The Ice Bucket Challenge has reached the highest levels of the NFL hierarchy.
New York Giants president John Mara on Monday took the Ice Bucket Challenge and challenged New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, coach Bill Belichick and New York Jets owner Woody Johnson to do it next (watch it here).
The Ice Bucket Challenge is the social media campaign for the benefit of ALS research that's gone viral over the past week. It starts when someone gets challenged to pour a bucket of cold water and ice over their heads. If the person does not accept the challenge, that individual is supposed to make a donation to finding a cure to ALS. If the individual accepts it, the person films themselves pouring a bucket of ice water over their heads, posts it to the Internet within 24 hours, and issues the same challenge to others to do the same. Often times, a donation is made even after completing the challenge.
Mara dedicated his icy bath to former Boston College assistant athletics director Dick Kelley, who earlier this year died of ALS, and to Pete Frates, the former Boston College baseball captain who is battling the disease. The 29-year-old Frates can no longer speak and is confined to a wheelchair. Mara attended Boston College and graduated in 1976.
"I accept challenge on behalf of Dick Kelley, the Frates family and on behalf of ALS research," Mara said in the video posted to the Giants' website. "And I hereby nominate Woody Johnson, Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick to do the same."
The Ice Bucket Challenge has already reached Foxborough. Julian Edelman accepted it last week and challenged Danny Amendola, Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady to do it next. To our knowledge (and a quick Google search), the trio has yet to accept the challenge.
The last time Belichick had a bucket of ice poured over his head was after winning Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005. Will he get his next one within 24 hours?
UPDATE: From Belichick's interview on Boston sports radio station WEEI this afternoon.
Belichick didn't formally accept the challenge, but he did say “I plan on doing something with it. We’ll take care of it.”
"I certainly know a number of people who have been affected by ALS, probably most prominently Steve Gleason, who I have known for a number of years," Belichick said. "I’m certainly willing to support trying to find a cure for that and try to help people who have that disease. I am 100 percent behind it.”
He also joked, “I know there’s a lot of people who would like to dump ice water on me.”