Follow Childress’ Journey On NFL-USO Coaches Tour

Posted by Mike Wobschall on June 30, 2010 – 2:55 pm

This summer the NFL is continuing  its legacy of visiting U.S. military troops overseas, and Vikings fans can follow along as Head Coach Brad Childress takes part in this year’s NFL-USO Coaches Tour. David Krichavsky, the NFL’s Director of Community Affiars, will be blogging during the tour and we’ll be sure to post those blogs on

Krichavsky’s 1st entry is already posted and you can read it by clicking here; there are also photos for you to view.

This year’s tour has already had some excitement and adversity, so be sure to click on that link and check it out.

Background Info On NFL-USO Coaches Tour
In 1966, NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle conceived of the idea of sending NFL players on “goodwill” tours to visit US troops then fighting in Vietnam.  Four future Hall of Fame players – Johnny Unitas, Willie Davis, Sam Huff, and Frank Gifford – participated on that first NFL-USO tour in 1966.  In the years that followed, many NFL players including Bart Starr, Jack Kemp, Dick Butkus, Gene Upshaw, Archie Manning, Franco Harris, Rocky Bleier, Jerome Bettis, Warrick Dunn, and Drew Brees have visited our fighting forces stationed in every corner of the globe.  Commissioner Roger Goodell traveled on a USO tour to Iraq and Afghanistan in the summer of 2008, becoming the first pro sports commissioner to participate in a USO tour abroad.

Despite the NFL’s long and successful partnership with the USO, it was not until last summer that the two organizations came together for their first Coaches tour.  As part of that inaugural NFL-USO Coaches tour, Bill Cowher, Tom Coughlin, Jeff Fisher, Jon Gruden, and John Harbaugh traveled to Iraq over the July 4 holiday.  The 5 coaches visited with thousands of troops in Iraq and significantly boosted morale.  They signed autographs and took pictures with the troops – and created memories that will last a lifetime.
The coaches also came back changed.  They had a new appreciation for the dedication and sacrifice of our troops, after seeing those qualities firsthand.  The coaches discussed their USO tour experiences with their peers – other NFL coaches.  It became inevitable that the first NFL-USO Coaches tour would not be the last.  It just might become an annual tradition.

Forty-four years after the first trip, with more than 160 active and former players having traveled to more than 20 countries on USO tours, the NFL-USO partnership is continuing to break new ground.  This current summer tour to Afghanistan represents the second time the NFL has brought a group of coaches overseas to visit the troops.

The NFL’s Director of Community Affairs David Krichavsky is accompanying 4 current NFL coaches – Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress, Carolina Panthers Head Coach John Fox, Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis and Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid – on a tour of U.S. military bases in the Persian Gulf.

Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “Follow Childress’ Journey On NFL-USO Coaches Tour”

  1. By MGR4FUN on Jun 30, 2010 | Reply

    i am the first to admit i hav not always been the best childress fan … i rarely hav ever spoken negatively about him out loud thou … i believe this is his second trip over to visit the troups … i am here to say … “WELL DONE” and that “COACH CHILDRESS” has earned my respect and admiration … that is the first time i hav ever referred to “COACH CHILDRESS” as “COACH” … prior to this he has always been known to me as the little guy with the beard on the sideline (humorously) … that will never happen again … i do admire the way coach childress represents the purple on and off the field … just maybe one suggestion for the coach (again humor intended) … let #4 get his own freakin ride from the airport he can afford a limo … thanks coach childress for representin the purple on your trip and pls stress our gratitude

  2. By K. Hagglund on Jul 4, 2010 | Reply

    I am part of a deployment from the Minnesota ANG and was fortunate enough to meet coach Childress today, the 4th of July. I would like to publicly thank Coach Childress and the NFL-USO Coaches Tour. Coach Childress spent a couple minutes with me and three other airmen, all huge Vikings fans, to shoot some pictures and sign a couple autographs. I was very impressed with him and have to thank him again for taking time to make our day. I just want all the fans to know what a great representative coach Childress is for the state and the Minnesota Vikings. It put a smile on this lifelong Vikings fan face, especially being away from friends and family on the holiday.

  3. By J Haugen on Jul 4, 2010 | Reply

    I was one of the other Airmen fortunate enough to chat with Coach Childress before he boarded the plane here in Bagram and I have to echo Sgt. Hagglund’s sentiments. Coach Childress was gracious enough to oblige us with picures and autographs when he just as easily could have walked on the plane. Thanks again Coach Childress for your time.

  4. By Damon Griggs on Jul 4, 2010 | Reply

    I am very honored to have met Mr. Childress , and the other NFL coaches it really made my day. Its great to know we have people like these NFL coaches that would take time to come over and spend time with us in Afghanistan. I met them yesterday when they came to the our little USO room on my day off at our camp in Bagram. I was sitting down playing NHL10 on Xbox and coach Childress thought it was funny seeing two guys from Florida playing hockey. It was a great experience and I am very thankful to have met them all , thanks again guys for coming.

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