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NFL Supports Breast Cancer Awareness with Third Annual ‘A Crucial Catch’ Campaign

The National Football League and NFL Players Association will support October’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month with their third-annual national breast cancer screening-reminder and fundraising campaign. In collaboration with the American Cancer Society, the initiative, called “A Crucial Catch: Annual Screening Saves Lives,” reminds women 40 and older about the importance of having an annual mammogram.

Beginning on October 2 and continuing throughout the month, NFL breast cancer awareness games will feature:

  • Game balls with pink ribbon decals used for every down
  • Pink equipment for players including: cleats, wristbands, gloves, sideline caps, helmet decals, captains’ patches, chin straps, shoe laces, skull caps, sideline towels, eye shield decals and quarterback towels
  • Pink coins used for the coin toss
  • Pink sideline caps for coaches and sideline personnel and pink ribbon pins for coaches and team executives
  • Pink caps, wristbands, whistles and pins for game officials
  • On-field pink ribbon stencils and A Crucial Catch wall banners
  • Pink goal post padding in end zones
  • Breast cancer awareness track jackets for cheerleaders

Game-worn pink merchandise and footballs will be autographed post-game and auctioned at NFL Auction ( All NFL Auction proceeds during the month of October will benefit the American Cancer Society and team charities. Last year, the NFL and its players donated more than $1 million to the American Cancer Society (ACS) as a result of the 2010 A Crucial Catch campaign, with the majority of the donation coming from the sale of pink NFL Auction items. Special pink merchandise will be available at, in stadium retail stores, at Dick’s, Hatworld and Lids, with a portion of proceeds going to breast cancer charities.

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.

From cleats to gloves, towels to caps, NFL partners including adidas, Gatorade, Longaberger, Nike, Pro Specialties Group, Reebok, Riddell, Under Armour and Wilson are creating pink merchandise for Breast Cancer Awareness games. Many other partners and licensees including Barclays, EA Sports, Panini and Topps will support A Crucial Catch through various products and promotions.

Additionally, The Procter & Gamble Company 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.

Fans can visit to learn more about the campaign, the youth and high school football initiative, as well as important breast cancer detection information, prevention tips and how to participate in their local American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk.

NFL Players will be raising money for breast cancer awareness with collective and individual efforts across the country. Through One Team for the Cure and their own foundations, players will host a variety of events and fundraisers in their team cities and home communities.

Many teams will extend the national platform with local efforts, including the distribution of 750,000 pink ribbons and education cards facilitated by volunteers from Zeta Tau Alpha (ZTA) sorority chapters. Teams will designate home games in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and plan special in-stadium or pregame events with local organizations. Team events include:

Arizona Cardinals…

The Cardinals bought pink jerseys for Desert Vista High School’s “pink game” on Friday September 16. They also invited 16 survivors to a special dinner with Cardinals players. The Desert Vista varsity team will distribute pink ribbons at the October 2 game along volunteers from ZTA. Fifty-four survivors will take part in a half time cheer routine at the game

Atlanta Falcons…

The Falcons will host a Dazzle & Dine event on October 4, treating breast cancer survivors to a day of pampering and a night of fine dining with Falcons players. During the Falcons Breast Cancer Awareness game, the cheerleaders and Freddie Falcon will dress in pink uniforms, Dazzle & Dine winners will be honored in a pregame ceremony, and the anthem will be performed by “Shades of Pink,” a choir comprised of breast cancer survivors. A large pink ribbon will be held by breast cancer survivors during the anthem and the Falcons flag used for player introductions will be unfurled by breast cancer survivors. Halftime will feature a performance by the Falcons Cheerleaders, Falcons Cheerleader Alumni and breast cancer survivors, all clad in pink followed by a BMX stunt show with pink ramps and riders dressed in pink. The show will conclude with a Ford sponsored distribution of pink t-shirts attached to pink parachutes.

Baltimore Ravens…

The Ravens will host an on-field survivor tribute prior to kickoff on October 2 and distribute 40,000 pink ribbons and education cards to fans as they enter the stadium, in partnership with ACS. MARTINA McBRIDE will sing the national anthem, flanked by 50 breast cancer survivors. Ravens cheerleaders will be in breast cancer awareness gear, and Baltimore’s Marching Ravens will sport pink plumes. The City of Baltimore will also join in painting the town pink, and City Hall and other prominent areas will be lit pink from October 1 – 3.

