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Congressional Football Game Welcome Letter

Chestnut and Gibson are honored with a sign in the Capitol. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Chestnut and Gibson are honored with a sign in the Capitol. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In 1998, two United States Capitol Police officers, Jacob J. Chestnut and John M. Gibson, gave their lives to protect those around them and to preserve the legislative process of our nation’s government — the ultimate sacrifice.  

From that heroism, Reps. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., and Rick Renzi, R-Ariz., felt compelled not only to recognize the officers’ sacrifice, but also to lend a helping hand to the families they left behind and families of officers in the future that may be in need due to similar circumstances. Through their efforts arose the biennial Congressional Football Game for Charity. As co-chairmen, we are proud of the effort our teams put forth to create a spirited opportunity to raise money not only for the U.S. Capitol Police Memorial Fund, but also Our Military Kids and A Advantage 4 Kids.  

Through months of arduous early morning practices, we see valor and selflessness that reflects the purest purpose of sports – sports for the intent of doing something greater than oneself.  

Like the pros, these women and men put it all on the line and give everything they have. But separate from every Sunday afternoon, this game makes it hard to pick sides.  

The two teams, The Guards and Mean Machine, take their names from the iconic football movie, “The Longest Yard.”  

The game is an epic battle of true competitiveness and fair play. We’re excited about the teamwork and camaraderie this game evokes across the line of scrimmage.  

We couldn’t have a game without captains on both sides who carry the torch to get players to practice, light the competitive fire and cross the aisle for a very good cause.  

For Mean Machine, Reps. Jeff Denham, R-Calif.; Robert J. Dold, R-Ill.; and Tim Walz, D-Minn., have raised the bar for Congress this year, and we appreciate their great work.  

For The Guards, we have reason to both thank and fear Jim Davis for once again fielding a hungry and talented team that might just give us both reason to run faster.  

We are grateful for the pros who join us this year, including Herschel Walker, Gary Clark, Donna Wilkinson, Shawn Springs, Leon Joe and Cliff Crosby.  

And to our special NFL guests: Honorary Captain and Hall of Famer John Riggins, and DeSean Jackson of the Washington Redskins and the DeSean Jackson Foundation.  

And to our sponsors, who elevate this game to pro status. In addition to being our premier partner and sponsor, the NFL has partnered with USA Football to give Washington, D.C., youth a special spotlight with tonight’s Youth Football Clinic.  

Comcast, Congressional Federal Credit Union, Duke Energy, Champions for America’s Future and Sports & Fitness Industry Association also deserve praise for great contributions in helping us achieve our goals for charity. And this year is a new milestone for the game, with Roll Call and The Hill stepping in as our media partners to give our teams new platforms for trash talk and bragging rights.  

Enjoy the game and thank you for your great support.  

John Booty and Ken Harvey, Co-Chairmen


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