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Patriots Participate in Annual Best Buddies Challenge

Patriots Participate in Annual Best Buddies Challenge

Foxborough, MA - In 98 days, the 2019 campaign of the New England Patriots will be underway and for football fans, it can't come soon enough. Turning the calendar to June means that soon there will be training camp sessions in July and August, but frankly, at this point we're looking for any sort of football to hold us over until the real games start.

Fortunately, the twentieth annual Best Buddies challenge allowed for the Patriots, both current and former, to play in a game that is not only lots of fun, but also for a great cause. Officially known as the Best Buddies Tom Brady Football Challenge, the exhibition was held at Harvard Stadium in the event's twentieth year, as reported by NESN.

The game is meant to help support Best Buddies, an organization that aims to assist people of many different abilities with employment, housing, and friendship, as these common things many take for granted can be things those with disabilities struggle to maintain. The game is part of a wide range of festivities for the organization, which also includes a Flo Rida concert and a 100 mile bike ride for charity.

Among the Patriots who took the field were, of course, Tom Brady, as well as his current teammates, like running back James White and Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman. Edelman and Brady wowed fans by completing an impressive 75 yard touchdown, showing no signs of injury or rust during the off season. Also taking part were former teammates of Brady's, including Troy Brown and Dan Koppen, as the athletes ran routes, caught passes, and had an all-around great day of football.

Brady also revealed that his sons took part in the Best Buddies challenge in a heartfelt and inspiring Instagram post.

View this post on Instagram

Last night, I was fortunate to take part in the 20th Annual @bestbuddies Football Challenge at Harvard Stadium! This weekend over 7 million dollars will be raised to support Best Buddies, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating opportunities for friendship, employment, leadership development and inclusive living for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. My friend Anthony Shriver started Best Buddies in his college dorm room 30 years ago and has since grown from one chapter to nearly 2,900 middle school, high school, and college chapters worldwide. My first time taking part in the Best Buddies Hyannisport challenge was in 2002 and yesterday it was so special to have both my sons Jack and Benny playing with me in the football game! I’m beyond blessed in my life and feel a great responsibility to give back to those in our community who face unique challenges. No matter who the person is or how different he or she may appear, each person has a unique talent. It’s up to all of us to discover that talent and celebrate it. I want my kids to grow up in a world where people are recognized and celebrated for the characteristics that make them uniquely themselves because we’re all better when we include everyone.

A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on

Obviously, the event is a great one for people of all abilities, but the charity acts from former Patriots did not stop with Best Buddies.

Recently retired tight end Rob Gronkowski took part in the #BuzzforKids charity event, shaving his head bald to support and raise awareness of kids who have cancer.

While none of these activities are the football so many Patriots fans crave, they do help fill the off season with a reminder that there are some things bigger and more important than any Super Bowl title.