Santonio Holmes may not be quite ready to take the field yet for the New York Jets, but that didn’t stop him from being a true champion for his charity, “The Third and Long Foundation”.
It may have been 95+ degrees in New York yesterday, but that didn’t stop the “Flags for Foundations” event from being a complete success for absolutely everyone involved.
For those who don’t know or weren’t aware, “Flags for Foundations” was the even hosted yesterday on Roosevelt Island, at Octagon Field. Santonio Holmes was the host, on behalf of his “Third and Long Foundation”, along with our friends from @uSTADIUM. If you haven’t already, they are a great follow on Twitter, always willing to talk football.
Santonio did attend the event, and spent the majority of the day there. The main event was a flag football tournament, henceforth the “Flags for Foundations” name. The turn out was great, enough to have a double-elimination tournament that involved eight teams, including a team of our friends from Turn on the Jets.
Where many athletes might have stayed out of the hot sun, not really spending time with anyone, Santonio Holmes was exactly the opposite. He was at the forefront for most of the day, signing autographs and taking pictures with fans, to the right he is taking a picture with yours truly and my wife. He absolutely did an excellent job of meeting and greeting his fans, including a gentleman that was watching the event from his wheelchair, taking a break from his nearby nursing home.
As I wrote up last night, the only unfortunate incident came approximately halfway through the tournament games. To make a long story short, a guy went up for a pass and landed, only to break his leg. Santonio responded like a true champion, and planned to pay for all of the injured player’s medical needs, rehab, …etc. In a world where we are too quick to get on our athletes when they behave inappropriately, we must take the time to recognize them when they do good deeds. Santonio Holmes was a Super Bowl MVP, but yesterday, he was a human MVP. One is far more important.
The “Flags for Foundations” Champions.
The football tournament was a great success, the championship team, known as the “Chosen Few”, is pictured to the left. The prize they earned was football signed by Santonio Holmes himself. The runner-up team, Zocket Athletics, earned one signed football as a group.
In addition to Santonio’s group, one cannot dismiss the job that the guys from “uSTADIUM” did in putting on the event. It was quite the hot day as we all know, but there was no shortage of water, electrolyte drinks, ice tea, and other beverages, to keep the players and onlookers hydrated as much as possible.
They had the event catered by “Panera Bread“, with sandwiches, chips and cookies, great job by them. The folks from “Gardein NYC” were on site as well, providing vegetarian sliders for fans and players alike to taste.
Led by our buddy Nick Spano and the crew from “uSTADIUM”, the flag football tournament was organized, the players knew where to be and when. The games flowed from one to the next without a hitch. Everyone’s needs were catered too and nobody in attendance was let to feel uncomfortable or not taken care of. There was enough for everyone to eat, drink, and there was plenty of shade around the field for everyone to be as comfortable as possible. That is a difficult task when it is 95 degrees and humid out, but they did it anyway.
Heck, it was such a good event that my wife played in the event, see the picture to the right. Now that is a great day!
In all seriousness, hats off to “uSTADIUM”, and our friends Nick Spano, Frank Vittorini, and their partner Charles M. Raisch. If all of their events are as successful as this one, their company has a wonderful future ahead.