Alpha Gamma Chi, a Lee University Greek club, will be attempting to break a Guinness World Record for the longest flag football game played, and they need your help.
“Anybody can come,” said Zach Brooks, a Chi member. “We just need all the support we can get. We are hoping we get a lot of involvement from the city.”
The game will start on April 4 at 5 p.m. and continue until April 6 at 7 p.m.
The current record for the longest played football game is 24 hours. The Chi guys are going for 50 hours of straight play in their game, “The Gridiron,” presented by MurMaid Mattress.
This is not the first time the Greek club has gone after a world record. In both 1985 and 2005, club members went after the title for longest played softball game.
“When they played in the softball game, it was before our time. When we came up, you heard about guys who played in the game and they were sort of like these legendary figures,” Chi member Taylor Trotter said. “We sort of casually talked about shooting for another record-breaking game.”
Talk remained just talk until members found a mission to shoot for — helping People for Care and Learning build a city in Cambodia.
“It was just casual talk, and I ended up proposing it casually to [Campus Pastor Jimmy Harper], and he loved it. He pretty much ran with the idea after that,” Chi member Josh Power said.
“He presented a couple of different guys who were connected to Chi and nonprofits.”
Fred Garmon’s name came up in discussion. He is the executive director of PCL as well as a former active Chi member.
“Cleveland just became the sister city of Cambodia. The specific place PCL is building their city is Andong,” Brooks said.
“Not only are we putting Lee in the spotlight, but this is one more thing to add to how Cleveland is helping her sister city.”
The club’s current goal is to raise $86,000 to build a marketplace and a health clinic. The marketplace will be split between a wet area for vegetables and fruits and a dry area for goods like clothes and textiles.
“This clean water system [in the marketplace] set to be built is an anomaly for them, because their water is gray right now,” Trotter said.
“It is so dirty. It is not even clean enough to drink.”
Power agreed. “They use that water for everything,” he said. “This is going to blow their minds.”
Trotter said the club hopes to raise the money through fundraising, donations and sponsorships.
The various levels of sponsorship include: Game Winner: $10,000; Hail-Mary: $5,000-$9,999; Touchdown: $2,500-$4,999; Field Goal: $1,000; Two-Point Conversion: $500; and First Down: $100. Gifts accompanying the levels include everything from the Gridiron wristband to a PA announcement at the ceremonies, a sponsorship banner, a personal banner, and a sideline yard marker sign among others. Sponsorship perks are directly related to how much money is donated.
“If [businesses or restaurants] are wanting to do a fundraising event, and we have not contacted them yet, it would be balling if they wanted to contact us to do an event,” Brooks said.
Power said the event’s head sponsor will be MurMaid Mattress. Coincidentally, the company is also involved in PCL’s Build a City project in Andong. They will be building a mattress factory to provide a livelihood for Andong residents.
“In a practical sense, we would be responsible for providing jobs and providing health opportunities for people in Andong,” Trotter said.
Committees for advertising, merchandise and apparel, finance, sponsorship and campus involvement have been formed.
Brooks, Trotter, and Power agreed organization is going into the event. They also said it is not strictly resting on Chi’s shoulders.
“What we have been shooting for is getting other Greek clubs involved as well as residential life and Student Leadership Council,” Trotter said.
“...We don’t want this to be just an Alpha Gamma Chi thing. We cannot afford for it to be an Alpha Gamma Chi event, because we do not have enough manpower to do that.”
“We have pleaded for help. We had some real positive response for help before, during and after the game,” Trotter said.
The amount of people in the crowd could be huge.
“This event has become completely different,” Power said. “There are about 4,500 students at Lee, and you have roughly 1,500 to 2,000 students coming to check out Lee [for Lee Day weekend]. We also hope to draw a lot of people from the Cleveland community as well.”
Power said Fred Garmon told him the event may be larger than they expect.
“Fred looked at us at one point and said we could expect anywhere from 6,000 to 10,000 people out there at any given point,” Power said. “That is when it kind of hit us that we cannot do this by ourselves. This is way beyond us now.”
There are currently 33 members in Alpha Gamma Chi. A total of 28 members will be actively participating in the 50-hour flag-football game. The setup will be seven versus seven with seven substitutes for each side.
The game will be held at the Ocoee Middle School football field on Parker Street, across the street from Lee University’s baseball field.
The first record breaking ceremony will be held on April 5 at 5 p.m. Another ceremony will follow on April 6 at 7 p.m. to mark the 50 hours played.
“We are hoping to get distinguished people from and around Cleveland to come to the ceremonies,” Brooks said. “We want to get as much recognition as we can for Lee, Cleveland and PCL.”
There will be a strict schedule for the players to manage their eating, sleeping, and restroom breaks.
“Every hour of play we get five minutes of rest. Those minutes can be accumulated up to 30 minutes of rest,” Power said.
Added Brooks, “We have to save those minutes for certain ceremonies like the first record breaking.”
Trotter said the players may not be directly involved in the ceremonies, but they will be present.
All three guys agreed support will be greatly appreciated — especially throughout the late nights and early mornings.
“Anything to get us pumped up. If someone blows a bullhorn at us, I am going to wake up,” Brooks said.
“Unless it is during one of our rest periods,” Power said in response.
The guys said people of all ages are welcomed to come out to support, enjoy the game, check out the booths and play some cornhole.
“People come out to the Cleveland and Bradley County football games, so I know they are out there,” Brooks said.
More information about the event can be found by visiting its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/thegridiron2013 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations can be made at the event’s website: http://whiteboard.is/gridiron. Money can also be donated to the project by texting “build” to 20222.
Anyone interested in becoming an event sponsor can contact Taylor Trotter at 678-431-8382 or the Lee University campus representative, Cole Strong, at 423-715-4886. Emails can also be sent to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.