The National Football League has announced that the 2010-2011 season kickoff will include a charity event to raise money for Gulf Coast relief efforts.
Proceeds from the "Back to Football 2010 Kickoff Charity Auction" will go to support the New Orleans Saints Gulf Coast Renewal Fund. The Saints were Superbowl XLIV champions earlier this year, defeating the Indianapolis Colts by a score of 31-17 in the highest-rated television program, sports or otherwise, in history. The victory, which was watched by more than 45 million viewers, was seen by many as symbolic of the resilience and determination of the Gulf Coast, which had been devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and is now suffering the effects of the BP oil spill.
The Kickoff Charity Auction will offer unique experiences and autographed memorabilia from some of the NFL’s most famous faces, including Super Bowl XLIV MVP and Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre, whose teams will face off on September 9 for the start of the 2010 season.
The auction will last through September 12 and offer more than 150 items and experiences for purchase.
Some items that sports fans can bid on include a Superbowl XLIV helmet signed by Drew Brees, game-worn jerseys from NFL stars Tom Brady, Brett Favre, Eli and Peyton Manning, Randy Moss, Tony Romo and Mark Sanchez, a day on the set of HBO’s Emmy-nominated series "Treme," set in post-Katrina New Orleans, and a VIP trip for two to Super Bowl XLV in North Texas on February 6, 2011.
In addition to the auction, a significant portion of the funds will be raised from the raffle of an official Super Bowl XLIV Championship Ring – identical to the one that was awarded to the Saints on February 7, 2010. More than $800,000 has been raised through this raffle so far, all of it to be donated to the Gulf Coast’s clean-up and economic relief effort.