WEST ORANGE, NJ - Jim Burt was the definition of a football hero when he burst onto the NFL scene in 1981. The University of Miami product was signed by the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent, but that didn’t ruin his confidence. In fact, his career took off.
One of the heroes of the Giants 1986 Super Bowl championship run, Burt has set his eyes on a new hero, the Wounded Warriors Amputee Football team.
Along with many other NFL alumni, Burt has joined forces with the team to host the Wounded Warriors Amputee Football Challenge on Wednesday at Essex County’s Codey Arena.
“I have been so blessed to be born in this country and have these guys fight for us. It was a no-brainer for me, I’m honored to do it," Burt commented.
Burt has been a major supporter of the this year’s Super Bowl, which is being held on the hallowed ground that he grew up watching, and later living the NFL dream on as a Pro Bowler in 1986. Coupled with the “Big Game,” Burt sees this year’s Wounded Warrior event as being one of the biggest ever.
“Having it at the Super Bowl here, it gets a lot of attention,” Burt said. “It's going to be a big event because of the Super Bowl. It is a national event, so that brings even more attention to it, which is what we want.”
Almost as important as getting the New York-New Jersey region to attend the event, is getting the support of the NFL’s Alumni Association. However, with the likes of Burt and alumni association Board of Directors member, and former Philadelphia Eagle Vince Papale on board, neither see there being a problem with getting former NFL greats to the game.
“We have a bunch of players coming out here,” Burt said. “We got 30 to 40 players coming out. We’re going to get as many players as we can. If guys can make it, they’re going to make it. We’re going to have a lot of fun with it.”
The Wounded Warriors Amputee Football Challenge will be played at Codey Arena on Wednesday from 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are available at the arena box office or at www. wwaft.org.