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Draft Blog: The final day - FlagSpin

Draft Blog: The final day

South of border: For the third time the Steelers celebrated the NFL Draft with the team’s fan base in Mexico, this time visiting Guadalajara for the Steelers Youth Flag Football Tournament, with current linebacker Alex Highsmith and former linebacker LaMarr Woodley on hand.

They were also to announce the Steelers fourth round pick live from Mexico.

“It means a lot to be able to make this announcement,” said Highsmith. “It’s an honor. I am grateful to be able to do this. For them to ask me to be a part of it, it’s really an honor. It’s cool being able to announce someone else’s dream come true. I still remember the feeling I had when my name was called. To be able to announce that for somebody else is a cool thing. And to do this in Mexico, it’s amazing.”

The players watched throughout the afternoon as the games were played, signing autographs for the kids, cheering them on as they competed in the tournament, and sharing the love of football with the kids.

“I know that soccer, they call it fútbol, is their main sport,” said Highsmith. “American football is my favorite sport. To be able to interact with them and talk about both and teach the kids more about our game of football with some tips, it’s pretty cool. To see it grow is amazing. It’s so cool to see where the game is going internationally.”

Woodley and Highsmith have both hosted football camps for kids, so to be able to see kids in a different country enjoy the flag football tournament was special for them.

“For me personally, because I did a football camp at home in Saginaw, Michigan for 11 years, I know the effects a one or two day football camp or tournament can have on the future of football,” said Woodley. I love seeing the kids compete like they did here. It can spark something in the kids for them to know hey, I can do this. I can actually play some football and continue to work hard.”

The players had an opportunity to tour the city the day before the clinic, as well as spend time with the family of Cristo Fernandez, the Mexican actor who plays Dani Rojas on the hit comedy series, Ted Lasso.

Overall, they were impressed with the support from the fans in Mexico and how knowledgeable they are about the game.

“It’s far away from Pittsburgh and it shows how popular the Steelers are not just in this area, but everywhere we go there are so many Steelers fans,” said Highsmith. “It shows what kind of organization this is and the rich history of it. It’s cool to see that somewhere so far away is repping Steelers Nation. It’s incredible to experience. To see the other parts of the Steelers fan base, it’s been a great experience. Seeing how great Steelers Nation is. Seeing how far the fan base has expanded is special. I love seeing this part of it.”

Woodley said he loves seeing Steelers fans whenever he travels and this trip was no exception.

“When I see our fan base stretch into countries like this, I think about how great our organization has been over the years going back to the Steel Curtain, the Rooney family, the respect they have on and off the field,” said Woodley. “I think people notice that, and when they notice that they become part of the fan base and root for us and that is why we continue to expand. I love seeing it. I love it when I go places, especially outside of the country, and I see people with Steelers hats on. I feel like, man, we are everywhere.”

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Travis Burnett

Travis Burnett

A pioneer in the flag football community, Travis helped co-found the Flag Football World Championship Tour, FlagSpin and USA Flag. Featuring 15+ years of content creation for the sport of flag football, creating and managing the largest flag football tournaments on the planet, coaching experience at the youth and adult level as well as an active player with National and World Championship level experience.

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