The big matchup at Met Life Stadium is a little more than two weeks away and while we still don't know who is playing in the Super Bowl, the NFL has already kicked off initiatives to leave a positive mark on the area hosting the title game. NY1's Roger Clark filed the following report.
U.S. Army Reservists on Thursday were helping out as the process of sorting donated items was beginning in Riverbank State Park. It was part of the National Football League's Super Kids Super Sharing Program, an environmental initiative started at the Super Bowl in Atlanta 14 years ago.
"We hit upon the idea of resource management, used books, used sports equipment that has no value here, that we move to someplace that has a lot of value," said NFL Environmental Program Representative Jack Groh.
The NFL put students and teachers from 120 schools in New York and New Jersey into action, collecting 40,000 items from books to balls for distribution to area kids who really need them.
Among those getting involved was Jackson Yaeger who brought hundreds of donated pieces of sports gear as part of a community service project for his upcoming Bar Mitzvah.
"I decided that I wanted to do something that would mean something to me because I play sports, so I decided the best thing would be to collect sports equipment for people who needed them," Yaeger said.
Riverbank State Park hosted the event, and young people in local programs will also benefit from the project.
"It's a great, great partnership, we're very honored to be a host and be a partner," said State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey.
"There's a lot of giveback and a lot of community outreach to the Super Bowl. It's one thing that the NFL does a really good job of that you make sure you leave a legacy behind," said New York/New Jersey Super Bowl Host Committee Representative Rich Petriccione.
Of course there were plenty of footballs and football players at the event, including members of both the Jets and Giants who showed up to lend their support. Among them was Kevin Boothe, a two time Super Bowl champ with the Giants and Brooklyn native Jaiquawn Jarrett of the Jets.
"Being able to give back and just come out today to events like this is absolutely amazing," Jarrett said.
"It's a great opportunity to bring the community together and do it all for a great cause," Boothe said.
Both players said they would of course prefer to be playing in Super Bowl XLVIII, but being involved with the game this way is pretty cool too.