The East-West Shrine Game is the longest-running college all-star football game in the country and features some of the highest-rated players in the projected NFL draft ranking and will attract over 300 NFL scouts and agents. The 94th East/West Shrine Game will take place on Saturday, Jan 19, at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. While the teams are divided by East and West, the players come together for the beneficiary of the event, Shriners Hospitals for Children.
Team practices are an important part of the game-week experience. The general public is welcome to attend practices; bleacher seating is available. Credentials are required for field access; no exceptions. The teams will practice from Monday, Jan. 14, to Thursday, Jan. 17. A pre-game party on Saturday Is set to take place in Parking Lot 6 at Tropicana Field with delicious food, refreshments, music and fun before the game starts! This is not a ticketed event; donations are appreciated. Many special events are scheduled throughout the week, including the Players’ Hall of Fame Awards banquet on Friday evening, players’ visits to the Local Shriners Hospital, and a Silent Auction during the week at TradeWinds Island Resort in St. Pete. Learn more at https://www.shrinegame.com/event-schedule.
Each year, as part of the festivities surrounding the game, past players are selected to join the East-West Shrine Game Hall of Fame, which is home to some of the greatest names to ever play the game of football. The 2019 East-West Shrine Game will be played on Saturday, Jan. 19, at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, and will be televised live on NFL Network with kickoff at 3 p.m. EST. The ceremony, which recognizes the honorees for their many achievements, will take place during the Players’/Hall of Fame Banquet the night before the game. This year, the East-West Shrine Game is very proud to welcome former players Troy Vincent Sr. and Barry Smith to its Hall of Fame family as the 2019 inductees: Troy Vincent Sr.
Troy Vincent Sr., executive vice president of NFL Football Operations, began his football career as a first round pick of the Miami Dolphins in the 1992 draft. After playing in the NFL for 15 seasons, he was nominated to the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame and inducted into the Halls of Fame of the Philadelphia Eagles, the State of Pennsylvania, the University of Wisconsin and Pennsbury High School. As Executive Vice President of Football Operations, Vincent informs the business of the NFL through the unique lens of his previous roles as not only a player, but also as a player’s union president and senior vice president of player engagement.
With a platform that touches millions, Vincent is recognized as one of the most powerful influencers. His recognitions include being named one of the Most Influential Minorities in Sports in 2016 by Forbes magazine, one of Savoy magazine’s top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America in 2016, and he was also listed as one of the 50 Most Influential People in Sports by Ebony magazine.
Vincent uses this platform for good, helping in philanthropic efforts across the nation. He received the NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year award, NFL Players Association Byron Whizzer White Award, Sporting News #1 Good Guy and NFL Athletes in Action Bart Starr Award. Vincent also received the National Jefferson Award for Public Service, considered the Nobel Prize for extraordinary public service and making the world a better place to live.
As a player in the 1992 East-West Shrine Game, Vincent had the opportunity to visit to a Shriners Hospital, which had a lasting impression on him. “My most memorable moment about the East West-Shrine Game was visiting the children and caregivers at the Shriners Hospital, and how they inspired me toward a lifetime of service to others,” he said. The friendships Vincent made also stayed with him long after the game.
“The East-West Shrine Game fostered camaraderie between the athletes that lasted week in and week out as we competed with one another throughout our NFL playing experience,” he said.
From 1970 to 1972, Barry Smith snatched the football for the Florida State Seminoles with remarkable precision. As a senior in 1972, Smith caught 69 passes for 1,243 yards and 13 touchdowns. He led the nation in reception yards and touchdown passes caught, and finished his FSU career second in virtually every receiving category with 2,535 yards on 127 receptions and 27 touchdowns.
Smith was the 21st player taken in the first round in the 1973 NFL draft by the Green Bay Packers, where he played for three years, and was selected in the NFL expansion draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1976.
In 1973, Smith was a Wheaties NFL Rookies of the Year Finalist while playing with the Green Bay Packers. In 1975, he was named Dodge-NFL Man of the Year, also while playing with the Green Bay Packers. He was actively involved with the Big Brothers Program in Green Bay and the Special Olympics in Florida. In 1979, Smith was the recipient of the Governor’s Leadership Award, presented by Florida Governor Bob Graham, and that same year, he was inducted into the Florida State University Athletic Hall of Fame. He was also endowed an athletic scholarship at Florida State University.
Smith has remained a loyal supporter of FSU athletics, and the office complex housing the FSU softball and soccer offices is named after him and his wife. Since 2015, he has served as president of the Florida Sports Hall of Fame, and he is currently a marketing consultant for Geiger Promotional Products.
Smith played in the 1972 East-West Shrine Game, and still remembers his experience fondly. His grandfather was a Shriner, so he had a particular connection to the game and the Shriners organizations.“When I was invited to play in the 1972 East-West Shrine Game in San Francisco, I was thrilled,” Smith said. “The player visit to the hospital was an eye-opener and I decided then that I would become a Shrine Mason at some point.”
And that he did. In 1983, shortly after he retired from the NFL, Smith became a member of Egypt Shriners in Tampa. He credits the East-West Shrine Game visit to the hospital to be the driving force behind his becoming personally involved with the fraternity. “The game truly told the Shriners story and opened my eyes.”
The East-West Shrine Game® is the longest running college all-star football game in the nation. An invitation to take part in the game is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the best collegiate football players in the country to showcase their talents as top NFL prospects. Since 1925, the game has benefited Shriners Hospitals for Children®.
Shriners Hospitals for Children improves the lives of children by providing pediatric specialty care, conducting innovative research, and offering outstanding educational programs for medical professionals. Children with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate are eligible for care, regardless of the families’ ability to pay, and receive all care and services in a compassionate, family-centered environment.
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