Friday’s “Together We Make Football” segment, narrated by NBC Sports Group’s Josh Elliott, featured the story of the Boron (California) Bobcats High School football team. The team is one of six finalists in a contest to win a trip to Super Bowl XLIX. The segment aired Friday on TODAY.

Boron, California, is a small town located in the middle of the Mojave Desert. Despite having the fewest players of any varsity team in the state (22), the Boron Bobcats have a winning tradition with four California Interscholastic Federation titles and eight league championships. This piece details the family legacies and community involvement with this small-town football program.

ABOUT “TOGETHER WE MAKE FOOTBALL”
NBC Sports and the NFL teamed with TODAY to present weekly “Together We Make Football” segments, telling the most compelling stories of football fans, players, teams and families across the country. As a part of the campaign, fans submitted their stories to TogetherWeMakeFootball.com and six finalists were selected to win a trip to Super Bowl XLIX.
Starting last Friday, TODAY will feature the story of one of these six finalists each week, narrated by NBC Sports Group’s Josh Elliott. In addition, TODAY will exclusively unveil the special moment when each of the six finalists was selected.

The campaign’s contest includes three finalists in the individual category and three finalists in the group category. Fans will be able to vote on the six stories at TogetherWeMakeFootball.com and the finalist in each category that receives the most votes will win a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Super Bowl XLIX in Arizona in February 2015. The campaign will culminate with an NFL Films special airing on NBC on Super Bowl Sunday.

The National Football League’s “Together We Make Football” campaign invites anyone who has been touched by the game of football – whether as a player at any level, a fan, a group, a team or a community – to share a story of why they love the game. Select “Together We Make Football” stories will be featured on NBC’s during Sunday Night Football and Football Night in America.

In other NFL News…

As friends and family gathered to celebrate Thanksgiving and football, the NFL’s tradition of encouraging children to be active will be featured during NFL PLAY 60-themed games throughout Thanksgiving weekend. NFL PLAY 60 is a league-wide initiative promoting health and wellness by encouraging kids to be physically active for at least 60 minutes each day.
The NFL will debut a new public service announcement during the Thanksgiving games, which will air for the remainder of the regular season. The theme of this year’s PSA is ‘Come Out to Play.’ It focuses on the hometowns, fields and backyards where NFL icons ‘came out to play’ when they were young. The PSA is also posted on http://www.nflrush.com/play60 along with messages from current and former NFL players about the importance of ‘coming out to play.’

Players with homes, ball fields and hometowns featured in the spot include Victor Cruz, Jim Kelly, Calvin Johnson, Jr, Eli and Peyton Manning, Dan Marino, Cam Newton, Johnny Unitas and J.J. Watt.

In addition, the Thanksgiving Day games, the Monday Night Football game on December 1 and the Thursday Night Football game on December 4 will include special 90-second ‘Come Out to Play’ features, where players from the Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, New York Jets and San Francisco 49ers get active with kids in their communities. Beginning on Thanksgiving, teams will designate a home game as an ‘NFL PLAY 60’ game, which will include:

· Team-customized PLAY 60 eye black available for in-game player use

· NFL PLAY 60 field stencils, banners and goal post wraps.

· New Era Reflective 59FIFTY caps worn by players on the sidelines, also available at NFLSHOP.com and retail stores.

· ‘NFL PLAY 60 youth ambassadors’ who will be recognized on-field. Ambassadors were selected by each team for their commitment to being healthy through programs like NFL FLAG Football, NFL Punt Pass & Kick (PP&K), the NFL-American Heart Association PLAY 60 Challenge, and Fuel Up to Play 60.

The NFL will host a special auction on its NFL Auction site for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital beginning on Thanksgiving. In 2013, NFL PLAY 60 became the ‘Official Champion of Play’ at St. Jude, supporting the hospital’s Child Life program and helping give all kids a chance to ‘PLAY 60.’

Designed to tackle childhood obesity, NFL PLAY 60 brings together the NFL’s long-standing commitment to health and wellness with partner organizations. PLAY 60 is implemented locally as part of the NFL’s in-school, after-school and team-based programs. Since PLAY 60 was launched in 2007, the NFL has committed more than $300 million to youth health and fitness through programming, grants and media time for public service announcements. The NFL and its teams have constructed more than 200 NFL Youth Fitness Zones and have created programs in 73,000 schools, giving 38 million children the opportunity to be more healthy and active.

