Fun on Friday, then it’s back to football

(Note: Erin Casey from the NFL Events department is one of many employees who is helping the league stage the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl in South Florida. Casey will file a series of blog updates this week.)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The Pro Bowl week is flying by here in South Florida.

Yesterday, the players did their part to help out the community by participating in three different youth events — a playground build in Broward County, an NFL Play 60 Football Festival in Miami Dade and a play space build for physically challenged kids in West Palm Beach Country.

This morning was annual photo day, followed by practice, and a beach BBQ this afternoon.

NFL players and their families enjoy a beach barbeque with Disney characters. (Ben Liebenberg /

Disney partnered with the NFL on the BBQ, so Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Chip and Dale came to visit with the players and their families in a Pirates of the Caribbean set on the beach, among decor that included giant beach balls and surfboards. We were at max capacity, with almost all of the players and their families attending and playing games such as horse shoes, ping pong and coconut bowling. It was great fun to watch the guys being dads instead of gridiron heroes for a few hours, and everyone laughed when a few players took Mickey’s Pirate Pledge along with their excited children.

Tonight, things heat up as they head to South Beach for a party at Blade Restaurant inside the Fontainebleau hotel in South Beach. Jermaine Dupri will DJ, and girls will dance on pedestals in the pool as the guys and one guest of their choice enjoy the music and a sushi-and-steak cuisine.

Tomorrow, it is back to business with an practice at Lockhart Stadium that is open to the public. The NFC will practice from 9 to 10 a.m., with the AFC following from 10 to 11 a.m., and then there will be a youth football game at noon featuring all-stars from around the United States versus another group from around the World. It promises to be a really nice event, so if you are in the area, come out and join us!

Erin Casey

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