Game benefits Shriners Hospitals for Children
Pro Football Hall of Famers Will Shields and Aeneas Williams, three-time Pro Bowler Mark Brunell and three-time Super Bowl champion Willie McGinest will serve as the 2019 East-West Shrine Game Legends captains, the NFL announced today.
The four Legends captains, who all played in the East-West Shrine Game, will serve as mentors for players throughout the week and be present on the sidelines on gameday.
“The East-West Shrine Game merges both the game with community service by enriching young lives at the Shriners Hospitals,” said Troy Vincent, NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations. “These NFL Legends captains exemplify the very best of on-field play and giving back to community. As a former East-West Shrine Game participant, their mentorship throughout the week will have a lifetime impact on the players.”
The 94th annual East-West Shrine Game, which features some of college football’s best prospects, will kick off at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, January 19, from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida and be televised live on NFL Network.
“We are thrilled to have these exceptional alumni return as NFL Legends to work with our 2019 East-West Shrine Game players,” said HAROLD RICHARDSON, East-West Shrine Game Executive Director. “The skill and knowledge that the Legends can provide to our players will further their ability to transition to the professional level next season in the NFL.”
MARK BRUNELL: Brunell enjoyed a 19-year NFL career, highlighted by his nine seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars where he was a three-time Pro Bowl selection and holds the franchise record for passing yards, passing touchdowns and most 300- yard games. He also played for the Green Bay Packers, Washington Redskins, New Orleans Saints and New York Jets in his career and was a member of New Orleans’ Super Bowl XLIV winning team. Brunell remains active in the football community, currently serving as the head coach for the Episcopal School of Jacksonville.
WILLIE McGINEST: A two-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time Super Bowl champion, McGinest was a vital member of the New England Patriots dynasty of the early 2000s. His 15-year NFL career was highlighted by his 12 seasons with New England, where he recorded an NFL-record 16 postseason sacks, including a single- game playoff record 4.5 sacks in the Patriots’ 2005 AFC Wild Card game. McGinest, who finished his career with the Cleveland Browns, currently serves as an analyst for the NFL Network.
WILL SHIELDS: A member of the 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame class, Shields was a 12-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time First-Team All-Pro during his 14-year career with the Kansas City Chiefs. Shields never missed a game at guard throughout his career and was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000’s. He was named the 2003 Walter Payton Man of the Year for his work with the Will to Succeed Foundation, a charitable organization he founded in 1993.
AENEAS WILLIAMS: An eight-time Pro Bowl selection and the 1991 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, Williams played both cornerback and safety throughout his 14-year career for the Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams, earning Pro Bowl selections at both positions. The former walk-on at Southern University was selected to the NFL’s All- Decade Team of the 1990’s and enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014.
For more than 90 years, some of football’s greatest players and coaches have contributed to the tradition of the East-West Shrine Game, the nation’s first college all- star football game. Created by the Shriners in 1925, the game is driven by the desire to support Shriners Hospitals for Children in its mission to help children in need of expert medical care. Participating players make an annual visit to the local Shriners Hospital, visiting children and staff in an experience that they will truly never forget.
Sports Talk AM 1040 The Team Tampa Bay is the flagship station for the East-West Shrine Game and will be airing the game locally on January 19.