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Posted on Jan 6, 2012 in Stuff We Like

Gridiron ‘Heroes’ Meet Real Heroes at U.S. Army All-American Bowl

By John Ingoldsby


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A U.S. Army All-American West player does push-ups with the help of a teammate and under the direction of an Army Staff Sergeant during competition versus East team at Player/Hero Challenge. (John Ingoldsby)

(With assistance from All-American Games Staffers Ashley Allen and Michael Bittman)

SAN ANTONIO, TX (Jan. 5, 2012) – The “Best of the Best” in both prep football and the U.S. Army met and bonded last night during a Player/Hero Challenge in advance of this Saturday’s U.S. Army All American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas.

The nation’s top 90 high school football ‘heroes’ had the opportunity of a lifetime in sharing dinner — after working up a Texas-sized hunger during a spirited push-up/sit-up/eating competition — with real-life Army ‘heroes,’ who were chosen by obtaining a specific rank, while receiving a Silver Star, Bronze Star, or Purple Heart in Operation New Dawn, Operation Iraqi Freedom, or Operation Enduring Freedom (among other distinctions).


The game will be played this Saturday, January 7, 2012, at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The annual East vs. West match-up will be televised live on NBC at 1:00 p.m. EST and will be presented by American Family Insurance.

For more than 11 years, the U.S. Army All-American Bowl has been the nation’s premier high school football game, serving as the preeminent launching pad for America’s future college and NFL stars. Adrian Peterson, Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, Ndamukong Suh, Marcus Lattimore, and Andrew Luck all made their national debuts as U.S. Army All-Americans. The 2011 U.S. Army All-American Bowl drew a crowd of nearly 38,000 to the Alamodome, and was the most-watched sporting event on television over the weekend, excluding the NFL playoffs.

The U.S. Army All-American Bowl is owned and produced by All American Games, a New Jersey-based sport marketing and event management company. The U.S. Army is the title sponsor of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, and American Family Insurance is the lead national sponsor and presenting sponsor of the telecast on NBC. Other national sponsors include, San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau, Russell Athletic, adidas, Gatorade, Schutt Sports, NCSA, TapouT, Oakley, NewTek and Football University. National sponsors of the All-American Marching Band include NAfME: The National Association for Music Education, Drum Corps International, Jupiter Band Instruments and DeMoulin Uniforms.

For more information on the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and its related events visit and or the official Facebook and Twitter pages located at and

BLOG BELOW from All-American Games Staffer Corey Brown on Player/Hero Challenge

Last night, the football All-Americans teamed up with many U.S. Army heroes to compete in the Player/Hero Challenge. These Army soldiers have been distinguished as “heroes” by obtaining a specific rank, while receiving a Silver Star, Bronze Star, or Purple Heart in Operation New Dawn, Operation Iraqi Freedom, or Operation Enduring Freedom (among other distinctions). So, while all of San Antonio has been idolizing our All-Americans for the last few days, it became time for the players to idolize the REAL heroes of our nation. Together, the players and heroes competed in sit-up, pushup, and eating contests, with the East team edging out the West in the eating competition by about half a chicken wing (visit our Facebook page and to see video clips of all of the contests and much more footage throughout Bowl Week).

FAVORITE PART OF THE DAY: Watching the football players and U.S. Army heroes mingling at the Player/Hero Challenge was truly inspirational. Each individual player was paired up for the entire night with one Army hero. They bonded, cheered during the contests, and enjoyed dinner together. The feedback we received afterwards from the All-Americans was extremely positive. The Bowl’s partnership with the U.S. Army brings an incredibly real aspect to the game and the players. From a social media perspective, we saw an amazing number of Facebook status updates and tweets from the players tonight about how inspired they were by their Army heroes. Quite candidly, this is what makes the U.S. Army All-American Bowl so special.

1 Comment

  1. What a great series of events for the athletes and for the Army heroes who were involved in these events throughout the week. Great job, ARMY! You came through well again!