Tickets still available for Super Bowl Breakfast
NFL legends & Hall of famers will be in valley for annual Bart Starr Award for excellence off the field
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - With the Super Bowl coming to town there’s one event giving you amazing access to NFL legends & hall of famers. The Super Bowl Breakfast is the Saturday before the big game.
Every year, since 1988, Athletes in Action honors the NFL player of the year for character, integrity & leadership on and off the field. The award, named after legendary Packer’s player and coach Bart Starr. “He was the quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, and was MVP for Super Bowls 1 & 2, In the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Just the legend in the NFL,” said Terry Bortz, with Athletes in Action.
AIA works with the players and league veterans to select the winner each year who embodies the best character & leadership in family, faith, and community. They’re partnered with 225 college campuses, the NFL and MLS, and athletic programs in 60 countries, helping to mentor the leaders of tomorrow. “People think, ‘Oh, it’s such a glamorous life,’ but it’s not always so glamorous, and there are lots of temptations and lots of hardships. And we want to be there for them,” Bortz said.
We caught up with this year’s Bart Starr Award recipient, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. “You certainly play football for the team’s accomplishments. That’s what it’s all about. But when it comes to individual awards, I don’t know of one that would mean more to me than what the Bart Starr Award represents,” Cousins said. “As a pro quarterback, I’m living a dream, and I’ve been given a great platform, but really that just means I need to steward it well.”
The Julie & Kirk Cousins Foundation supports six charities: Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Bethany Christian Services, Compassionate Heart Ministries, Discovery Church, Holland Christian Schools, and International Justice Mission. “And every day we wrestle with... are we doing that well enough?” Cousins said. That humble heart is rooted in finding purpose by giving back.
“It’s about who you are as a person and the character you carry with you and the relationships you have that are really what’s going to last not, not just the on-field success,” Cousins said. Three-time Super Bowler Brent Jones said he also knows success is about so much more than the game. “You can only play football for a finite period of time--other than Tom Brady,” Jones said. He won the Bart Starr Award in ‘98 when he retired after 11 years with the San Francisco 49ers.
“You will see so many great players that have continued to use their platform of professional sports and make a difference in their community,” he said. “We’re looking forward to the time there over Super Bowl week,” Cousins said. He spent quite a bit of time in Arizona growing up, visiting his grandparents who were snowbirds here. Later, through the years, Cousins played the Cardinals in Glendale.
“I don’t know that I’ve ever won in that stadium, so they haven’t been great memories,” Cousins said. This time, he said he’s hopeful and excited to share his story and inspire others to embrace & embody the spirit of Bart Starr. “It’s a tremendous honor,” he said. “So many people can’t get tickets to the game, and they think, ‘Oh, I can’t be involved in the Super Bowl,’ but yes, you can!” Bortz said.
In addition to a special message from Kirk Cousins and Peyton & Eli Manning, Tony Dungy and Anthony Munoz will be there along with Arizona Cardinals’ James Conner and Luis Sharpe sharing their personal stories of overcoming adversity. The Super Bowl Breakfast is 8 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11 at the Desert Ridge Marriott. If you’d like to go or sponsor a table, click here, proceeds benefit Athletes in Action. Arizona’s Family anchor Nicole Crites will be co-hosting the event alongside CBS’s The Talk and American Ninja Warrior’s Akbar Gbaja-Biamila.
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