Iowa kid could present the game ball for Super Bowl

A seventh grader from Iowa could wind up on the field at next year’s Super Bowl. Olivia Eckerman, a student at Waverly-Shell Rock Middle School, is heavily involved in the NFL’s “Fuel Up to Play 60” program and she’s one of three finalists for the honor of running onto the field before kickoff with the game ball.

“They had narrowed it down to 30, then eight and now three and now it goes to a public vote.” That’s Olivia’s mother. Sue Eckerman says her daughter has always been active and two years ago Olivia joined the “Fuel Up to Play 60” program at her school.

“It’s a very strong group at the Waverly-Shell Rock Middle School and they form committees and they make plans on how to offer taste tests to the student body, like various types of apples or zuccini brownies, black bean brownies. They have them taste different foods with healthy options in them and that’s really fun,” Sue Eckerman says. “They take field trips to dairy farms and a berry farm. They had a marathon kids club.” The N-F-L’s Fuel Up to Play 60 program encourages healthy eating and at least 60 minutes of activity per day. Eckerman says going to the Super Bowl would be a dream come true for her daughter.

“She earned points from doing various things and she filled out an essay process and then got chosen to go to the national summit for ‘Fuel Up to Play 60’ two years in a row,” her mom says. “And this year she is the ‘Fuel Up to Play 60’ state ambassador.” For Eckerman to get to the Super Bowl field, though, she needs to finish first in a round of online voting. Go to “Super Kid NFL Rush” website where you may vote once per day through December 5th.

If Eckerman wins, she’ll get to Minneapolis a week early to participate in a number of activities before the Super Bowl kicks off on February 4th.

Carrie Underwood Shoots Sunday Night Football Open

While the new season of NBC’s Sunday Night Football (SNF) is still a couple months away, Carrie Underwood has given fans a glimpse into the broadcast’s new opening spot. On Tuesday (6/27), Carrie shared a selfie from SNF’s video shoot on Instagram along with the caption, “Lots of fun today! This will be our best one yet! Can’t wait for you all to see it!” The picture shows Underwood standing in a dressing room as she sports a stunning red dress and flowing blonde hair.


  • Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown also posed for a picture with Carrie during the shoot, which he posted on his Snapchat. The picture can be seen here.

Country Stars Flex 4 Forces

Several country stars are showing their strength as part of the USO’s new Flex 4 Forces campaign, which brings attention to the USO’s mission of keeping service members connected to family, home and country. The campaign calls on the public to demonstrate appreciation to service members and their families by striking a biceps flex and sharing it on social media using the hashtag #Flex4Forces. That person can then nominate four additional people to flex next, much like the Ice Bucket Challenge did in 2014 to bring awareness to ALS.


  • Tim McGraw flexed his muscles for the campaign over the weekend, nominating NFL great Brett Favre to take the challenge next. Favre then flexed his stuff and nominated Garth Brooks, who posted a gym selfie showing off his big guns. Garth, in turn, nominated tennis player Serena Williams to take the challenge next.

Jon Pardi Will Assist the 49ers in the NFL Draft

As a way to attract more viewers to the later rounds of the NFL Draft, certain NFL teams have employed special guests such as NFL players, actors and singers to announce their Day 3 selections from special locations. The San Francisco 49ers have called on California native Jon Pardi to make picks from Levi’s Stadium during the draft’s 4th, 5th and 6th rounds, which take place on Saturday (4/29). The first round of the 2017 NFL Draft got underway yesterday (4/27) from Philadelphia.


  • The team’s selections will take place everywhere from the Grand Canyon (Arizona Cardinals) to the International Space Station, where astronauts will announce the Houston Texans’ picks for the first time from outer space.

Luke Bryan Discusses Singing The National Anthem At The Super Bowl

When Luke Bryan sings the national anthem at Super Bowl 51 in Houston, the gravity of what his performance will mean won’t be lost on him. Luke tells People that while singing the national anthem can be challenging and nerve-wracking, there’s no way he would turn an opportunity like that down. Bryan says, “I moved to Nashville to follow my dreams and singing the national anthem on that stage doesn’t get any bigger.” He also sees singing the national anthem as a way to show his true patriotism. Luke says, “I never served in the military — that’s something I wish I had had the opportunity to do, but I feel like this is my way of honoring my country. It’s a little chance to serve.”


·       Super Bowl 51 will take place on February 5 and will air at 6:30 PM ET on FOX.

·       The Georgia native also says he’ll be rooting for the Atlanta Falcons in the big game. He says, “I’ll be focused on the anthem. And once I walk off that field and shake off that pressure, I’ll be ready to enjoy some football.”


Carrie Underwood Changing Her Tune For Sunday Night Football

Carrie Underwood will be singing a different tune when she returns for NBC’s telecast of Sunday Night Football (SNF) this fall. Underwood has recorded a new opening theme song for SNF titled “Oh, Sunday Night,” which is set to the music of “Somethin’ Bad” Carrie’s duet with Miranda Lambert.


Former Statesmen Harrison Cashes In With Giants

New York, N.Y.–Damon Harrison has worked extremely hard to become one the best interior defensive linemen in the National Football League and is now going to be compensated for those efforts as he signed a free-agent contract with the New York Giants this week.

The former William Penn football player (2008-2011) from Lake Charles, La. inked a five-year contract worth $46.25 million ($9.25 million per year), including $24 million guaranteed and $30 million over the first three seasons of the agreement.

He spent his first four years in the professional ranks with the New York Jets, who paid him $2.2356 million as a restricted free agent this past season.  For the Jets, the undrafted Harrison tallied 193 total tackles (105 solos, 88 assists) in addition to 1.5 sacks, two pass breakups, and one forced fumble.  In 2015, the defensive tackle managed 72 stops, and was ranked the No. 1 run defender by Pro Football Focus with a grade of 97.3.

Back in his days in the navy and gold, Harrison was a three-time all-MSFA Midwest League selection (first team as a senior).  His senior campaign included 60 tackles with a team-high 8.5 for loss.

Story provided by Wade Steinlage

Tim McGraw Performing At The 2016 Concert For Legends

Tim McGraw will perform at the 2016 Concert For Legends in Canton, Ohio, on August 5th to kick off a weekend celebrating the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s enshrinement of the Class of 2016. The concert will take place at the Canton’s newly renovated Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium and Tim is thrilled to take part.


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