NFL teams help their communities ‘PLAY 60’ all year long. Below is a look at how teams will celebrate PLAY 60 and youth health and wellness at upcoming home games. Many teams will use their PLAY 60 games as a time to recognize and celebrate the Fuel Up to Play 60 program and its participants.

TEAM: NFL PLAY 60 GAME DETAILS

Arizona Cardinals: At the Cardinals PLAY 60 game with Kansas City on December 7, young athletes will participate in PLAY 60 activities and will lead the team onto the field during player introductions. The Cardinals will host the PP&K team championships on game day and 40 participants will take part in a halftime passing exhibition. The team will recognize the PP&K team championship winners. Cardinals players and wives, front office personnel and family members served Thanksgiving dinner at the Phoenix Rescue Mission to “Help Feed the Hungry” on November 24. Cardinals and the American Heart Association will host a celebration of the PLAY 60 Challenge on December 16. More than 4,400 kids from 64 schools will participate in the PLAY 60 Challenge.

Atlanta Falcons: On November 30 against Arizona, the Falcons will recognize teachers from a First Down for Fitness school as they participate in Falcons Fitness Flag Crew during pregame ceremonies. Serving on the Flag Crew consists of an on-field rehearsal, meet and greet/stretching with the Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders, a meal and unfurling the giant Falcons flag on-field during player introductions. During the game, highlights from that week’s First Down for Fitness school visit will be shown on the video boards. The school visit will include Falcons players and First Down for Fitness Ambassador, K Matt Bryant, leading a Gatorade Junior Falcons Training Camp at Lula Elementary in Lula, Georgia. The NFL PP&K competition will take place during pregame and the Junior Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders will perform during halftime.

Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens will recognize top performing students as their PLAY 60 ambassadors in an on-field ceremony before their game on November 30 when they take on San Diego. Winning students were chosen from approximately 15,000 youth who took part in various Ravens PLAY 60 programs, including the PLAY 60 Challenge, Fuel Up to Play 60, Ravens-led youth activities and Project ACES. PLAY 60 ambassadors will be sporting Ravens PLAY 60 gear and PLAY 60 eye black as they stand alongside MD National Guard Specialist Joey Odoms, who will sing the National Anthem.

Buffalo Bills: To celebrate the PLAY 60 initiative, the Bills will host 20 local children at their game on November 30 against Cleveland. The students will be recognized on the video board and will participate in Stampede Row on-field during player introductions as a reward for their participation in the PLAY 60 Challenge and Fuel Up to Play 60 programs. On December 16, the Bills will host more than 300 students from Western New York at the ADPRO Sports Training Center annual PLAY 60 Challenge Fitness Party sponsored by Independent Health and in partnership with the American Heart Association. There will also be more than 75 students in attendance at the Fuel up To Play 60 event at the ADPRO Sports Training Center on December 9 sponsored by the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council.

Carolina Panthers: The Panthers are teaming up with the Southeast Industry Dairy Association to visit Leaphart Elementary for a Fuel Up to Play 60 pep rally on December 2. Panthers LB Thomas Davis and K GrahamGano will encourage healthy active lifestyles for the school’s 600 students during a high-energy program. At the event, the team and Dairy Association will award a $10,000 fitness and nutrition grant to the Lexington 5 School district.

Chicago Bears: For the Bears Thanksgiving/PLAY 60 game on December 4 against Dallas, a local youth football team will take on mascot Staley Da Bear and his friends during a scrimmage at halftime. The youth players will form a tunnel for the Bears to run out of during starting lineups. Joining them on the field will be Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West baseball team, the 2014 Little League Works Series runners up.

Cincinnati Bengals: During the Bengals game against Pittsburgh on December 7, a group of 16 kids in the DMI Fuel Up to Play 60 program will participate in pre-game festivities and will be on-field during player introductions. The annual PP&K competition will be held at halftime and the Bengals will host a number of young athletes for the event.

