Heard on the Hill

Capitol Police Score Early, Beat Members’ Team in Congressional Football Game

Win fourth straight game, 7-0

The Guards’ Chad Nieto, center, tries to catch a pass in the end zone as California Rep. Pete Aguilar, left, and Oklahoma Rep. Markwayne Mullin break it up during the Congressional Football Game for Charity on Wednesday night. (Bill Clark/Roll Call)

Even Santana Moss and Herschel Walker couldn’t help the members’ team. The Capitol Police won the Congressional Football Game for Charity, 7-0, their fourth consecutive win.

The members’ team — the Mean Machine — was made up of a bipartisan group of congressmen and congresswomen plus former NFL players, and the Capitol Police team was called the Guards, a reference to the classic football film “The Longest Yard.”

The highlight came at halftime of Wednesday night’s rainy game, which raises money for the U.S. Capitol Police Memorial Fund, among other organizations, when Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana made an appearance.

Scalise Attends Congressional Football Game

Entering the stadium at Gallaudet University before halftime, Scalise greeted officer David Bailey, who was wounded while protecting him when a gunman opened fire on the Republican team’s practice ahead of the Congressional Baseball Game in June. Scalise was hospitalized after the shooting and only recently returned to the House floor.

[The Congressional Football Game, In Photos]

Bailey played in the football game, and his partner on Scalise’s security detail, Crystal Griner, was there to watch. Scalise gave both officers white jerseys that said “Thank You” on the back. Illinois Rep. Rodney Davis, who was also at the Republican baseball practice, presented them with a football signed by the NFL players on his team.

The Guards gave Scalise and the members’ team captains, Reps. Tim Walz of Minnesota and Jeff Denham of California, a badge inscribed with all their names. The Mean Machine’s coaches — Ken Harvey, formerly of the Washington Redskins, and John Booty, formerly of the Philadelphia Eagles — also received a badge, along with Walker.

Tennessee Rep. Chuck Fleischmann and former NFL star Herschel Walker watch from the sidelines during the Congressional Football Game. (Bill Clark/Roll Call)

While Walker, Harvey and Moss played most of the game while directing members on the field, the Capitol Police team scored their winning touchdown in the first quarter.

Moss confused fans in the stands by starting the game in a white shirt, the same color worn by the Guards. He then put on a black Mean Machine jersey.

[Members Prepare to Take On Capitol Police in Football]

During warmups for the second half, after the ceremony with Scalise, an announcer informed the crowd that the Washington Nationals had beat the Chicago Cubs in Game 4 of their division series game, prompting cheers.

Several members of the Mean Machine tied their cleats with bright green laces. While most players wore jerseys sporting their last names, Massachusetts Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II wore a jersey with “Joe” on the back, and Kansas Rep. Roger Marshall went with the name of his home state.

Rep. Martha McSally
Arizona Rep. Martha McSally sings the national anthem before the start of the Congressional Football Game for Charity. (Bill Clark/Roll Call)

The son of Arkansas Rep. Rick Crawford, outfitted in a “Crawford” jersey, rooted for his father on the sideline. Two women played on the members’ team – Reps. Nanette Barragán of California and Rep. Martha McSally of Arizona, who sang the national anthem.

By the end of the fourth quarter, members had begun to take photographs with Walker, formerly of the Dallas Cowboys. Harvey jokingly scolded them and told them to pay attention.

After the game, members and Capitol Police officers got autographs from the former players.

Along with the U.S. Capitol Police Memorial Fund, proceeds from the game will benefit Our Military Kids and A Advantage 4 Kids. The Congressional Football Game for Charity is played every two years, to avoid election years.

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