Buffalo Bills…

At the October 9 game, 180 Jills cheerleaders and alumni will perform (all in pink). Pink-themed sky divers will jump onto the field pre-game. Fifty survivors will form Stampede Row. ZTA will hand out pink ribbons with the Bills Women’s Association, and 50,000 pink pom poms will be distributed by Time Warner Cable. Dessert Deli Billieve cookies and pink Billieve merchandise from Delaware North Sportservice will be sold with a portion of the proceeds going to the WNY Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Carolina Panthers…

Panthers RB DeANGELO WILLIAMS is captaining the “Williams Warriors” Komen for the Cure race team for the third consecutive year. On October 9, the Panthers will host a pre-game presentation recognizing ACS’ efforts in battling breast cancer. Halftime will feature a musical performance by Tim Halperin, which will pay tribute to families impacted by the disease and hope for the future. ZTA will distribute 60,000 Think Pink! ribbons at the stadium gates. Williams, who pioneered the idea of pink cleats in 2009, will again lead the Panthers onto the field with a new version of the pink cleats.

Chicago Bears…

Bears Care, the charitable beneficiary of the Chicago Bears, has been selling Real Bears Fans Wear Pink t-shirts and will continue throughout October, with proceeds benefitting breast cancer charities. Fans are encouraged to wear the t-shirts to the October 2 game. The captain for the October 2 game is a breast cancer survivor, and two Bears Care supporters will act as honorary captains and participate in the coin toss. Flag-runners will be carrying special pink Bears flags that will be used during starting line-ups and every time the Bears score. Volunteers from ZTA also will be handing out pink ribbons to fans.

Cincinnati Bengals…

The Bengals will have ZTA volunteers on-site distributing pink ribbons and information cards to fans as they enter the gates of Paul Brown Stadium. Pre-game, they will honor the Marvin Lewis Community Fund’s Pink Football Award Winner with a special presentation. The winner also will deliver the pink coin to midfield for the coin toss.

Cleveland Browns

At the October 2 game, ZTA will distribute ribbons to fans. People affected by breast cancer will hold the flag during the anthem. Breast cancer survivors will help form the gauntlet for player introductions, and a breast cancer survivor will serve as an honorary captain. ACS volunteers will be on hand at Tailgate Terrace to provide information to fans during pregame festivities.

Dallas Cowboys…

AMBASSADOR NANCY BRINKER, Founder & CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, will serve as honorary captain for the coin toss at the Cowboys breast cancer awareness game. Bank of America breast cancer awareness themed signs will be passed out to fans as they enter. At halftime, 300 breast cancer survivors from Komen for the Cure and volunteers whose lives have been touched by breast cancer will form a “human” pink awareness ribbon on field. Cowboys Cheerleaders will wear pink items, and will switch out one of the iconic blue stars from their uniform for a pink star.

Denver Broncos…

A celebration of survivors is planned for the October 9 game during half time. They will all be part of a special choreographed show lead by the Broncos cheerleaders. Additionally, game day sponsor US Bank will be giving fans special breast cancer awareness clings. The Broncos will host a special VIP survivor breakfast at the stadium prior to the game for all guests being recognized during the half time show. Later in the fall, the Broncos will be part of the Komen Denver Pink Tie event on November 12.

Detroit Lions…

The Lions will sponsor the ACS Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk on October 15 at Belle Isle in Detroit. The Lions’ Women’s Association will participate in the walk. Pink “Curable Towels” will be given out to the first 50,000 fans entering the stadium at the Lions’ breast cancer awareness game on October 10. Forty breast cancer survivors will form a fan tunnel during pregame warm-ups, and players will run through the tunnel and onto the field. ZTA will pass out THINK PINK ribbons as fans enter the stadium.

Green Bay Packers…

The Green Bay Packers will recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month October 2 with Lambeau Field and Packers players prominently featuring the color pink in several ways. Fans will receive pink Kohl’s Cares® rally towels as they enter the stadium, and then see cheerleaders in pink jackets and TundraLine members in pink hats. The game also will feature collegiate and alumnae members of ZTA distributing pink ribbons and information prior to kickoff in the Lambeau Field parking lots.

Houston Texans…

On October 1, the Texans will be a sponsor at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, contributing monetary donations and supporting the kids’ corral at the event. The team also will have more than 150 participants on the race team that day. During their Breast Cancer Awareness game, they will recognize the Komen Race Executive Directors as the Homefield Advantage Captains. Battle Red Ladies will hold the Texas Flag, and the coin toss captains will be JANICE MCNAIR and DEBBIE PHILLIPS, both breast cancer survivors. The anthem singer will be Lorissa Chapa, whose mom is a breast cancer survivor.

