But what about the NFL players that do the exact opposite? I’m talking about the guys who help out in the community and selflessly give, despite the fact that their actions will probably never be publicized nationally.
The time has come for that to change.
Onterrio Smith getting more publicity for his Whizzinator incident than Warrick Dunn got for founding his two charities is criminal.
So, which active players make the list for my “Good Guys” Team?
Let’s start with the offense.
Here’s a list of my starters with their team, and a link to their respective foundations, if they have a website (they deserve some free publicity).
*Note: some players may be placed out of position (OG vs. OT), due to the fact that they are still undeniably deserving to make this list.*
QB: Jeff Garcia (Tampa Bay Bucs) — Pass It On Foundation
In addition to being a great NFL QB (four-time Pro Bowler), Jeff Garcia is a great person.
He and his wife, Carmella, founded the “Pass It On Foundation” in May of 2007 and have already made generous donations to:
- Giving Hope Through Faith Foundation
- Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County
- Special Olympics Northern California
- American Cancer Society (Scholarship Program and California Division)
- Laci and Conner Search and Rescue Fund
RB: Warrick Dunn (Tampa Bay Bucs) — Warrick Dunn Foundation
Almost anyone who follows football knows about Warrick Dunn on the field, but he may also be the all-around best guy the league has ever seen.
Dunn founded the Warrick Dunn Foundation, which gives money to various charities, and has raised over $5,000,000 in his efforts.
He also founded the Homes for the Holidays program, which helps single parents purchase homes. Since founding this program in 2004, Dunn has helped 45 single parents and over 120 children in Atlanta, Baton Rouge, and Tampa.
Three charities founded? You better believe it. In 2007, Dunn, along with Andre Agassi, Muhammad Ali, Lance Armstrong, Jeff Gordon, Mia Hamm, Tony Hawk, Andrea Jaeger, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Mario Lemieux, Alonzo Mourning, and Cal Ripken Jr. founded Athletes for Hope.
Athletes for Hope is an organization that both helps athletes donate to their charities and foundations, but also encourages other athletes to get involved in the philanthropy.
WR: Chris Chambers (San Diego Chargers) — C.A.T.C.H. 84 Foundation
Chris Chambers is a guy you don’t hear about as often as Warrick Dunn, or even Jeff Garcia, for his off-field actions, but you’re going to hear about him now.
C.A.T.C.H. (Children Achieving Through Community Help) 84 was founded by Chambers and his family in 2005 to help children from single-parent families look past their current situations to realize success.
Each year, Chambers’ organization partners with Key Bank to award a college scholarship to a high-school senior in the Cleveland area, Chris’ hometown.
WR: Anquan Boldin (Arizona Cardinals) — Q 81 Foundation
Anquan Boldin has been a great player since coming into the league in 2003.
What many don’t know, however, is that the very next year, Boldin founded the Q 81 Foundation, aimed at expanding educational and life opportunities of underprivileged children.
Boldin’s organization is seeking donations that will help provide school supplies, college scholarships, food, and clothing for children living in poverty.
TE: Daniel Wilcox (Baltimore Ravens) — Empowerment M.I.N.D.S. Foundation
Daniel Wilcox doesn’t get much attention on the field, but his actions off of it are well-known by those in the Baltimore community, since many people in the area have been directly affected by it.
Wilcox founded the “Empowerment M.I.N.D.S. (Motivating and Inspiring Neighborhoods Determined to Succeed) in January of 2006, which encourages youth to hold leadership roles in their community.
Wilcox has also taken part in countless charitable activities, including distributing over 100 Thanksgiving baskets in a southwest Baltimore neighborhood, appearing in various schools across Baltimore, and helping the NFL with both its United Way and Habitat for Humanity programs.
OT: Mark Tauscher (Green Bay Packers) — T.R.I.F.E.C.T.A. Foundation
Mark Tauscher was a seventh-round pick in 2000 for the Packers and has never made a Pro Bowl, but you’ll never hear anyone say he hasn’t made a difference.
In 2005, Tauscher founded the T.R.I.F.E.C.T.A. (Tauscher’s Reading Initiative For Every Child To Achieve) Foundation to enhance education and literacy of children in Wisconsin.
With Associated Bank, Tauscher’s Foundation has raised more than $110,000 for distribution in Wisconsin.
OG: Alan Faneca (New York Jets) — Epilepsy Foundation
Alan Faneca is known by his teammates and opponents for his mean streak on the field, but off of it, that completely disappears.
Faneca began having seizures at age 15, and was diagnosed with epilepsy. Through the help of medication, he was able to continue playing football.
Faneca has become a massive donor to the Epilepsy Foundation and is a national icon and inspiration for the organization, and for people everywhere.
C: Matt Katula (Baltimore Ravens) — Matt Katula Foundation
Matt Katula is a name not known by many, but Matt is perfectly fine with that.
As it says on the front page of his site: “The only way you should know who I am is if I mess up.”
And that is true, since Katula is a long snapper for the Ravens, quite possibly the least-hyped position in the game.
But that hasn’t stopped Katula from helping out in his community.
In 2007, Katula founded the “Matt Katula Foundation,” aimed at providing growth and support for community sports programs, as well as helping children that require financial support and guidance to achieve their goals.
OG: Grey Ruegamer (New York Giants) — Ruegy's Readers Foundation
Grey Ruegamer has started only one game in his two seasons with the Giants, but he is one of the most active and charitable players in the league today.
Ruegamer founded “Ruegy’s Readers” to create well-rounded students through literacy by providing extra support to schools.
Each year, Ruegamer picks five elementary schools and donates $3,000 in new books to their library. He also selects two students, who get to choose one book from the list donated, and get their names attached to it.
Just take a look at this picture, it says it all.
OT: Will Shields (Kansas City Chiefs) — Will To Succeed Foundation
Will Shields is another player who has been great both on the field, and off it.
In 1993, he founded the “Will to Succeed Foundation” to help families, individuals, and charities in the Kansas City Metro area who have access to little or no other aid.
Since its foundation, “Will to Succeed” has helped over 100,000 individuals, and currently sponsors over a dozen programs and initiatives.
In the next few days, I’ll list my “Good Guys” Team on the defensive end.
Someone has to make sure these players get their credit; it’s long overdue.