Before the NFL holds its biggest game of the year, it will salute America’s heroes. 15 Medal of Honor recipients will conduct the Super Bowl coin toss, so get the details here.
1. Though one veteran will flip the coin…To determine who will get the ball first in Super Bowl 52, the NFL must conduct the time-honored tradition of the coin toss. While last year featured a former president in George H. W. Bush, 93, this year’s ceremony will feature fifteen Medal of Honor winners. While fifteen brave men and women can’t physically flip a single coin at once (unless it was a really, really large coin) the actual physical coin toss will be done by one person: World Ward II veteran Hershel Woodrow “Woody” Williams, 94.
2.…more than a dozen will be honored. The others being honored are, according to USA Today: Bennie Adkins — Army, Vietnam; Don Ballard, Navy, Vietnam; Sammy Davis, Army, Vietnam; Roger Donlon, Army, Vietnam; Sal Giunta, Army, Afghanistan; Flo Groberg, Army, Afghanistan; Tom Kelley, Navy, Vietnam; Allan Kellogg, Marines, Vietnam; Gary Littrell, Army, Vietnam; Walter Marm, Army, Vietnam; Robert Patterson, Army, Vietnam; Leroy Petry, Army, Afghanistan; Clint Romesha, Army, Afghanistan; and James Taylor, Army, Vietnam.
3. “Woody” Williams earned his Medal of Honor at Iwo Jima. While books can be (and have been) written about the courageous acts of all those who will stand on the field for Super Bowl 52, a special spotlight should be shone on Hrshel W. Williams. During the Battle of Iwo Jima, he attacked a network of reinforced concrete pillboxes (or dug-in guard posts, equipped with holes through soldiers can fire weapons) with flamethrowers, clearing a pathway for his fellow soldiers.
“Much of that day is just absolutely blank. There are other things that are so vivid that I’ve never been able to get them out of there,” he told the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. His actions during that final campaign would earn him the Medal of Honor.
4. This is the latest example of the NFL supporting the American men and women in uniform. While President Donald Trump, 71, can’t stop himself from dissing the NFL players for exercising their constitutional rights to peaceful protest, the NFL is busy supporting the country’s veterans. “The NFL has a longstanding history of supporting our Nation’s service members. Each year, the NFL and its 32 teams come together to honor and support members of the military as part of the NFL’s Salute to Service. The league’s year-round military appreciation efforts culminate in November with NFL Salute to Service games and other special events honoring veterans, active duty service members and their families,” the league said in a statement.
5. “Tails Never Fails.” The 94-year-old World War II veteran flipping the coin won’t say who he’s rooting for. “I’m going to be neutral. I have to be neutral. I’m going to flip the coin–I can’t be for either side,” he said, according to West Virginia MetroNews. Whoever gets to make the call might want to pick Tails. While the odds of a coin toss are literally 50-50, the last three coin tosses have come up tails, according to SB Nation.
What’s your pick for the Super Bowl coin toss, HollywoodLifers? Heads or tails?