Team “Mean Machine” will once again clash with “The Guards” for bragging rights on Capitol Hill in the 2015 Congressional Football Game for Charity on Oct. 28.
Members of Congress and staffers huddle during a congressional football practice on the Mall in preparation for a game between members of Congress and the Capitol Police. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
The fundraiser, which benefits the non-profit United States Capitol Police Memorial Fund, American Red Cross National Capital Region, Our Military Kids and A Advantage 4 Kids Inc., pits lawmakers against Capitol Police officers in a game of pigskin.
Organizers said the original contest took place in 2005 at Gallaudet University. Since then, Capitol Police have logged four victories to Congress’ single win, with a tie rounding out the record books. (Disclosure: Roll Call is a media sponsor for the game.)
Team captain Jeff Denham, R-Calif., welcomed all the newcomers — a contingent he said includes Reps. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif.; Mike Bishop, R-Mich.; Mike Bost, R-Ill.; Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla.; Robert J. Dold, R-Ill.; Martha McSally, R-Ariz.; Jason Smith, R-Mo.; David Valadao, R-Calif.; Bruce Westerman, R-Ark.; and Ryan Zinke, R-Mont. — to the squad, telling HOH Dold will be under center come game day.
Dold prepares for a game between members of Congress and the Capitol Police. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Former Philadelphia Eagle John Booty and Washington Redskins alumnus Ken Harvey are continuing the tradition of whipping the contenders into shape in their recurring roles as team coaches. According to Denham, Booty’s been at it for a decade, while Harvey just broached the eight-year mark.
Harvey takes out Donna Wilkinson of the women's football team DC Divas, during a congressional football practice on the Mall in preparation for a game between members of Congress and the Capitol Police. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
“It takes guts to get up early and train like football players. Everyone is doing a great job,” Harvey told HOH of the rigorous conditioning involved. “In the end, it is about teamwork and the goal to do some good."
The workouts begin two months before the players even step on the field. And no one appears to get cut any slack.
“Push-ups if you are late to practice,” Denham said of his least favorite extracurricular activity.
Fans will be able to get their first taste of the action on Oct. 21 at a “Draft Day” reception expected to be held somewhere on Capitol Hill. (Stay tuned.)
The main event is expected to take place later this month at Watkins Recreation Center, with kick off scheduled for 7:20 p.m.
Tickets to the sporting affair are $10
apiece and are available via Eventbrite.
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