Cleveland Browns: The Browns First and Ten program is in full swing leading into Thanksgiving with staff volunteers and players on site at the Greater Cleveland Food Bank to help pack food for distribution as well as prepare hot meals at the Food Bank’s warehouse. The Browns will celebrate PLAY 60 at their December 7 game against Indianapolis, when they will recognize the top 11 students who logged the most minutes of activity during the Browns PLAY 60 Challenge this fall. These honorees will be introduced from the Browns’ tunnel prior to team introductions. During the game, the Browns will feature the team’s visit to Central Middle School, the PLAY 60 Challenge grand prize winner, who logged over 2.2 million minutes of physical activity and engaged their entire student body of 585 students over the six-week span.

Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys dedicated their Thanksgiving game on November 27 against Philadelphia to The Salvation Army and the National Red Kettle Kickoff featuring a live halftime performance that has helped raise $1.8 billion for the non-profit’s year-round outreach efforts since 1997. The Cowboys PLAY 60 youth team from the Gene and Jerry Jones Family North Texas Youth Education Town located at The Salvation Army Arlington participated in player introductions and stood on the sidelines alongside Cowboys players during the National Anthem performed by LeAnn Womack. The Cowboys had a PLAY 60 area at AT&T Stadium inside the Game Day Kids Zone with multiple exercises for youth and hosted a group of children selected by Fuel Up to Play 60 on the sidelines during pregame warm-ups.

Denver Broncos: The Broncos will host kids from Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver on field on December 7 against Buffalo for a pregame tribute. Kids were selected by milestones they reached in their nine week PLAY 60 Challenge this fall. Joining them on field will be state ambassadors from the participating Fuel UP to Play 60 schools in an effort to highlight a collaborative commitment to health and wellness.

Detroit Lions: The Lions celebrated their 75th Thanksgiving Game on November 27 against Chicago. Twelve-year-old Quintavious Johnson performed the national anthem and 11 local Detroit Area youth wearing NFL PLAY 60 jerseys were featured alongside him. In-stadium entertainment featured a one of kind live performance from 65 students of the Detroit Arts and Science Academy choir, band and dance team.The program also included members Walled Lake Central marching band and 75 local Detroit trained youth dancers.

Green Bay Packers: The Packers PLAY 60 game is on November 30 against New England. They will host the PP&K Team Championship at noon in the Don Hutson Center and all participants will take part in a passing exhibition prior to kickoff. The winners from each age group will be featured following the on-field exhibition. Prior to team introductions, Fuel Up to Play 60 kids will run out of the tunnel and line up on the goal line for the National Anthem.

Houston Texans: The Texans PLAY 60 game will be on November 30 against Tennessee. The top 10 PLAY 60 challengers from HISD (Houston Independent School District) will be our Homefield Advantage Captains and will help lead the team onto the field. The Houston Texans Foundation will give $40,000 in PLAY 60 grants to local schools to help fund PLAY 60 equipment to keep students active and healthy. During the game, representatives from the four recipient schools will be recognized on-field during a grant check presentation. Dairy Max Fuel Up to Play 60 Ambassadors will participate in TORO’s t-shirt toss before the game and competitive cheerleading squads from the Houston area will perform at halftime.

Indianapolis Colts: This month, the Colts partnered with Kids Against Hunger to pack 1 million meals to feed hungry Hoosiers, hosted their SACKing Hunger food drive at a game and will distribute 2,000 complete Thanksgiving meals to Indianapolis families as a part of their Horseshoe Helpings event. In support of PLAY 60, the Colts will recognize winners of their PLAY 60 Challenge and participants from the Indiana Dairy Council’s Fuel Up to Play 60 program. The team will also host Colts Fit Camps at middle schools throughout Indiana and share the PLAY 60 message at several elementary schools through Blue’s (team mascot) Kickin’ It With Blue and Fuel Up to Play 60 school shows.

Jacksonville Jaguars: During the Jaguars PLAY 60 game against the New York Giants on November 30, 475 PLAY 60 Challenge youth from 19 middle schools in the Jacksonville area will participate in pregame on-field activities. In the coming weeks, LB Paul Posluszny, DT Red Bryant, DE Chris Clemons and TE Marcedes Lewis purchaseed Thanksgiving meals for over 150 families. Each player will purchase dinners for families of four or more through their team sponsor Publix.

