No shortage of fun at record-breaking NFL Experience

INDIANAPOLIS — The NFL Play 60 Challenge has its own downtown zip code at massive NFL Experience, and there’s no shortage of young football fans jumping at the chance to catch passes from the league’s stars. Heck, NFL Experience as a whole already has broken its attendance record this year, with more than 200,000 people attending — and one day still left.

When I swung by the field Friday night at the Indiana Convention Center, I saw Jets WR Plaxico Burress playing with 20 or so kids, repeatedly running a hyperkinetic 2-minute drill. Cardinals RB Beanie Wells also was at the event, even though he was on crutches after his recent knee surgery.

Launched in 2007, NFL Play 60 is a national youth health and fitness campaign focused on increasing the wellness of young fans by encouraging them to be active for at least 60 minutes daily. Kids learn some basic football skills at NFL Experience, then participate in a football game with NFL players on similar turf found at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Do the players become angry when one of their perfect spiral clanks off a pair of young hands and falls to the turf?

“They get competitive, but we only see it in a good way,” said Samantha Rapoport, senior manager of USA Football. “It never gets overly competitive, but the guys take it seriously.”

— Dan Hanzus

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