There are awesome military gestures, and then there’s what the New York Jets put together for some troops stationed in Afghanistan.
The franchise put together a flag football game for the 10th Mountain Division and provided all the supplies, according to ESPN’s Rich Cimini. The Jets shipped over footballs, kicking tees, jerseys, whistles and even coaching clipboards for the 11-on-11 game that was played Friday morning.
The Jets provided customized jerseys featuring team colors. The green jerseys read “Resolute” and white uniforms that read “Support,” which is the name of the 10th division’s mission. The teams practiced leading up to the game and groomed the dirt field to be playable.
Afterward, Cimini reports the division celebrated with a tailgate titled the “Humvee Gate Party,” and received support messages from Jets wide receiver Eric Decker and center Nick Mangold, who called the troops via Skype from the team’s facility.
The idea was brought to owner Woody Johnson’s attention by Steve Castleton, a military liaison located in New York, according to Cimini. Johnson loved the idea instantly.
The non-commissioned officers defeated the officers, 36-7. But the impact of the game was felt far beyond the scoreboard.
“It was a day they didn’t have to think about combat,” Castleton told Cimini. “The morale was astronomical.”
To top it all off, many of the soldiers who participated in the flag football game will be honored at MetLife Stadium Nov. 13, when the Jets host military appreciation day.