NFL Breast Cancer Awareness Games Start This Week - "A Crucial Catch Campaign" Begins

NEW ORLEANS - OCTOBER 03: A pink ribbon in support of Breast Cancer awareness month is seen on the field during the game between the New Orleans Saints and the Carolina Panthers at the Louisiana Superdome on October 3 2010 in New Orleans Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

For the third consecutive year, the NFL and NFL Players Association will be supporting National Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October.  The goal of the "A Crucial Catch: Annual Screening Saves Lives" campaign is to remind women, 40-years and older, about the need to get annual mammograms.

Starting this week, the NFL will utilize game balls with pink ribbons, pink cleats, wristbands, gloves, hats, captain's patches, chin straps, towels, and helmet decals.  They will also be using pink coins for the coin toss, the field will have the pink ribbon stenciled onto it, and the goal post padding will be pink.  As in previous years, the items will then be autographed and auctioned on the NFL Auction website. All proceeds from the auction of all items on the NFL Auction site will be given to the American Cancer Society and team charities - last year, these auctions raised over $1 million for breast cancer research.

Additional items will be for sale at NFL.com, and various retail outlets. 

The NFL release about the campaign highlighted several of the events and personnel involved in the campaign:

 

As national spokespeople for A Crucial Catch, Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, Tanya Snyder, wife of Redskins owner Dan Snyder, Susie Spanos, wife of Chargers president Dean Spanos, are working on a cause that hits close to home. Fitzgerald lost his mother to the disease, and many of his charitable efforts now focus on breast cancer awareness. Both Snyder and Spanos battled breast cancer and now advocate in support of research and fundraising.    

Additionally, The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) has teamed with the NFL and the women of the Hasselbeck family to educate women about the value of early detection, including monthly self-exams and annual mammograms for ages 40+, through A Crucial Catch and P&G's "Do Something Beautiful" campaign.  And PepsiCo is working with the NFL and Kroger grocery stores on special products to be sold in-stores throughout October, featuring the photos of Kroger employees who are breast cancer survivors alongside Eli Manning and Mark Sanchez.

During the primetime match-up on October 2 between the Ravens and the Jets (8:30PM, NBC), the City of Baltimore will ‘paint the town pink,’ as City Hall and other prominent areas will be lit pink. Country music superstar Martina McBride will sing the National Anthem before the game, flanked by 50 breast cancer survivors.  Martina's new album, ELEVEN, will be released October 11 on Republic Nashville, and her current single off the album is titled, "I'm Gonna Love You Through It," a heartfelt anthem for breast cancer survivors and their supporters. 

In addition, the Buffalo Bills and the Niagara Falls Illumination Board are working together to light the Falls pink in honor of the Billieve Breast Cancer Awareness program. The falls will be illuminated pink on Friday, October 7. The lighting will take place with Bills players on-hand.  The Peace Bridge that connects Niagara Falls Ontario and Buffalo also will be lit pink.

The NFL and ACS have extended 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 ACS 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.

 

The Dolphins will support the NFL's efforts as well.  Head coach Tony Sparano's wife, Jeanette and the Dolphins cheerleaders will join with the Dolphins Women's Organization in supporting the local Komen Race for the Cure.  Ms. Sparano will be hosting a luncheon for breast cancer survivors, while the Dolphins Women's Organization will be conducting a breast cancer awareness outreach at the October 23 home game.

The Miami Dolphins Foundation will continue their practice of providing scholarships to children whose parents have been affected by breast cancer. 

For more information about the "A Crucial Catch" campaign, head over to www.NFL.com/pink.  From there, you can find out about youth and high school football involvement in the program, tips on detecting and preventing the disease, and local American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks.

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