CAROLINA: Three Panthers – linebacker THOMAS DAVIS, wide receiver KENNETH MOORE and guard TRAVELLE WHARTON – helped commemorate Read Across America Day by reading to students at First Ward Elementary School in Charlotte. “It felt great to come here, help these kids out and show them that there are things they can do to lead them to bigger things,” said
MINNESOTA: Pro Bowl defensive end JARED ALLEN joined New York Giants linebacker Danny Clark, Arizona Cardinals All-Star wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and St. Louis Rams linebacker Will Witherspoon on a weeklong NFL-USO tour to U.S. military bases in Iraq and Kuwait, continuing the NFL’s legacy of more than 40 years of sending players overseas to visit with troops. “It was one of the best experiences of my life,” says Allen, whose youngest brother, Ronald Jr. recently enlisted in the Marine Corps. “It’s something I’ll never forget. We as players probably get more out of this than the soldiers.” Allen told the troops that the experience would help him as he prepares for the 2009 NFL season. “I’m going to think of all of you when I’m in training camp this summer and struggling to get through a tough drill. The sacrifices that you make are so much greater than anything we do. And the work that you put in and the discipline that you show is off the charts.”
WASHINGTON: Cornerbacks DE ANGELO HALL and FRED SMOOT were among a group of NFL players that led nearly 100 schoolchildren in a series of fitness activities at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC as part of NFL PLAY 60, the league’s initiative to encourage kids to get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. “Nowadays, kids aren’t out playing in the streets and hanging out and having a good time,” says Hall. “They’re sitting in front of video games and eating a lot of fast food. Even my own kids, I’m trying to get them away from that too.” The Redskins players, joined by Falcons owner Arthur Blank and five Baltimore Ravens, teamed up with members of Congress and representatives from the American Heart Association and National Association for Sport and Physical Education to support the passage of the Fitness Integrated with Teaching (FIT) Kids Act, legislation that would support quality physical education for all public school children through grade 12 and ensure that they receive important health and nutritional information.