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Archive for January 23rd, 2019

NFL Media announces programming for Black History Month




A painting dedicated to the founders of Black History Month, the Black United Students at Kent State University, by Ernie Pryor 2017 photo by Kkhemet - Own work via wikipedia commons

One-Hour Special “The Super Bowl That Wasn’t” Looks Back on the Relocation of Super Bowl XXVII Friday, February 15 at 9:00 PM ET

Back-to-Back Episodes of ‘Indivisible with Nate Boyer’ Airs Every Friday, Beginning February 8 at 8:00 PM ET

During the month of February, NFL Media features a slate of programming and content across NFL Network and commemorating Black History Month. These features, docuseries, and specials capture the spirit of Black History Month, celebrating individuals, stories and events that have made an indelible mark on the NFL.

Every Friday night in February from 8:00 – 11:00 PM ET, NFL Network will feature a mix of new series and specials, plus encore presentations of original programming in celebration of Black History Month.

On Friday, February 15 at 9:00 PM ET, NFL Network premieres the one-hour special, The Super Bowl That Wasn’t, which explores the story behind how Arizona lost the Super Bowl in 1993 by refusing to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday as a holiday – a decision which caused the state to lose an estimated $350M in revenue before voters changed their minds later in 1993, re-instating the holiday.

This often-forgotten piece of NFL history will be recounted from various perspectives, including: NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, former Philadelphia Eagles Owner Norman Braman, Pro Football Hall of Famer Aeneas Williams, NFL Legend and Arizona-native Rodney Peete, Political Strategist Donna Brazile, Civil Rights advocate Dr. Todd Boyd, Rapper and Civil Rights advocate Chuck D, former Arizona Governor Fife Symington, and local activist Rev. Warren Stewart.

The following Friday, February 22, features a special edition of NFL 360: Impact & Influence at 9:00 PM ET. Hosted by Melissa Stark, this episode tells the story of how NFL players and legends will join members of the Atlanta community during Super Bowl week to create a mosaic honoring a special group of pioneers in the city’s civil rights history. The episode also focuses on the humanitarian work of Saints TE Ben Watson who alongside wife Kirsten, epitomize “Impact & Influence” through their fight against sex trafficking and sexual abuse, with particular attention paid to victims in their city of New Orleans.

Six-part series Indivisible with Nate Boyer airs on NFL Network with back-to-back episodes during the 8:00 PM ET hour every Friday during the month of February. First announced earlier this month as part of the NFL’s new social justice initiative “Inspire Change,”​ the series features Green Beret and former NFL player Nate Boyer traveling across the country to six NFL cities – Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Green Bay, Dallas and Philadelphia – for real conversations with NFL players and local leaders on the social issues at the heart of each community.

Indivisible features appearances from a host of current and former players including: Andrew WhitworthMatt ForteCharles ‘Peanut’ TillmanTony McGeeJamal LewisHarry SydneyMike DanielsConnor WilliamsVince Papale and Chris Long. will also feature clips from all Black History Month programming, as well as longform written content. Additional installments within the Impact & Influence series can also be viewed online at

NFL Network’s Black History Month programming also includes encore presentations of the following:


Friday, February 8

  • 9:00 PM ET: Breaking Ground: A Story of HBCU Football & The NFL – An in-depth look at the legacy of Historically Black Colleges and Universities told through first-person interviews and profiles of four notable HBCU alums, Jerry RiceDoug WilliamsMel Blount and Marquette King. Narrated by Chadwick Boseman.
  • 10:00 PM ET: Top 10 HBCU Players – The ten most legendary NFL players hailing from historically black colleges and universities.

    Friday, February 15

  • 10:00 PM ET: Doug Williams: A Football Life – He grew up without running water in rural Louisiana. He played quarterback in an era when few African Americans did, overcoming prejudice and hardship to become a Heisman candidate, a first-round draft pick, and ultimately, a Super Bowl MVP.

    Friday, February 22

  • 10:00 PM ET: Jim Brown: A Football Life – The football life of perhaps the greatest player in NFL history, a prominent Civil Rights advocate, and his wide-ranging impact both on and off the field.


