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Kids Learn About Life And Football At Annual Gridiron Games

Former NFL Stars Were On Hand To Teach Some Important Lessons

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Fall weekends at the Meadowlands typically mean that fans will be showing up for a Giants or Jets game.

But, as CBS 2′s Janelle Burrell reported, Saturday afternoon saw a different type of football game on the field at Met Life Stadium.

Pint sized football players with huge spirits received a pep talk from former NFL players like Bruce Harper before hitting the turf for the annual Gridiron Games.

“It’s been a fun experience to meet all of the retired football greats,” Wilese Neville said.

Neville was among more than 150 kids from Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City that took part in the event.

“It’s like a once in a lifetime opportunity to have as much fun as I can,” Alijah England said.

NFL greats Billy Taylor, Stephen Baker, and Sean Landetta were also on hand to teach kids important skills that they will be able to use on and off the field.

“To respect others and have good sportsmanship,” Octavius Hamilton said.

Mentors from the organization stepped in to lend a hand and watch the kids enjoy an afternoon of football and learning.

“When they come out of the bus and come into this stadium to see their eyes and their smiles is just great,” Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC, CEO, Hector Batista said.

At the end of the day the former pros told CBS 2′s Burrell that it’s not the score that counts but the lessons that the kids learned.

“You have to have a game plan and you have to work together as a team. That’s the same thing in life,” Harper said.

Nasir Flight, 7, was already putting some of those skills to the test.

“Here we are at the Met Life Stadium and I’d love to be here for the rest of my life,” he said.

Whatever their goals the experience that these kids had on the field will impact them in both sports and life.

After the kids cleared the field attorneys from some the city’s biggest firms played a game that raised over $300-thousand for the Big Brothers Big Sisters Of New York City.

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