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8/24 Giants Celebrate Play Football Month

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Teams from the North Jersey Flag Football Association competed at halftime during the Giants-Panthers preseason game.During their pre-season game against the Carolina Panthers on Saturday, August 20, the Giants celebrated the launch of Play Football Month. Play Football Month is a national platform created by the Giants, the NFL, the NFL Players Association and USA Football.

The goal of Play Football Month is to encourage and support the sport of football as well as the intrinsic values gained from participation in youth football at the grassroots level. This month is designed to encourage football fans and players of all ages to "Be a Part of the Football Family".

As a part of the celebration, the Giants invited area athletes to "Be a Part of the Giants Football Family" by donating more than 1,500 game tickets to youth football players, coaches, administrators and their families from across the New York metropolitan area. All invited guests were encouraged to wear their football jerseys to the game to show their pride! Some of the invited guests included:

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New York City Police Athletic League Flag Football

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Junior Player Development, Brooklyn, NY

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Hillside, NJ Pop Warner

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Bronx Bengals

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Queens/Kiwanus Youth Football

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White Plains, NY Football

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East Orange High School Football

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New Jersey State High School Coaches Association

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North Jersey Flag Football Organization

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Ramsey Junior Football Association

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Bergen County Broncos of Pop Warner

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Giants Play It Smart tri-state area high schools

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Members of the Junior Player Development program from Brooklyn, N.Y. accompanied Giants players and coaches on the field during the national anthem.In addition, the Giants invited local youth football groups to be a part of the pre-game and halftime ceremonies on the field. The Giants welcomed young football players from Brooklyn, NY, as they stood on the field with Giants players and coaches during the national anthem, sung by NYPD Sergeant Carl Dixon. These young athletes were members of the Junior Player Development program, a program which provides step-by-step instruction for every team position to boys ages 12 through 14 years old. The program also integrates on-field skills development with life skills and character development.

Two of the JPD athletes were also selected to be the honorary coin toss captains and accompanied the Giants and Panther team captains during the coin toss.

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Giants on Deck producers talked with some of the participants on the field.And for the first time, halftime featured eight flag football teams from the North Jersey Flag Football program, who competed in four games on the stadium field. These teams, consisting of boys and girls ages 6 – 11 years, wore Giants jerseys and competed on the stadium field to the delight of the crowd. At the end of the competition, the kids were welcomed back to their seats with standing ovations from Giants fans!

The commemoration of Play Football Month continues with unique events and activities nationwide through September 30, 2005. If you would like information on how to promote Play Football Month in your community, please log on to www.USAFootball.com.

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