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19 Gold Jackets to participate in "Touchdown in Israel: Mission of Excellence"

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CANTON, OHIO – Nineteen members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame will embark on a week-long tour of Israel in a historic trip called "Touchdown in Israel: Mission of Excellence."

The trip provides an opportunity for the football legends to witness the growth of the game in Israel as well as experience a journey through the historic country. "Touchdown in Israel: Mission of Excellence" is being sponsored by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft

Impetus for the trip came from a March 2014 visit by Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. The Ambassador, an avid football fan and a former quarterback in Israel's American Football League, spent the day at the Hall with his son and staff. Dermer then reached out to Hall of Fame President David Baker to hatch the idea of inviting a group of Gold Jackets (reference to living Hall of Famers who wear the coveted Hall of Fame Gold Jacket) to Israel. Baker will join the group for the trip that takes place June 16-23.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame's Mission is to "Honor the Heroes of the Game, Preserve its History, Promote its Values & Celebrate Excellence EVERYWHERE." Israeli football fans and youth players will engage with the 19 Gold Jackets during scheduled events. The programs are created for the Gold Jackets to provide inspiration to future generations of fans in Israel by sharing stories from their legendary careers and by illustrating how they applied values learned from the game to their lives after football. 

The following 19 Pro Football Hall of Fame members are taking part in "Touchdown in Israel: Mission of Excellence."

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  • Raymond Berry – Class of 1973 – End – 1955-1967 Baltimore Colts
  • Mel Blount– Class of 1989 – Cornerback – 1970-1983 Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Tim Brown – Class of 2015 – Wide Receiver/Kick Returner/Punt Returner – 1988-2003 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, 2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Curley Culp – Class of 2013 – Defensive Tackle – 1968-1974 Kansas City Chiefs, 1974-1980 Houston Oilers, 1980-81 Detroit Lions
  • Chris Doleman – Class of 2012 – Defensive End/Linebacker – 1985-1993, 1999 Minnesota Vikings, 1994-95 Atlanta Falcons, 1996-98 San Francisco 49ers
  • John Hannah – Class of 1991 – Guard – 1973-1985 New England Patriots
  • Mike Haynes – Class of 1997 – 1976-1982 New England Patriots, 1983-1989 Los Angeles Raiders
  • Ken Houston – Class of 1986 – Strong Safety – 1967-1972 Houston Oilers, 1973-1980 Washington Redskins
  • Paul Krause– Class of 1998 – Safety – 1964-1967 Washington Redskins, 1968-1979 Minnesota Vikings
  • Floyd Little – Class of 2010 – Running Back – 1967-1975 Denver Broncos
  • Tom Mack – Class of 1999 – Guard – 1966-1978 Los Angeles Rams
  • Curtis Martin – Class of 2012 – Running Back – 1995-97 New England Patriots, 1998-2005 New York Jets
  • Ron Mix – Class of 1979 – Offensive Tackle – 1960-1969 Los Angeles/San Diego Chargers, 1971 Oakland Raiders
  • Jim Taylor – Class of 1976 – Fullback – 1958-1966 Green Bay Packers, 1967 New Orleans Saints
  • Thurman Thomas – Class of 2007 – Running Back – 1988-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Miami Dolphins
  • Andre Tippett – Class of 2008 – Linebacker – 1982-1993 New England Patriots
  • Roger Wehrli– Class of 2007 – Cornerback – 1969-1982 St. Louis Cardinals
  • Rayfield Wright – Class of 2006 – Tackle – 1967-1979 Dallas Cowboys
  • Jack Youngblood – Class of 2001 – Defensive End – 1971-1984 Los Angeles Rams
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