Kansas City Chiefs: During the Chiefs PLAY 60 game on November 30 against Denver, the team will join the Midwest Dairy Association’s Fuel Up to Play 60 program in recognizing 11 youth leaders. The students will participate in a special tailgate featuring healthy food options, including dairy and will help lead the crowd in the Arrowhead Chop on the field during the pregame Drum Honoree ceremony. Forty local youth will also participate in the Chiefs PP&K team championship at The University of Kansas Hospital Training Complex. During a halftime exhibition, PP&K finalists will be recognized on-field. The team will distribute more than 1,700 holiday baskets to families in need through the annual Chiefs Thanksgiving Food Distribution while teaming with the Kansas City Community Blood Center to host the annual week-long Chiefs Blood Drive.

Miami Dolphins: On November 26, players, coaches and the Miami Dolphins Women’s Organization partnered with Publix and Feeding South Florida to distribute Thanksgiving Meals to non-profit organizations at the Miami Dolphins training facility. On November27, the Dolphins partnered with the Miami Rescue Mission to feed 4,000 homeless people on Thanksgiving Day. The Dolphins will host their PLAY 60 game on December 7 when they take on Baltimore. 36 PP&K qualifiers will participate in the PP&K Championship on field before the game begins and four youth football teams will be on the sideline with the Dolphins and Ravens players for the national anthem.

Minnesota Vikings: On November 18 former Viking E.J. Henderson and several current players distributed 3,500 meals to families in need at the North Minneapolis Cub Foods. On November 25, C John  Sullivan hosted his annual Thanksgiving meal for patients and families at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital. Several current players will be in attendance.

New England Patriots: The Patriots will host their PLAY 60 game on December 14. Eleven students from a Boston area elementary school will be invited to the game against Miami and will take part in the pregame ceremonies. The students will be wearing PLAY 60 attire and will form a tunnel with the cheerleaders as the Patriots take the field. The students were hand-selected from their school for serving as junior coaches for Playworks Massachusetts and showing a commitment to exercising 60 minutes a day.

New Orleans Saints: The regional PP&K program will take place during the Saints’ PLAY 60 game on December 7 against Carolina. All participants will be included in pregame ceremonies and will lead Saints players onto the field during team introductions. Saints staff will promote the PLAY 60 message at the LHSAA’s High School Football Game of the Week and will host a Junior Training Camp and a Saints Experience with inflatables at the event. Saints Junior Training Camps will take place at local schools during that week, also promoting the PLAY 60 message.

New York Giants: The Giants hosted their 18th Annual Food Drive to benefit the Community Food Bank of New Jersey. The Giants continued their Thanksgiving Tradition of helping to end hunger by hosting their Taste of the Giants event on November 17 to benefit Rock and Wrap it Up!, an anti-poverty think tank whose goal is to end poverty by recovering food that has been prepared but not served in arenas and stadiums nationwide. On November 25, the Giants 2014 Rookie Class went out to Eva’s Village located in Paterson, New Jersey to assist at Eva’s Kitchen to help feed the hungry and poor.

New York Jets: As part of the Jets PLAY 60 Game Fueled by Luvo, 11 sixth graders from Florham Park, Madison and Harding, New Jersey, will lead the Jets out of the tunnel during player introductions. Children were selected for their commitment and involvement in the American Heart Association’s Jets PLAY 60 Challenge. Additionally, 20 students from 10 New Jersey schools will be honored on field for their excellence in the Jets PLAY 60 Fueled by Luvo school program. The Jets and American Dairy Association and Dairy Council will present two $5,000 Hometown Grants as part of the Fuel Up to Play 60 “For the Love of Play” campaign. Prior to the game against Miami, the Jets will collect new and gently used sports equipment for the Jets PLAY 60 Sports Equipment Drive benefitting UP2US.

Oakland Raiders: On November 24 Raiders WR Rod Streater invited children and families from UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland – Diabetes Clinic for a hands-on “Healthy Thanksgiving Dinner” cooking demonstration created specifically for children with Type 1 diabetes. On November. 25, the Raiders teamed up with the Alameda County Community Food Bank’s “Mobile Pantry.” Players will be sorting and distributing food to low-income families in Oakland. On December 2, the Raiders will partner with the American Heart Association and Indian Valley Elementary School to launch the PLAY 60 Challenge.

