NFL Greats Contribute to Peace Corps Recruitment Campaign

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 21, 2003 – Both on and off the field, National Football League (NFL) athletic greats Archie Manning of the New Orleans Saints and Mark Rypien of the Washington Redskins have impacted the lives of thousands of people. Now, these two star players have turned their efforts to another cause they believe in: supporting the Peace Corps.

Manning and Rypien worked with their local television stations to produce public service announcements (PSAs), endorsing the Peace Corps as an option for anyone wanting to assist in the global community.

The PSAs are part of the Peace Corps’ marketing campaign to reacquaint Americans of all backgrounds and experiences with the Peace Corps’ mission of promoting world peace and friendship. The announcements ask people to consider how far they are willing to go to make a difference and include English-version voiceovers by actor Matthew McConaughey. The announcements end with the slogan, “Life is calling. How far will you go?”

“Playing in the NFL, I’ve made a difference on the field,” Rypien states in the announcements. “The Peace Corps lets you make a difference in countries around the world.”

The PSAs have been sent to various television stations around the country, including ESPN and local affiliates from the players’ hometowns of Spokane, WA, and New Orleans, LA, in addition to Washington, D.C., where Rypien played.

Manning began his career at the University of Mississippi where he was an All-American quarterback, earned the Walter Camp Award, and had his number retired. He played for 13 NFL seasons, mostly with the New Orleans Saints, for which he played in two Pro Bowls. He has been voted Most Popular Saint in franchise history and was recently named quarterback for The Team of the Century at the University of Mississippi. His community activities include the Louisiana Special Olympics, the New Orleans Area Boy Scout Council, the Salvation Army, the United Way Speakers Bureau, the New Orleans Sports Foundation, and the National Football Foundation. Manning currently resides in New Orleans.

Rypien began his career at Washington State University where he was an All Pacific-10 Conference first-team quarterback. He played for 11 NFL seasons and is best known for leading the Washington Redskins to victory in the 1992 Super Bowl. He played in two Pro Bowls and was named Most Valuable Player of the 1992 Super Bowl. His community work includes building an athletic facility in the name of his son Andrew, who died of a brain tumor. He also participates in celebrity golf tournaments to raise money for charities. Rypien currently resides in Spokane.

Since 1961, more than 170,000 volunteers have served in the Peace Corps, working in such diverse fields as education, health, HIV/AIDS education and awareness, information technology, business development, the environment, and agriculture. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a two-year commitment.

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