Indianapolis Colts…

The Colts will host a Pink Monday event on Monday, October 3 at the Canal in Downtown Indianapolis. The First Lady of Indianapolis, WINNIE BALLARD, will be in attendance. At the October 9 game, 100 survivors will be recognized on-field during the pre-game festivities. In addition, the gameday program cover will turn pink, fans will be given pink cards to hold up at kickoff, and the Colts Women’s Organization will sell limited edition pink hats with all proceeds benefiting the IU Simon Cancer Center. The anthem singer will be a breast cancer survivor.

Jacksonville Jaguars…

At their October 2 game, the team will be led out onto the field by a player carrying a pink breast cancer awareness flag. Pink ribbons providing breast cancer detection information will be given to fans. Pink hats also will be on sale, with all proceeds going towards breast cancer research. Cheerleaders will wear pink and white jerseys and will use pink pom poms. The anthem will be performed by Crystal Hoyt, whose mother is a breast cancer survivor, and the American field flags will be held by 60 breast cancer survivors. The honorary captain will be a local breast cancer survivor.

Kansas City Chiefs…

The Chiefs breast cancer awareness game will take place on October 2. The team will distribute a Chiefs Crucial Catch pink wristband to fans at the game. Seventy-five breast cancer survivors will participate in on-field pregame festivities, including a pink balloon release, an honorary first pass and honorary captain. Additionally, the Chiefs Hometown Hero program will recognize a breast cancer survivor from the Chiefs region. Throughout the month of October, will feature pink graphics to direct attention to the breast cancer awareness campaign.

Miami Dolphins…

JEANETTE SPARANO will join members of the Dolphins Women’s Organization and cheerleaders to participate in a local Komen Race for the Cure. Sparano also will speak at a luncheon for breast cancer survivors. The Dolphins Women’s Organization will participate in breast cancer awareness outreach at the October 23 game. The Miami Dolphins Foundation will continue to provide a scholarship to children whose parents have been affected by breast cancer

Minnesota Vikings…

JENNI GREENWAY and members of the Vikings Women’s Organization will partner with ZTA and pass out pink ribbons to fans prior to the October 9 game. On Tuesday, October 11, the Vikings organization will partner with the American Cancer Society to host a luncheon in recognition of the caregivers of eleven breast cancer survivors. Players, cheerleaders and Viktor the Viking will be in attendance.

New England Patriots…

During the October 16 game, the Patriots will highlight breast cancer awareness by honoring breast cancer survivors who will line up on the field with Patriots cheerleaders for player introductions. Fans can also learn more about breast cancer awareness and screenings at tables throughout Gillette Stadium and through announcements made during the game.

New Orleans Saints…

The Saints will participate in the local Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Saints Owner/Executive Vice-President RITA BENSON LEBLANC will participate in the race and serve as honorary chair. At their breast cancer awareness game, partner Ochsner Health System will recognize breast cancer survivors during a presentation as part of their Ochsner Heroes program. They also will provide pink spirit swirlers for each fan entering the Superdome. The Saints will partner with ZTA to distribute information cards and pins at the game.

New York Giants…

At the Giants breast cancer awareness game, survivors will be on-field forming a gauntlet for player introductions. Breast cancer survivors and wives of Giants players will form the shape of a pink football while the anthem is sung. ZTA volunteers will collect donations pregame.

New York Jets…

The Atlantic Health Jets Women’s Organization (AHJWO) will partner with the American Cancer Society for their Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk on October 16 in Parsippany, N.J. AHJWO members will form a team, solicit friends and family for financial support and participate in the walk. The Jets will recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month during their October 17 game.

Oakland Raiders…

The Raiders breast cancer awareness game will be on October 2. The Raiderettes will wear pink Raiders hats and pink ribbon Raiders lapel pins and will perform with pink pompoms. A pink ribbon flag will be presented to and held by local breast cancer research foundation representatives and breast cancer survivors. ZTA will distribute breast cancer information to all fans. The Raiders will team up with the Alta Bates Summit Foundation to provide assistance for breast cancer treatment to low income women in the Bay Area. The Raiders group ticket department will incorporate pink Raiders hats into all group ticket programs for this game.

Philadelphia Eagles…

The Eagles will give away pink towels at their October 2 game, where they will also sell Tackling Breast Cancer shirts and hats. All gameday staff including Cheerleaders and SWOOP will be wearing pink hats. At the October 30 game, ZTA will hand out pink ribbons to all fans as they enter the stadium and gameday staff/cheerleaders/SWOOP will be in pink apparel. Both the October 16 and October 30 games will feature Tackling Breast Cancer messages on the video boards.

