NFL comes to GW

Without a tackle football team of their own, students do not mention GW and the NFL in the same sentence too often. But because of GW’s intramural flag football league, all that has changed.

Saturday marked the first NFL College Flag Football Championship Bash, held at the Mount Vernon field. The bash concluded the first season of the NFL’s pilot program, which paired 32 college intramural programs with NFL team sponsors. The program, created by both the NFL and the National Intramural Recreation Sports Association (NIRSA), paired GW with the Washington Redskins.

The program had both a men’s league and a co-ed league, and all teams that finished at .500 or better made the playoff tournament. The championship games were held Saturday afternoon, after the semifinals for both leagues were played that morning.

JT’s All-Stars took the co-ed league championship with a 36-12 win over the Men in the Backfield. The Blood beat the Fockers for the men’s league championship 13-12.

In between games, a team comprised of players from the co-ed championship game played against a team of contestant winners representing DC 101. The rock station selected 20 random winners after interested contestants sent in e-mails in hopes of participating. The DC 101 team beat the GW Co-Recsters, as they were called, 27-0. Jones said the co-ed players were tired after playing two games earlier in the day.

There were also accusations by the Co-Recsters that DC 101 was employing a ringer when former Washington Redskin Ricky Ervins participated. Ervins, who played for the Redskins from 1991-94, was on hand as a team representative and to sign autographs and present the championship trophies.

GW Director of Recreational Sports and Fitness Services Aubrey Jones said the program was an improved version of the intramural flag football program that has been held at GW in years past.

The bash featured sponsor tents for companies such as AT&T and DC 101.

The Redskins home stadium, FedEx Field. was originally planned as the site for the championships, but Jones said officials were afraid the playing surface would be damaged.

Senior Brett Kaplan, the program’s student coordinator, said he was still pleased with the championships at Mt. Vernon.

“The last three weeks, the normal fields (on Constitution Avenue and 23rd Street) were covered with mud,” he said. “This is much nicer.”

Jones said he was pleased with the bash overall but that he would have liked a bigger turnout from GW students. Besides participants, there were few people in attendance, and boxes of free giveaways sat idle.

Despite the low student turnout, a marketing representative for the firm that conducted the program for the NFL, who asked not to be named, said Saturday’s events went well.

“It’s the first year, so we didn’t know what to expect, but everything’s been really good so far,” she said.

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