NFL Media is comprised of NFL Network, NFL Films,, the NFL app and NFL RedZone.

Seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, fans turn to NFL Network to receive information and insight straight from the field, team headquarters, league offices and everywhere the NFL is making news. Launched in 2003, NFL Network gives fans unprecedented year-round inside access to all NFL events, including the Super Bowl, Playoffs, regular season, preseason, Pro Bowl, Pro Football Hall of Fame induction weekend, NFL Draft, NFL Scouting Combine, Senior Bowl, league meetings, minicamps and training camps.

For fans on the go, all NFL Network programming can be streamed live through the NFL app and via Watch NFL Network on smartphones, tablets, PCs and connected TV devices (Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, PlayStation 4 and Roku). Access is available for NFL Network subscribers of participating TV providers. For more information, go to



Tuesday, January 22, 2019 Almanac



(courtesy Calendarpedia)

















NFL announces 2019 International Games




The National Football League today announced the matchups for its five 2019 international regular-season games – four in the UK and one in Mexico.

The quality of the 2019 international offering is apparent in three division games and five playoff participants, including the NFC Champion Los Angeles Rams.  Two of the four London Games will feature teams playing in the UK for the first time, while Mexico City will host a meeting of long-time AFC West division rivals.


The 2019 international games:


​Country Visiting Team Home Team
Mexico Kansas City Chiefs Los Angeles Chargers
UK Carolina Panthers Tampa Bay Buccaneers
UK Chicago Bears Oakland Raiders
UK Cincinnati Bengals Los Angeles Rams
UK Houston Texans Jacksonville Jaguars​​

Mexico City’s Azteca Stadium will host a matchup between the AFC West rival Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers. Both teams, who finished the 2018 regular season with identical 12-4 records, will be playing in Mexico City for the first time.

The AFC South champion Houston Texans – who face the division-rival Jacksonville Jaguars – and the Carolina Panthers – who face their NFC South foes the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – will both make their London debuts. It will bring the total number of NFL teams to have played in the UK to 31 in 28 regular-season games by the end of the 2019 season. The Jaguars will be playing a home game in London for the seventh consecutive season.

The Rams, who will face the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII, will host a London game for the fourth time when they take on the Cincinnati Bengals, while the Oakland Raiders will return to London for the second straight year, facing the NFC North division champion Chicago Bears.

The NFL will play two games at Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium, with two at Wembley Stadium.

Dates, kickoff times and venues for all international games will be announced in conjunction with the release of the full NFL schedule this spring.


Falcons guard Ben Garland, Lions legend Eric Hipple announced as finalists for NFL/USAA Salute to Service Award














Award Recipient to be Recognized at NFL Honors Night Before Super Bowl LIlI

The NFL and USAA, the Official NFL Salute to Service Partner, announced Atlanta Falcons offensive guard BEN GARLAND and Detroit Lions Legend ERIC HIPPLE as finalists for the eighth annual Salute to Service Award presented by USAA.

Garland and Hipple were selected for their exceptional efforts to honor and support members of the military community. The Salute to Service Awardrecipient will be recognized at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on Feb. 2, the eve of Super Bowl LIII, on CBS.

USAA, a leading provider of insurance and other services to U.S. military members, veterans and their families, will contribute $25,000 in the award recipient’s honor to the official aid societies representing all five military branches. The NFL will match USAA’s donation of $25,000, which will be donated to the award recipient’s military charity of choice. The award recipient will receive a specially designed military challenge coin, recognizing their commitment to the military. In what has become a long-standing tradition, challenge coins are presented to members of the military community to encourage excellence, boost morale or to recognize a fellow brother- or sister-in-arms.

“Each year since we created ‘Salute to Service’ with the NFL in 2011, we’ve recognized inspiring leaders within the NFL community that honor and serve our military, veterans and their families,” said Vice Admiral (Ret.) JOHN BIRD, USAA Senior Vice President of Military Affairs. “Ben Garland, a member of our military with a demonstrated history of supporting his fellow service members and Eric Hipple, who cares for the mental health and well-being of our military, are both worthy finalists for the ‘Salute to Service Award presented by USAA.”

