will be joined by United Way of Tarrant County volunteers to paint the space of the future Cowboys Youth Fitness Zone at The Salvation Army Arlington Corps.

Denver Broncos*: On October 14, Broncos players will host a fun walk at the stadium with children from Boys & Girls Clubs of metro Denver.

Detroit Lions:Lions players including Mike Furrey, Jason Hanson, Calvin Johnson and Roy Williams will participate in fitness activities with local kids and also will refurbish a fitness room at a Boys & Girls Club. The United Way and the Lions will also donate a HOPSports Training System to the club.

Green Bay Packers:PackersWill Blackmon, Daryn Colledge, Ryan Grant, Tony Moll, Charlie Peprah, Jason Spitz, Brett Swain and Tracy White will be unveiling a playground installed by the team at Beaumont Elementary School.

Houston Texans*: On October 14, the Texans 2008 Rookie Class will visit the Youngblood Intermediate School and introduce students to basic concepts of health and fitness through the HOPSports program. Players will encourage students to adopt healthy lifestyles, succeed in school and set positive life goals.

Indianapolis Colts: The team will be hosting a fitness/nutrition event at the John H. Community Center and will provide area students with information on the importance of staying fit and eating right.

Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jaguars will pay tribute to the 2008 Beijing Olympics with Olympic style games and relays with community agencies located in the Jacksonville area.

Kansas City Chiefs: More than 200 volunteers will join Chiefs players as they construct a playground for Operation Breakthrough in a single day.

Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins will work with the Transitional Independent Living Initiative to fund fitness equipment and park rentals. Dolphins players and cheerleaders will spend time with local kids, and will discuss the importance of youth health and fitness.

Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings will conduct a household goods and clothing drive and encourage people to donate their old workout gear as a way to encourage everyone to engage in an active lifestyle.

New England Patriots: Together with the United Way of Rhode Island, the Patriots will launch a HOPSports program with the Boys and Girls Club of East Providence. Players will teach the children about nutrition and fitness.

New Orleans Saints: The Saints will emphasize the importance of youth fitness by working to 'jump start' a local school's physical education department. Saints players will be paired up with 48 students to build and paint picnic tables and benches to beautify the school's new courtyard. Afterward, the students and players will participate in a Field Day.

New York Giants: Together with the United Way of Bergen County, Giants players will conduct a playground build at the Vincent Tibbs Community Center in Englewood, NJ.

New York Jets: Erik Ainge, Jehuu Caulcrick, Kenwin Cummings, James Dearth, Vernon Gholston, Marcus Henry, Dustin Keller, Dwight Lowery and Ropati Pitoitua will renovate a park in their new hometown of Florham Park, N.J.

Oakland Raiders:Raiders players will talk about the importance of staying active at the Tassafaronga Recreation Center.

Philadelphia Eagles:Eagles players build a youth fitness zone at a local United Way organization featuring STRIVE Kids Equipment.

Pittsburgh Steelers*: On October 14, the Steelers are building a youth fitness zone at a Salvation Army in Homestead, QB Charlie Batch's hometown and an underserved part of Pittsburgh. Players will show the children how to use their new equipment.

St. Louis Rams*:Rams players, off-duty military personnel and Scott AFB Youth Center staff will provide local kids with health and fitness instruction on October 14. They will share examples of ways they can be active for at least 60 minutes daily.

San Diego Chargers: Players and cheerleaders will spend the day raising funds for a local children's hospital.

San Francisco 49ers:49ersVernon Davis, Isaac Bruce, Nate Clements, Donald Strickland, Kentwan Balmer, Bryant Johnson, Michael Lewis, Ahmad Brooks and Atiyyah Ellison will be revamping the play area at a community center that targets low income youth in the Mission District of San Francisco.

Seattle Seahawks*: On October 21, Seahawks players will be joined by their mascot and the Sea Gals at First Place School, an elementary school and social services agency for children and families struggling with the risks and realities of homelessness. The team will be purchasing physical activity equipment for the school.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers:Buccaneers players, cheerleaders and mascot will present the HOPSports Training System to the Interbay Boys and Girls Club in Tampa. Players will speak on the importance of health and nutrition and participate in the new interactive fitness training system with the children.

Tennessee Titans: The Titans will host kids for a day of play at Martha O'Bryan Center, an inner-city non-profit agency that focuses on after-school programs. Titans players, led by LB David Thornton, will speak with kids about the importance of physical fitness through the Play 60/What Moves U program. In addition, the players, along with Titans cheerleaders, will join the youth at various fitness stations using Action for Healthy Kids Re-Charge kits.

Washington Redskins:Redskins players including Santana Moss, James Thrash, Malcolm Kelly, Kareem Moore, Justin Tryon, Matt Sinclair, and Ladell Betts will promote youth health and fitness through the installation of two HOPSports Fitness Training System for local kids in Alexandria, VA and Prince George's County, MD.

  • indicates date exception because of team conflict or bye week
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Los Angeles Raiders running back Marcus Allen (32) looks on during pregame warmups before the NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks on Oct. 25, 1992 in Los Angeles. The Cowboys won the game 28-13. (AP Photo/Paul Spinelli)

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