Pats players write up their own plays for a day


Today is the third BELL Bowl at Gillette Stadium, a flag football tournament which serves as a fundraiser for BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life) — a foundation that provides after-school and summer education programs for children in under-resourced urban communities in six states, including Massachusetts.

In addition to Vince Wilfork serving as the event’s ambassador and a coach, Pierre Woods (left, enthusiastically coaching his team), Jerod Mayo, Brandon Tate, Sammy Morris, Terrence Wheatley, Ron Brace, Eric Alexander and Tully Banta-Cain all led teams, though with varying degrees of success. Banta-Cain’s team went 0-2 in round-robin play, while Mayo’s was 2-0 and won its first playoff game.

“First of all, it’s for a good cause, and anytime you’re able to give back to the community, especially when it’s right here at Gillette, you do it,” Wilfork said. “We had fun – my team just lost in overtime. I’m kinda (upset). You think I didn’t want to play Mayo’s team? But it didn’t work out that way…we had fun though.”

The hyper-competitive Woods seemed a moment away from donning a belt himself to help out his team, running down the field to chest-bump one of his players after a score. This is the third straight Saturday the linebacker has given his time to a charitable event: two weeks ago he was at Tom Brady’s Best Buddies event on Cape Cod, and last Saturday he took part in a cancer buzz-off, shaving heads for One Mission.

BELL CEO Dr. Tiffany Cooper Gueye was grateful to have the players’ participation. The event is not affiliated with the Patriots and players were not paid.

“We always get a great number of volunteers; they’re here all day and they’re doing it out of generosity,” she said. “Vince and Eric Alexander, they’ve done it every year.”

In Massachusetts, BELL works with schools in Boston and Springfield.


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