In October 2018, 32 NFL clubs nominated coaches, active and retired players, and team executives and personnel, who best demonstrated support for the military community. These nominees were publicly announced in November and the submissions were evaluated by a panel of judges, including last year’s award recipient, former Atlanta Falcon and current New York Jet’s wide receiver ANDRE ROBERTS. Nominees’ credentials are evaluated based on the positive effect of the individual’s efforts on the military community, the type of service conducted, the thoroughness of the program and level of commitment.

The panel of judges, consisting of representatives from the U.S. military, the NFL and USAA, includes:

  • VICE ADMIRAL JOHN BIRD (Ret.), U.S. Navy veteran, USAA Senior Vice President of Military Affairs
  • CHAD HENNINGS, Air Force Academy graduate, three-time Super Bowl champion
  • ANDRE ROBERTS, New York Jet’s wide receiver and 2017 Salute to Service Award recipient
  • JIM MORA, SR., Marine Corps veteran, former NFL head coach
  • VINCENT JACKSON, Former NFL player & 2015 Salute to Service Award recipient
  • LENNY BANDY, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran and NFL Vice President of Security

Below is the list of previous Salute to Service Award recipients. The award is part of the NFL and USAA’s year-round commitment to recognize and honor the military community.

2017 Andre Roberts Atlanta Falcons
2016 Dan Quinn (Head Coach) Atlanta Falcons
2015 Vincent Jackson Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2014 Jared Allen Chicago Bears
2013 John Harbaugh (Head Coach) Baltimore Ravens
2012 Charles Tillman Chicago Bears
2011 K.S. “Bud” Adams Jr. (Late Owner) Tennessee Titans


Below is an overview on the two finalists. To learn more about all 32 team nominees, please visit

BEN GARLAND (Atlanta Falcons)

The definition of Ben Garland can be considered many things: Offensive Lineman, Defensive Lineman, Atlanta Falcons Man of the Year, Captain in the Colorado Air National Guard or the absolute best at giving back to our nation’s heroes and their families. “My family has a long, proud history of service in the Armed Forces, so I was raised understanding what the families of loved ones go through. On top of that, I was able to serve myself. During my service, I met the most incredible people; brave, selfless, intelligent athletic hardworking men and women of character. Over the years, service members I have been very close with have been injured, divorced, committed suicide, suffered from PTSD, lost limbs and even made the ultimate sacrifice overseas. Like any family member, you support each other through all times, so I want to give back as much as I can to fellow service members’, says Garland. In this year alone, Ben has traveled on two USO tours; the first to Italy and Germany and the second to Iraq and Kuwait. Ben seeks out any opportunity that he can to visit with military, shake their hands and say thank you.

When Ben is back stateside, he is extremely involved and focused on helping veterans get back on their feet after service and helping to raise awareness for PTSD. Earlier this year, he participated in the Armed Forces Mission’s Georgia LOSS Walk at Patriot Park in Fayetteville, Georgia. Ben walked alongside veterans, service members and families in honor of “Turning the Tide on Veteran Suicide”. Each year that Ben has been with the Atlanta Falcons he has participated in the annual Fishing with the Falcons event. This year, Ben traveled to Orange Beach, Alabama to go on a chartered fishing trip with wounded veterans.

In his efforts for veteran suicide prevention and PTSD, Ben has created substantial relationships with a number of military non-profits that he works with year-round including; Merging Vets and Players, Emory Healthcare Veterans Program, Shepherd Center SHARE Initiative and TAPS. Ben will be wearing customized cleats in Week 13 for SHARE Military Initiative (Shepherd Center) and Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation. Ben works with the Pigskin Patriots to help raise funds and donate time for camps for military children and he works closely with Children of the Fallen Patriots Foundation on granting college scholarship funds.

In addition to the hours he consistently gives to veterans and military families; he, as current member of our military, also finds time to give back to those who currently serve. He donates game tickets each week to service members, visits the Air Force Academy at least once a year to speak to the current students, works with Georgia Tech ROTC to inspire young officers and meets with local young officers to mentor them. In lieu of his constant efforts with our nation’s military, Ben still manages to find time to fulfill his duties as a Captain in the Colorado Air National Guard; which he was just recently selected to become a Major.

