Nation’s Football Classic Coming in September

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The NFL lockout may soon be over, according to several reports, just in time for the 2011 regular season campaign to begin this coming September. But even if there is no NFL this season, residents of the D.C. metropolitan region can still anticipate football action to kick off this fall.

According to Events DC, Howard University’s football team has been selected to start their season by participating in one of the newest traditions of the NCAA college football world, the Nation’s Capital Classic.

The Nation’s Capital Classic is a football game featuring teams from historically Black colleges/universities (HBCUs) that will be annually played during September at RFK Stadium in Northeast D.C. The inaugural classic will feature Howard’s football team vs. Morehouse College’s football team; the game will be played on Sept. 10 at 3:30 p.m.

“[Events DC] is thrilled to expand our showcase of college football in the nation's capital with both the Military Bowl and now the Nation's Football Classic™ being held annually at RFK Stadium," said Erik A. Moses, managing director of the Events DC’s sports, entertainment and special events division, in a statement. "Football fans, alumni and students along the East Coast can reunite each year to enjoy the pageantry, excitement and camaraderie of the Black college football experience. The game is certainly the highlight of the weekend but our event offerings will include an educational component, a step show, a Fan Festival and of course plenty of tailgating."

According to nationsfootballclassic.com, the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), which provides scholarships to thousands of students annually, is also a founding partner of the new classic.

The UNCF, which reported earlier this year that it will be moving its corporate headquarters to Washington, D.C. in 2012, also wants to bring the HBCU Empower Me Tour to the Washington Convention Center during the weekend of the Nation’s Football Classic. The HBCU Empower Me Tour will offer “workshops, panel discussions, meet and greets, live entertainment and interactive exhibits focused on college readiness, health and wellness, career readiness and financial education for middle school, high school and college students,” according to nationsfootballclassic.com.

"UNCF is excited about partnering with WCSA to bring this weekend of fun and information to Washington, D.C.," said Michael L. Lomax, UNCF president and CEO. "The UNCF HBCU Empower Me Tour communicates to students the importance of college and career readiness, as well as service to communities and the country, which is a long tradition and critical component of an HBCU education. UNCF is committed to helping ensure that every child gets a good education from pre-school thru college, empowering them to become the next generation of college-educated professionals, good citizens and effective leaders."

Events DC recently announced that it is looking for volunteers who wish to “gain real-life experience working behind the scenes.” Duties will include assisting in game operations; public and media relations; grassroots marketing and special events planning.

“We’re very excited about our first Nation’s Football Classic™ weekend and encourage the community to become actively involved,” Moses said. “Volunteer support and dedication is crucial to the successful execution of the overall event.”

Volunteers must be at least 18-years-old; for more information and to register for volunteer opportunities, visit www.NationsFootballClassic.com.