NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Everyone is saying 12/12/12 is a lucky date. That was certainly the case for Clarksville's Northeast Middle School, where the Titans paid a surprise visit as part of their "Titans Tuesday" school program.
Each year during the regular season the Titans take advantage of having players in town to promote the NFL's Play 60 message. The Play 60 program is all about creating the healthiest and most active lifestyle for our youth by getting 60 minutes of physical exercise each and every day.
This year the Titans Community Relations Department teamed up with the Tennessee State Parks, American Heart Association, and the Southeast Dairy Association to help promote the students participation in the Play 60 program. The school visit is a one-hour program that incorporates interactive videos with coaches, players and student participation.
While the students filed into the gymnasium they were able to touch and learn about the corn snake and various birds of prey. One of the biggest attractions was Sonny, a bald eagle provided by the Tennessee Parks Department. Since the school's mascot is an eagle, Sonny seemed to feel right at home.
The students heard from Titans head coach Mike Munchak on the importance of studying hard and being prepared for the big game on Sunday, and how it is much like studying in school and getting ready for a test. Marc Mariani delivered the message of how drinking milk is important to keep our bodies and bones healthy and strong.
The big moment finally came when safety Jordan Babineaux came on stage to surprise everyone, including many of the school staff. Babineaux received a huge welcome as he went around the gymnasium giving high fives to students. Babineaux answered several questions about his life growing up in Texas and as an NFL player.
One question asked, "If drugs, alcohol or gangs were a part of your life, could you continue to be a professional athlete?" Babineaux's answer brought a big round of applause from the students.
To close the show the Assistant Principals Kelley Daniel and Bart Dixon were asked to come forward and were presented with an autographed Titans football to display in their trophy case to remember this special day. In addition, the students were given a Titans folder to help stay organized and to remember to Play 60.
Immediately following the show, 25 students were selected to sit in on a private meet and greet with Babineaux, and were free to converse and ask questions.
On a side note, this Titans staff member and writer of this story would like to thank my longtime friend and teacher Polly Kopp for making this visit possible.
Find out more about living a healthier lifestyle at the following:
About the NFL Play 60 Campaign: www.nflrush.com/health
American Heart Association: www.heart.org/kids