Philadelphia Eagles” Immediately prior to the Philadelphia Eagles game on December 7 NFL PP&K will host a competition at the NovaCare Complex. After the competition the participants will be recognized during pre-game at Lincoln Financial Field, with winners announced during the 1st quarter break against Seattle. Flag football players from MVP360 will lead the Eagles onto the field as a youth football team lines the Eagles tunnel. The Upper Dublin Cardinals will scrimmage at halftime. Additionally, Play60 field stencils, banners and goal post wraps will be featured in-stadium.

Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers will recognize local students who participate in Fuel Up to PLAY 60 with Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association during their PLAY 60 game on December 21 against Kansas City. The students will be on the field to line the players’ tunnel and participate in the coin toss.

San Diego Chargers” On November. 25, the Chargers will host Chargers Blood Drive XXXVI, one of the largest blood drives in the country. In honor of PLAY 60, the team’s Foundation will open an artificial turf playing area at San Diego’s school for homeless children, the Monarch School, on December 2. On December 7, the Chargers will host the NFL PP&K competition pregame when they take on New England. For player introductions, 30 selected kids wearing PLAY 60 jerseys and t-shirts will run out of the tunnel. At half-time more than 300 young ladies will take to the field for the annual Junior Charger Girl Half-time show; dancing and being active to raise funds for Make-A-Wish San Diego.

San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers Play 60 Ambassadors, chosen from Fuel Up to Play 60 partnership, flanked the singer during the National Anthem ceremony. During half-time, participants from each of the 49ers youth programs were represented on the field during the performance by AWOL Nation. Leading up to the November 27 game against Seattle, the 49ers hosted more than 50 students who have completed the “Play 60 Challenge” at a private viewing party at the team headquarters.

Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks will celebrate PLAY 60 on December 14 when they host San Francisco. The team will recognize their Spirit of 12 partners during a pregame ceremony. The Spirit of 12 Partners include Pacific Northwest youth service organizations whose members distribute the Seahawks Gameday Magazine at every home game. The non-profits keep 100 percent of the proceeds which are then matched by The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. All funds raised from program sales are allocated to local youth programs. The team will host PLAY 60 Ambassadors, representing local elementary schools, who will form a tunnel for the team run-out. Throughout the game, the Seahawks will celebrate youth who have pledged to PLAY 60 minutes a day. The halftime show will feature an exhibition from the regional winners of the NFL PP&K program.

St. Louis Rams: The Rams are teaming with the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis to provide Thanksgiving meals to approximately 2,000 families in need. Players fund the holiday effort and players, cheerleaders and staff distribute turkeys and bags of groceries at three area Urban League locations. Prior to the Rams’ PLAY 60 game on November 30 against Oakland, the team invited their PLAY 60 student ambassadors to join them for a tailgate party featuring healthy food, music and a chance to tour the Rams’ new PLAY 60 school bus. The PLAY 60 ambassadors will visit the field to enjoy pregame warmups prior to joining the Rams cheerleaders to form the player tunnel for team introductions.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: On November 18, the Buccaneers Rookie Club will congratulate Pinellas Park Middle School for winning the 2014 Fuel Up to Play 60 “Defend Your Turf Challenge” with a $5,000 donation towards health and wellness programs. To help reduce food insecurity in Tampa Bay during the holidays and promote a healthy lifestyle, the Buccaneers offensive linemen provided 750 families with a healthy Thanksgiving meal on November 24 as part of the 8th annual “Turkey Time with the O-Line” event. On November 30, the NFL PP&K Team Championship will take place pre-game before their contest with Cincinnnati and the team will officially open the “Bucs PLAY 60 Zone presented by Florida Hospital” within the Kids Zone at Raymond James Stadium.

Tennessee Titans: The Titans are acknowledging 10 PLAY 60 ambassadors selected from each PLAY 60 school visit to be honored on-field during the Titans December 7 home game against the New York Giants.

Washington Redskins: On November 25, the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation (WRCF) – along with staff, players and alumni – will join more than 500 volunteers at the 12th annual Harvest Feast to assemble and distribute Thanksgiving food baskets, including whole turkeys, to 3,000 Prince George’s County residents in need. On November 11, the WRCF and players participated in USO-Metro’s Turkey for Troops telethon, answering phones and accepting donations to provide Thanksgiving food baskets to military families in need. The winners of the Salute to PLAY 60 Military Challenge – those who log the most daily activity – will be honored on-field at the Redskins PLAY 60 game against St. Louis on December 7. The winners will form the fan tunnel for player introductions.

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