American Wheelchair Football League Holds Exhibition Game – NBC Los Angeles

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The first thing you notice is that these guys are playing for real. This isn’t just an “exhibition” game series, with a wheelchair twist.

The blows are hard. The helmets are real.

And the stakes for the LA Rams and Kansas City Chiefs on Wednesday morning couldn’t have been higher.

“It’s our Super Bowl today, you know?” said Bart Salgado of the United States Wheelchair Football League Rams.

Salgado is both a coach and player for the team and a United States Marine who served in Desert Storm, Desert Shield, and Somalia.

Colton Kincaid’s Chiefs won Wednesday’s game to advance.

But since it’s a tournament, if you win, you play again. And sometimes still.

These “adaptive sport” athletes, as they are called, play a tougher game, Kincaid explained.

The hands and arms do most of the physical work.

But you also play on asphalt, not on astro-turf.

And you move a specially designed wheelchair around the pitch to block and score.

“You definitely have to do more with less,” Kincaid said.

Since its debut in 2020, the USA Wheelchair Football League has had 700 athletes, coaches and volunteers.

The NFL and the Bob Woodruff Foundation are partnering through these games to raise money for military veterans and bring attention to the fact that football can be the ultimate physical team sport.

But you can play it with your hands, if you’re just strong enough.

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