NFL Fun Day

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Local players host NFL Fun Day

By Angie Ledbetter

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Even though it was hot and humid on Saturday, Carr Farms in the Eureka Community was the place to be for about six hours as the second Annual National Football Fun Day was held with several hundred people attending.

Sponsoring the event were local National Football League players Jamarca Sanford of the Minnesota Vikings, Peria Jerry of the Atlanta Falcons, John Jerry of the Miami Dolphins and Michael Oher of the Baltimore Ravens.

Cousins, aunts, uncles and friends all enjoyed socializing, eating, games and entertainment. Food included hamburgers, hot dogs, smoked sausage and water melon. The biggest attraction was the snow cone machine under a shade tree where it was not hard to keep the ice from melting as Fred Hentz and others stayed busy making plenty of snow cones.

The kids had plenty to choose from when it came to playing. They had a choice of two water slides, two bouncing castles, a dunking tank, a basketball shooting game, basketball goals and volleyball. Others played football.

The older people sat in lawn chairs under tents in front of fans to keep cool while they enjoyed the music from a local DJ. Some adults and kids joined in and danced to the music.

The football players took time out to sign autographs and visit with everyone. They signed football cards, T-shirts, pictures, footballs and even a wagon.

Michael Oher who has become one of the locals, had a big surprise waiting for him. His fourth grade teacher from Gordon Elementary School in Memphis had made the trip from Senatobia to see him. Verlene Logan had not seen Oher since fourth grade but she had plenty of memories of him.

She carried with her a school day picture of Oher that he had autographed for her.

When they met, the first thing Oher said, “Same birthdays and he called her name.”

Oher and Logan share the same birthday and Oher remembered that. With big smiles on their faces, they both talked about those days.

“He looked the same to me,” said Logan. “He was always a good student and obedient. I knew he would become something special.”

When asked if she watched him play football on television, she replied yes.

Oher told a story about how he would play kickball outside and he was fast running the bases and Logan saw that.

But the biggest event of the day did not kick off until six when the annual volleyball game between the football player’s team and Fred Hentz’s team started.

It got heated at times but was all fun as both sides battled it out to win. One side seemed to have a little bit of advantage with Oher, Peria and John Jerry standing tall but everyone saw  Sanford doing his part plus more though he was the shortest player.

The players’ team won but who really knows. “With no official score keeper you couldn’t tell them because they say they won for the second year in a row.

Each one of the players thanked everyone for their support saying this was their way of giving back to a community that has been a huge part of what they’ve become.