ERIC HIPPLE (Detroit Lions)

Eric Hipple is a former NFL quarterback whose ten-year career was spent with the Detroit Lions. Hipple was born in Lubbock, Texas and raised in Southern California. Eric graduated from Utah State University with a degree in Business Administration and was drafted by the Detroit Lions. Hipple’s accomplishments include two playoff bids, a Divisional Championship, and the Detroit Lion’s most valuable player award for the ’81 season. He is currently ranked sixth in career passing yards for Detroit. Since his 15-year-old son Jeff’s suicide, Hipple has devoted his life to building awareness and breaking down the stigma surrounding depressive illnesses. Hipple has received numerous prestigious awards such as, the presidential citation at the American Psychological Association’s 2006 Annual Convention for his six years of national community-based work combating adolescent depression and suicide prevention, the 2008 Life Saver Achievement award given by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the Detroit Lions 2010 Courage House award, and the Neubacher Award in 2015 from the University of Michigan for his work with stigma associated with disabilities. Hipple’s message of resilience has provided mental fitness awareness to professional groups, military, law enforcement, schools, communities.

In conjunction with NAVY U.S. Fleet Forces, Hipple has provided workshops on suicide and destructive behavior prevention during the last 10 years by focusing on mental fitness. His book “Real Men Do Cry” received a publisher Presidential Award. After retiring from University of Michigan’s Comprehensive Depression Center, where he spent eleven years in outreach, Hipple currently serves as Outreach Specialist for Eisenhower Center’s “After The Impact” program, a nuero-behavioral residential treatment facility serving military veterans and former NFL players. Eric’s commitment to helping others find a quality in life is demonstrated through work with several non-profits. These suicide prevention workshops for USFF (U.S. Fleet Forces) are included on Navy bases and Naval Air stations on the East Coast, Europe and the Middle East.

In 2007, Eric was involved with the planning process of the ‘Real Warrior Campaign’ (Army suicide prevention) that aired at Super Bowl Radio Row and organized PSA’s with players supporting service members. In 2008, Eric helped organize NFL Legends to speak at Army bases throughout Texas, New York, Georgia and Mississippi during the NFL playoffs with the NFLPA and for the Army ‘Real Warrior Campaign’ presentations that took place at Okinawa Marine base and was a presentation that talked through suicide prevention. Eric has lead a group of eight (8) former NFL players that stayed 3 days on the Aircraft Carrier USS George Bush during deployment in 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018 and has helped with ‘Destructive Behavior’ prevention workshops for Pac Fleet Naval bases, Naval air stations and submarine bases on the West coast, Hawaii, Korea and Japan.

Eric Hipple has been part of the 2016 Mental Fitness training at the Army National Training Center and for the 2017-2018 suicide prevention workshops for the Air Force at Minot Air Base and at the nuclear missile launch facilities from 2012-current. Eric Hipple organized the ‘After the Impact’ treatment program at Eisenhower Center that placed veterans and NFL legends together in a 30-day inpatient stay and hosted mental fitness presentations at Warren Armory, Battle Creek Armory, Selfridge Air Base, Army Air Station Saginaw VA presentation on suicide. Eric’s work continues to impact the military community.

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ABOUT USAA: The USAA family of companies provides insurance, banking, investments, retirement products and advice to more than 12.7 million current and former members of the U.S. military and their families. Known for its legendary commitment to its members, USAA is consistently recognized for outstanding service, employee well-being and financial strength. USAA membership is open to all who are serving our nation in the U.S. military or have received a discharge type of Honorable – and their eligible family members. Founded in 1922, USAA is headquartered in San Antonio. For more information about USAA, follow us on Facebook or Twitter (@USAA), or visit


Monday, January 21, 2019 Almanac



Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,1964 photo By Nobel Foundation http, Public Domain, https


Since 1986, the third Monday in January has been a federal holiday in observance of the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist minister, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and civil rights leader dedicated to nonviolence. This is a day to honor King’s principles, perhaps best exemplified by his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963: “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed, ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’”





















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