The NFL heavily promoted their Breast Cancer Awareness campaign, but what did it add up to other than coaches and officials wearing pink ribbons?
One of their highly touted initiatives was the use of the special pink towels by the players in games on October 7. From the press release, “Pink Gatorade Towels: Players will use special-edition pink Gatorade towels on the sidelines during the games. Players will autograph these towels and other pink merchandise, which will be put up for bid on NFL Auction, with proceeds going to breast cancer organizations.”
And this was the picture on NFL Auctions all month –
Now, I don’t want to accuse the League of window dressing and lip service, but in researching exactly what each team was doing for Breast Cancer Awareness Month (The word “awareness” always infuriates me, who is not “aware” by now?) at least a dozen or so teams mentioned this auction. So what happened? Where are the rest of the items? Isn’t fundraising just as important – if not more so – than making sure all the refs are wearing pink wristbands? I took that screenshot on Monday and yesterday the pink ribbon was taken down. So was it really all a bunch of hype for very little?
UPDATE: Overnight NFL Auctions finally put more items up for bid. Check out our post here for a full listing. Thanks to SportsbyBrooks, Deadspin, Dan Shanoff, and MJD at the Fanhouse for helping spread the word yesterday.
Each team also participated to varying levels with a few glaring omissions. (We know Brady and Belichick are all about the boobies, so the Pats not even doing anything with their cheerleaders or with the ZTA sorority this season is shocking.) Let’s look at the complete rundown.
Arizona Cardinals – Cheerleaders collected donations at game.
Baltimore Ravens – Handed out pink ribbon temporary tattoos and featured one of the cheerleaders who is studying cancer research at Johns Hopkins.
Buffalo Bills – Selling The Billieve items
Carolina Panthers – Nothing found, but Jake Delhomme recorded the league’s breast cancer PSA. (I can think of several Ladies who would be upset if David Carr did not care about the boobies.)
Chicago Bears – Nothing in the current season, but the Bear Care gala raised $650,000 to support breast and ovarian cancer research and treatment over the summer.
Cleveland Browns – Gave out pink ribbons with ZTA and hosted the One Dollar One Cause donation drive at a game.
Dallas Cowboys – Team site says they sponsor the local Race for a Cure, but cannot find anything on the local page. Bradie James runs the Soul Survivor program through his 56 Foundation which is geared to providing screening in communities with inadequate health care.
Denver Broncos – The Bronco Cheerleaders were very involved with the Race for the Cure through Team Lisa named after a former cheerleader who was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Detroit Lions – Nothing found for 2007
Green Bay Packers – Nothing found, but obviously Deanne Favre is a high-profile spokeswoman for the cause.
Indianapolis Colts – ZTA to give away pink ribbons and T-shirt sales on the concourse.
Jacksonville Jaguars – Nothing found. (Cancer takes a backseat to regional blackouts, I am sure.)
Kansas City Chiefs – Good Lord, where to start. Special Jazzercise show at halftime, mirror decals in all of the ladies rooms talking about the importance of self-examination, sold special hats and t-shirts, and handed out pink spirit bands at a game, among many other activities.
Minnesota Vikings – At the October 28 game, there will be a special Cheerleader for a day event that allows young women to perform in the halftime show. Part of the fee to participate is going to the Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer Foundation.
New Orleans Saints - Honered Saints’ LB Scott Fujita’s mother, a two-time breast cancer survivor. Owner/Executive Vice-President Rita Benson LeBlanc was the honorary chair for the New Orleans Race for the cure.
NY Giants – The Giants paired up with the Breast Cancer Task Force to sell special hats and ribbons which benefits facilities that provide free breast cancer surgeries and screenings to underserved and uninsured women.
NY Jets – Nothing found.
Philadelphia Eagles – Over the past few years the Eagles’ Tackling Breast Cancer drive has raised over $750,000 for breast cancer treatment and research. Also partnered with Papa Johns for special deals that will help raise funds, handing out pink ribbons at games in October and November, and the cheerleaders had special pink poms for the October 21 game.
Pittsburgh Steelers – Highlighted Alan and Julie Faneca’s involvement with Glimmer of Hope and Max Starks’ “Hot Pink Pittsburgh” event that raises funds to provide breast cancer and cervival cancer screening for uninsured women. The team also did an field check presentation for the Race for the Cure and sold a Steelers T-Shirt
San Diego Chargers – Hat sales.
San Francisco 49ers – The Race for the Cure is on their calendar, but there are no details listed. (Other drives have full write ups.)
Seattle Seahawks – Had a Rock Paper Scissors tourney in the spring that benefited the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer. (No information available for 2007, but the Sea Gals did some publicity and appearance in 2006.)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Nothing on their site other than the pink ribbon on their banner, but some digging in Google led to a page where you can donate and vote for the cheerleader with the prettiest eyes. Will pass out ribbons with ZTA.
Tennessee Titans – ZTA Ribbons and on field recognition.
Washington Redskins – Think Pink ribbons given out with ZTA.
And you read that title correctly. The American Cancer Society Estimates that 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.
Eight Ladies. 16 breasts.