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NFL & United Way Blog

Do we really want the rest of the US to associate Detroit with Nickelback?

Ursula Adams is a guest blogger from the United Way for Southeastern Michigan.


I was disappointed when the hubbub about Nickelback performing at this year’s Thanksgiving Day halftime show in Detroit hit the internet a few weeks ago. It was a distracting and mean-spirited message that overshadowed the fact that, beyond the halftime show, Nickelback has stepped up and partnered with United Way on two initiatives designed to raise additional funds and volunteers for our work in education.

Nickelback Fan Contest for the Community: Nickelback and United Way are offering fans the opportunity to win a trip to the Detroit Lions Thanksgiving game by pledging to become a volunteer reader, tutor or mentor. Fans can enter to win at liveunited.org/nickelback. One lucky winner will receive two suite-level tickets to the game, roundtrip flights (2) and hotel accommodations (1) as well as a meet and greet opportunity at the dress rehearsal and an opportunity to see the halftime show from the field. The deadline to enter is Monday, November 21 at 8:00 AM ET.

Nickelback Gives a Quarter Back: Additionally, Nickelback is supporting United Way is in its effort to recruit one million volunteer readers, tutors and mentors by contributing $.25 for every pledge (up to $100,000) to volunteer as a reader, tutor or mentor at liveunited.org/nickelback through December 31, 2011.

See, Thanksgiving is a BIG DEAL at United Way. More than just simple entertainment, our halftime show at the Detroit Lions’ Thanksgiving Day game is the single, largest opportunity we have all year to get a very important message out. We don’t do it alone, of course. Without our partners - the NFL, the Detroit Lions, E2K and the halftime performers – this could not happen.

Thing is, I know the NFL, the Detroit Lions and E2K are committed to the work of the United Way. The halftime talent? Well, you just never know…

Every year, I hold my breath and cross my fingers that the talent that is chosen to perform at the halftime show will get "it." That they will understand and support the idea that they have the unique opportunity to spread a very important message on a very large scale.

Some years are better than others. We’ve had halftime performers that are all in – donating extra time and money, volunteering with us prior to the show, co-hosting media events with us, etc. And we’ve had halftime performers that came to Ford Field not interested in doing anything more than what they are contracted to do – perform. Simply put, some get “it” and some don’t.

Let me tell you – Nickelback gets “it.” From the time they signed on to perform at this year’s halftime show, they have been working with us to lift up the very important work of United Way and its volunteers. And, no, Nickelback is not a local band. And, no, their music does not appeal to everyone. But, in the end, Nickelback is committed to the Common Good. They have been gracious, they are putting their notoriety to good use for a great cause and they have completely, without question, stepped up to the plate in support of this community.

So, in response to the question, "Do we really want the rest of the US to associate Detroit with Nickelback?" I, for one, respond with a resounding, YES! The support Nickelback has shown this city is the very essence of what it means to be a part of this community. If you care for the people and plight of this city, and are willing to put your talents and passion behind it, you are a Detroiter. Nickelback has proven that they are every bit as much of a part of metro Detroit as me or you.

Detroit, embrace your own!

Join me in celebrating with Nickelback on Thanksgiving Day and join Nickelback in volunteering to help those in our community in need. Pledge now to become a volunteer reader, tutor and mentor for a metro Detroit child in need.