The Haggar Gold Jacket Report is a weekly update on recent news surrounding the very select group of men who’ve earned a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver JERRY RICE has joined the National Football League and Xbox 360 with the goal of fighting childhood obesity. The "60 Million Minutes Challenge" program hopes to encourage 1 million youngsters to become more active. As part of the NFL's PLAY 60 program the new initiative will make the participating children pledge to be active for 60 minutes every day.
"To reverse the trend of childhood obesity, we need to continue to educate kids and parents about the importance of 60 minutes of daily activity," Rice said. "That's what's great about Kinect for Xbox 360. It gets kids off the couch and gets their whole body in the game.
More than 1,500 PLAY 60 youth events have been organized and the league has built more than 100 youth fitness zones. But that touches only a small segment of the population compared to what this program can attract.
"This is something I am very enthusiastic about," said Dr. Bill Crounse, a family physician and now Microsoft's senior director or worldwide health. "Since I started as a physician in the early 1980s, we have seen about a tripling of the number of kids overweight or of childhood obesity ... and it has to do with inactivity. I reflect back to when I was growing up and kids were always running around. This is a way of getting kids and their families more motivated to get active."
An announcement was made this week that a monument honoring Pro Football Hall of Fame running back FRANCO HARRIS’ “Immaculate Reception” will be constructed at the very spot where he made his improbable touchdown catch at Three Rivers Stadium on Dec. 23, 1972. The bronze monument will be located between Heinz Field and Stage AE, and is scheduled to be unveiled Dec. 22, one day before the 40th anniversary of one of the most memorable plays in pro football history.
Harris will then be honored the following day by the Pittsburgh Steelers during a halftime ceremony as the Steelers host the Cincinnati Bengals.
“This year marks the 40th anniversary of the ‘Immaculate Reception’ and it will forever have a place in all of our memories,” Steelers president Art Rooney II said in a statement issued Tuesday by the team. “Over the years, I have had many fans tell me we should do something to commemorate the exact location of Franco Harris’ catch.”
The monument, to be funded by donations, will be sculpted and cast by Matthews International and will be presented by specialty metals producer ATI.
Each year Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker NICK BUONICONTI brings together a multitude of people that range from celebrities and sports legends to corporate leaders for the Great Sports Legends Dinner. This year marked the 27th year of this event and the guest total reached an impressive1,400 people wanting to help contribute to The Buoniconti Fund which is dedicated to finding a cure for paralysis through research called The Miami Project.
"For 27 years, our researchers at The Miami Project have made great discoveries and significant strides, resulting from the funds raised each year at the Great Sports Legends Dinner," said Buoniconti. "I am overwhelmed and humbled by the compassion and support for this cause which is so meaningful to my family and me. Through this event and the efforts of the organization, our researchers now have the means to conduct the first-ever, FDA-approved, human clinical trial using the patient's own Schwann cells – paving the way to find a cure for paralysis."
The event took place at New York's famed Waldorf-Astoria hotel and was hosted once again by NBC sports icon Bob Costas. This year’s event raised nearly $18 million. And since its inception in 1985, the annual event has raised nearly $93 million for The Miami Project's spinal cord industry research programs.
Some of the notable celebrities and sports legend who were paid tribute to at the dinner for their philanthropic giving to those affected by spinal cord injuries were: Shaquille O'Neal, Joe Torre, MARSHALL FAULK, Tony Perez, Mark Martin and Lisa Leslie.
Other notables in attendance included: Danny Glover, Walt 'Clyde' Frazier, Laila Ali, Olympian Bonnie Blair, Mark Rypien and HARRY CARSON.
Links Related to this story:
HOF Bios: Nick Buoniconti | Harry Carson | Marshall Faulk | Franco Harris | Jerry Rice
More: Immaculate Reception
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