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Sunday, October 4: Breast Cancer Awareness Via Football Uniforms

Posted by Matt Terl on October 4, 2009 – 10:00 am

The Redskins will be wearing the traditional white jerseys and burgundy pants for today’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, along with the decidedly non-traditional pink gloves, pink wristbands, and — in some cases — pink cleats, as part of the NFL’s “A Crucial Catch” breast cancer awareness campaign.
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Wednesday, September 30: The Jerseys Of Redskins Wives

Posted by Matt Terl on September 30, 2009 – 10:02 am

The wives of Redskins players and coaches were all pretty uniformly thrilled to be able to participate in yesterday’s All Star Survivors Luncheon.

Christy Cooley, wife of Chris: “It’s amazing. It’s really cool. Its great to see all the different players wives and coaches wives come out too and help out.”

Majanique Alexander, wife of Lorenzo: “Both of my grandmothers passed away from cancer. One ovarian and one breast cancer, but … the women we were put with today, there was some divine reason because they’ve all been sharing their stories and it’s been really special.”

Brian Orakpo’s fiancee Tura: “It’s been really neat. It’s been really great, we’ve met some wonderful people, some really great women. And to hear their stories, some of the things they’re going through from the beginning of treatment to towards the end of treatment from these women who survived it … it’s been really awesome.”

Joy Zorn, wife of head coach Jim: “I have almost cried about three times just hearing these ladies’ stories. They are just incredibly courageous. It helps to put life in perspective when you hear what some of these women have dealt with and what a difference it makes to them to be able to look like themselves again.”

Emma Dockery, wife of Derrick and one of the driving forces behind growing Chris Cooley’s event from last year into the larger spectacle of yesterday: “On a personal side, yesterday marked the third year of my mother passing from breast cancer. I feel like if life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. So this is pretty much my lemonade.

“I got involved with breast cancer things when we were in Buffalo,” Dockery continued, “And I think that October is a wonderful month, but it doesn’t just stop at October. 365 days a year these women are dealing with this and they’re fighting and they’re winning. And that’s what makes it important to me to come out and really be a voice, if you will, for just that. Just to continue for people to fight, continue for people to win, continue for people to live life because it’s so precious. You look at the scheme of things, life is so short, so you might as well live every day the best you can.”

Dockery made another major contribution to the event: all of the wives and girlfriends were wearing Redskins jerseys with their husband’s numbers on them, but the numbers and names were all in the distinctive pink of breast cancer awareness.
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Saturday, September 26: More About Tanya Snyder And The Think Pink! Game

Posted by Matt Terl on September 26, 2009 – 11:12 am

When I wrote yesterday about the upcoming breast cancer awareness campaign at the October 4 game against Tampa Bay, I focused mostly on the gear — the pink gloves and hats and towels and all that. The New York Times took a different route, profiling Tanya Snyder, wife of Redskins owner Daniel M. Snyder and one of the lead spokespeople for the NFL’s breast cancer awareness initiative.

And, honestly, the article is much more interesting than my pictures of gloves and patches were. The Snyders as a family are deeply personal people, and the story is interesting as a peek into their private life; it’s also effective — for obvious reasons — as a lesson about the importance of early detection.

But each October, Tanya has stood outside FedEx Field handing out pink ribbons as fans arrived for a Redskins game, part of Think Pink!, the campaign she and the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority started in 1999 to raise breast cancer awareness. At the time, the Redskins were the only N.F.L. team to participate. At least 20 teams now take part, and one of the Snyders’ two daughters nudges pink ribbons onto reluctant men by telling them, “Real men wear pink.”

Tanya has taped a public-service announcement about breast cancer And she is not a neophyte; as a fashion executive, she hit it off with Dan by talking business on their first date. But she still measures her words carefully when talking about breast cancer. She wants to be a good example to her children – two daughters, 14 and 11, and a son, 7 – and to show them that she is going to be all right. Soon after her diagnosis, her son went to school and told his friends that his mother was going to die.

Don’t get me wrong: the pink gear is still pretty cool-looking, but it’s good to also remember that this stuff is genuinely important, and that these initiatives actually provide direct assistance to people who need it. It’s an article that’s worth reading. Read more »

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Friday, September 25: Burgundy and Gold and … Pink?

Posted by Matt Terl on September 25, 2009 – 9:24 am

At the next home game, October 4 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Redskins will participating in the league-wide “A Crucial Catch” breast cancer awareness campaign. Tanya Snyder will be the official Coin Toss Observer, and — like last year — Zeta Tau Alpha sorority members will be distributing pink ribbons and education cards outside the stadium.

Also, lots and lots of the in-game … stuff, for lack of a better term, will be pink. Pink captains patches, receiver gloves, goalpost padding, field stencils, helmet stickers, K-balls, wristbands, gloves, sideline caps, and so on. There’s even pink trim on the referees uniforms for the day. And a few player, including Chris Cooley and Clinton Portis, are scheduled to be wearing pink cleats.

The game-worn pink gear will be autographed post-game and auctioned off for charity at NFL Auction. And there really is a whole lot of it. Read more »

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