Flag Football : Nat'l teams to play on Patriots' turf

Teams' visit follows invitation from chair of Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston, to take part in Israel Independence Day event.

Natl flaf football 298.8 (photo credit: Courtesy of AFI)
Natl flaf football 298.8
(photo credit: Courtesy of AFI)
Ever dream about playing football on an actual NFL field? The national flag football teams will be living out their dreams this weekend when they play top US competition at the New England Patriots' home, Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. The teams' visit follows an invitation from Myra Kraft, chairperson of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston, to take part in their Israel Independence Day event, "New England Celebrates Israel," which will be held at Gillette Stadium on Sunday. Robert Kraft, who owns the New England Patriots and Gillette Stadium, is a co-sponsor of the celebration. Both the men's and women's national teams were scheduled to leave Wednesday and, after arriving in New England, will take part in community events around Greater Boston. The delegation includes 25 players and American Football in Israel president Steve Leibowitz. The men's team will face a Degel USA all-star team, representing a league founded by former AFI players that is based in Five Towns, Long Island. Leibowitz and Degel USA commissioner Elie Mansdorf both expressed a desire for this weekend's game to be the first of many. "It could become like an annual Jewish Super Bowl played alternatively in the US and Israel," said Leibowitz prior to his Tuesday departure. Also Sunday, the accomplished women's squad will take on the Peabody Patriots, a highly rated club based 30 kilometers north of Boston. The Israeli team is currently ranked No.4 in Europe, but it has yet to face US competition. "We have done well against Canadian and European teams," said coach Yonah Mishaan. "This game should be an interesting challenge to see just how far along we have come."