Pittsburgh Steelers…

On October 4, Steelers players will visit Magee-Women’s Hospital to offer a nutritional Steelers cooking class to breast cancer survivors and patients. Twenty-five survivors also will be honored in a pregame ceremony during the October 9 game. They will be on the sidelines for the anthem and on the 45-yard line for the coin toss. Fans entering the stadium for that game will receive pink rally towels. ZTA members will distribute pink ribbons at Steelers Experience before the game. GameDay magazine cover will be dedicated to breast cancer awareness, along with an NFL breast cancer awareness ad in the program.

St. Louis Rams…

During the October 2 game, breast cancer survivors will be selected to participate in in-game promotional contests. Breast cancer-related messages from Rams players will be shown on the video boards. At halftime, the St. Louis Rams Cheerleaders will join Junior Cheerleaders and Rams Alumni cheerleaders for a special “Cheer for a Cure” performance to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research through the Siteman Cancer Center. The Rams will partner with ZTA to pass out pink ribbons to fans entering the Edward Jones Dome prior to the game.

San Diego Chargers…

The Chargers will host their breast cancer awareness game on October 2, partnering with ACS to honor 30 breast cancer survivors on the field pre-game. ZTA will hand out more than 20,000 pink ribbons and information cards at the entrance gates, and 65,000 breast cancer awareness beads will be distributed to all fans in attendance. Informational static displays at four locations inside the stadium will educate fans on the importance of early detection. As part of the pre-game festivities, 100 ZTA members in pink shirts will assist in unveiling the flag and a large pink ribbon on the field during the anthem. A breast cancer survivor will serve as the game’s honorary captain.

San Francisco 49ers…

At their October 30 game, the 49ers will honor 49 breast cancer survivors during a half time ceremony where 49ers alumni will present them with a commemorative Breast Cancer Awareness scarf. Prior to the ceremony, a public service announcement featuring 49ers players and coaches whose families have been touched by breast cancer will air on the videoboard with messaging about the importance of early detection. Additionally, 49ers front office staff and coaches will don commemorative pins, and materials related to breast cancer will be distributed to fans prior to kickoff.

Seattle Seahawks…

The Seahawks will recognize breast cancer awareness at their October 2 game. ZTA volunteers will pass out 30,000 pink ribbons at the gates. During the game, the Sea Gals will use neon pink poms and will wear neon pink boots. The half time show will be breast cancer awareness themed and will feature the Sea Gals and eight local high school dance, drill and cheers teams using neon pink poms. The half time show will also include the performers creating a pink ribbon, which will be framed by local breast cancer survivors. The two video boards will have pink ribbons on the bottom of the screen during the entire game.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers…

The team’s breast cancer awareness game will be on October 3. The team-introduction flag runners will include children with parents battling breast cancer. Coin toss will be performed by Pinellas County Sheriff Jim Coats and his wife Cat, who is battling the disease. ZTA volunteers will hand out breast cancer awareness ribbons to fans as they enter the stadium. All Buccaneers staff will wear pink ribbons sported by coaches during the game. The flags on the Pirate Ship in Buccaneer Cove will be pink, and cheerleaders will wear custom Breast Cancer Awareness uniforms and use pink pompoms for the game.

Tennessee Titans…

The Titans will host 12 breast cancer survivors for a special recognition on the field prior to kickoff on October 23. ZTA volunteers will distribute pink ribbons as fans enter LP Field. In addition, the team’s partner hospital will have a breast cancer awareness bus on site during the game. Titans players and cheerleaders will be in breast cancer awareness gear and cheerleaders will have a special performance during the game in honor of breast cancer awareness.

Washington Redskins…

Fans attending the Redskins October 16 game will be welcomed by TANYA SNYDER hundreds of ZTA members distributing THINK-PINK!® ribbons and education. In partnership with The George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates, the GW Mammovan will be on-site prior to kickoff and through the first quarter to provide educational materials as well as tours of the mammovan for interested fans. On October 11, CHRIS & CHRISTY COOLEY, in partnership with the Washington Redskins, Mrs. Snyder and the American Cancer Society, will host the fourth annual All Star Survivors Celebration for area women currently battling breast cancer. The breast cancer survivors attending the event will be pampered and supported by a host of players, coaches, and their wives serving as “Team Captains.”

Your J.G.F.,

Marcelle English

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