Friday, August 26, 2005 AFA Press Release August 27, 2005
Media - contact Dave Burch at AFA National Office
(877) 624-4485 or (941) 388-3510
(e-mail) (or)

While most semi-pro football teams across the country are busy tending to their own league schedules - they aren’t to busy to remember where they came from and many have pledged to ‘give a little something back to the sport’ in their local communities.

The American Football Association (AFA) is a national 501 c (3) non-profit corporation in its 25th year of operation and is dedicated to the advancement of semi-pro (adult amateur) football in the United States. Recently the AFA pledged its support of the NFL/NFL Players Association sponsored USA Football, Inc. in an effort to bring more public awareness to both youth and adult amateur football in the United States.

‘This is an excellent opportunity for teams and leagues in our sport to help bring some awareness to the Adult Amateur (semi-pro) level of the game’, said AFA President Ron Real. ‘Many of our semi-pro coaches and players volunteer their time and efforts during the football season assisting youth teams in their communities. By actively participating in “Play Football Month” our semi-pro organizations can help bring attention to their own teams by sponsoring one or more of the Play Football Month promotions suggested by the USA Football organization.’

The AFA is extending an invitation to the more than 700 adult amateur football teams across the country to participate in “Play Football Month” by supporting this worthy promotion to bring attention to youth and amateur football at all levels during the month of September.

Semi-Pro football organizations may become involved in PLAY FOOTBALL MONTH by signing up online for free materials provided in the USA Football, Inc. toolkit . . . or simply calling 703-918-0007 to receive the promotional materials.

The end of summer signals the beginning of the football season for millions of young players, their coaches and families. The American Football Association is asking its member teams coast-to-coast to team up with the NFL, NFL Players Association, and USA Football, Inc. to celebrate the opening of the youth football season and salute the participants in youth, high school, and college football by actively participating in PLAY FOOTBALL MONTH.

PLAY FOOTBALL MONTH, an expansion of last year's Play Football Week, will take place from August 25-September 30 at NFL stadiums and other communities from across the country. The celebration theme is: "Be Part of the Football Family."

AFA semi-pro teams will join NFL teams, colleges, high schools, and youth football organizations across the country in hosting events and recognition programs in an effort to bring additional attention to PLAY FOOTBALL MONTH.

NFL teams will offer free tickets to youth football organizations for one home game during the third and fourth (August 25-September 2) preseason weekends. Last year, NFL teams donated 55,000 tickets to youth and military personnel. Teams will recognize youth football players during pregame ceremonies of many games by having them line up in full uniform in front of NFL players on the sidelines during the playing of the national anthem. Youth teams also will scrimmage during halftime of designated NFL games.

Youth football organizations coordinating local PLAY FOOTBALL MONTH events include: the Amateur Athletic Union, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Jewish Community Centers Association, National Association of Police Athletic Leagues, National Federation of State High School Associations, National Recreation & Park Association, Pop Warner Little Scholars, YMCA of the USA, American Football Coaches Association, American Youth Football, military bases, . . . and now, AFA semi-pro football member organizations.

"Football is more than just passing, running, blocking, and tackling. You learn about working with others to achieve a common goal," said USA Football Chairman JACK KEMP. "During Play Football Month, we salute the more than 12 million children who participate in the sport, along with the parents and volunteers who make it happen, especially the coaches. As TROY AIKMAN said, ‘Youth football coaches are the true gatekeepers of the sport."'

The Play Football Month Celebration Award will again recognize events that best celebrate the sport of football and bring the community together. While NFL teams are not eligible for the award, non-profit organizations with which they work are eligible for nomination. Last year's winning celebrations included a pep rally, parade, picnic, skills clinic, and scrimmage. Among last year's 11 winners, several worked with their local NFL team, including the Naperville Pop Warner (Chicago), Naples Gators (Miami), San Diego Youth Football & Cheer Conference (San Diego), and Western New York Youth Tackle Football Federation (Buffalo).

National print, radio and television messages about PLAY FOOTBALL MONTH have already begun appearing. This year's ads feature Hall of Famers DAN MARINO and JOHN ELWAY, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback BEN ROETHLISBERGER, St. Louis Rams wide receiver TORRY HOLT, and San Diego Chargers wide receiver KEENAN MCCARDELL.

For information on local events, check the PLAY FOOTBALL MONTH events calendar at

USA Football ( is an independent non-profit organization that was launched by the NFL and NFL Players Association through a grant from the NFL Youth Football Fund in December 2002. It is the first national advocacy group created to galvanize, support, expand, and promote the sport of amateur football. Jack Kemp, former Congressman and quarterback who led the Buffalo Bills to the 1964 and 1965 American Football League Championship, serves as chairman.
Portions of this American Football Association Press Release were taken from copy provided to the AFA by USA Football, Inc. and reprinted with their permission.  American Football Association

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