United In Cause: Heroes Helping Heroes

They say memories last a lifetime.

It was evident Wednesday night no one will soon forget a fun, yet competitive flag football game between those who played the game we love and those who protected the country we love.

The Arizona NFL Alumni and the Wounded Warriors Amputee Football Team lit up the scoreboard to help raise proceeds for several different disabled-veterans organizations around the state.

“Super cool event,” ASU Hall-of-Fame lineman and two-time Super Bowl Champion Grey Ruegamer told Sports360AZ.com. “Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s a chance to play against some of our wounded vets. It’s a big honor to be invited out here.”

The Sun Devils were well-represented as ASU alums like Jake Plummer, Juan Roque, Andrew Walter, Eric Allen and Jeremy Staat among others all competed. Staat not only played in college and the NFL, but was also a U.S. Marine who served in Iraq.

“It’s just a great time,” he said with a big smile. “It’s like a big family reunion. I’ve got family on both sides.”

The overflow, standing-room-only crowd at Shadow Mountain High School also got an up-close and personal look at ESPN television celebrity-turned-quarterback Kenny Mayne and rapper-turned wide receiver/defensive back Snoop Dogg.

The wounded warrior team was made up almost exclusively of men and women who lost limbs fighting for our freedom in Afghanistan or Iraq.

“Whether you’re crippled,” four-time Super Bowl Champion and Vietnam Veteran Rocky Bleier explained to Sports360AZ.com. “Whether you have no legs or an arm…the competitive spirit just comes out. You want to win.”

Both teams proved they are doing just that.

 

A Valley native, Eric has had a passion for the Arizona sports scene since an early age. He has covered some of the biggest events including Super Bowls, national championships and the NBA and MLB playoffs in his near 20 years in local media.