The What About YOUth Male Initiative Featured in the News
Here's the article below courtesy of NJ.com and Ms. Kelly Roncace, the columnist.
NFL truck and Philadelphia Eagles' Fletcher Cox visit DXL in Deptford
Nearly 50 percent of all Americans are fans of the National Football League.
However, due to location and financial situations, many of those fans never get out to see their favorite team at a stadium.
So, the NFL decided to load some gear, interactive games, and collectible, autographed items onto a big rig and travel to the fans.
The NFL Fan Style Tour truck - a 2,000-square-foot trailer - made a stop at the DXL store on Clements Bridge Road in Deptford on Nov. 19, filled with not only Philadelphia Eagles' merchandise, but a couple players - defensive end Fletcher Cox and former Eagles Barrett Brooks - as well.
"We're very proud of it," said Natara Holloway, vice president of NFL Consumer Products.
"This is the first year we've had a truck going across the country with apparel and home-gating products."
The truck kicked off its journey on Aug. 14 at Soldier Field in Chicago and will visit 26 cities this season.
Despite the frigid temperatures in Deptford, Eagles fans flew to the truck's location to play EA Madden 2015 at gaming stations, test their NFL knowledge and meet the players.
Dr. Stephne Coney, founder of the National Stop the Violence Alliance based in Camden, brought a group of boys from the W.A.Y. Program - the What About YOUth male mentoring initiative - to see the truck and meet Cox.
Marquise Grant, 15, from Camden approached the autograph table to meet the Eagles player and asked him what has been on everyone's mind since the Nov. 16 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
"What happened with the Packers?" he asked Cox.
The Eagle shook his head and replied, "I don't know, but mama said there'd be days like that."
After an autograph and hand shake, Grant said it was "pretty cool" meeting the football player.
"It's cool to see people who play professional sports and for them to meet young people, to give them inspiration."
Nathaniel Parrish, 16, from Pennsauken, was impressed at how big Cox was in person.
"The players look so much smaller on TV," he said.
David Parker, 15, of Camden, was grateful for the opportunity.
"It's a good experience for us," said 15-year-old David Parker of Camden. "We don't get out to see professional players, so it's a really cool experience."
Holloway said the fans have enjoyed visiting the NFL Fan Style Tour truck at each of its stops.
"The fans have been so excited," she said. "We do a survey on the truck to get some thoughts from the fans, and all the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. We also get a lot of thank yous."
Holloway said many families travel long distances to visit the truck.
"Two weekends ago, a family drove three hours just to get to the truck," she said. "They said they never get to be around the NFL, but they love it. The truck brings the NFL to the fans."
Cox spent a couple hours speaking to fans and signing autographs.
"The players are really popular when they can make it out," Holloway said.
The NFL Fan Style Tour will stop at Locker Room by LIDS at Macy's in the Willow Grove Mall, 2500 West Mooreland Road in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, on Nov. 22.
Eagles running back LeSean McCoy will be on hand from 1 to 2:30 to meet fans and sign autographs.
Follow the NFL Fan Style Tour truck on Facebook.com/NFLFanStyle, Twitter and Instagram @NFLFanStyle, and join the conversation by using #NFLFanStyle.