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April 23 2010 12:00 AM

Retired NFL star participates in Sunday's Battlefield Brawl


    Recently retired NFL
    running back and Michigan State University alum T.J. Duckett will once again
    hit the field this Sunday at the first annual Battlefield Brawl. Founded by
    Duckett and 26-year-old Lansing native Justin Caine, the charity event will
    raise money for the children's neurology clinic at Sparrow Hospital, a place
    that Caine said saved his life.



    At the age of 10, Caine had a cancerous brain
    tumor. He survived, but lost the ability to walk and talk. Thanks to both his
    determination and the folks at Sparrow, he regained both abilities. He has
    since started his own video production company, dubbed Good Fruit, which
    according to their website is an "East Lansing-based video production
    company focused on providing high-quality videos for businesses and
    municipalities to help heighten their presence on the web." He also sits
    on several committees and helps out with many Sparrow events. Still, he felt
    the need to give more.


    Knowing he didn't want to do the typical golf
    outing or 5k, he turned to his favorite sport.

    "I've always loved football, but could never
    play tackle," Caine said. "Flag football became a great outlet."

    Caine said he has been wanting to do this for well
    over a year, but it wasn't until he met Duckett, who recently moved back to
    East Lansing, that things started to take shape.

    "That's when we really got rocking and
    rolling," said Caine.

    The tournament consists of eight teams sponsored by
    various organizations including Powerhouse Gym, Lou and Harry's, as well as
    Good Fruit. The team that raises the most money prior to game day gets the
    first pick in a celebrity draft consisting of various sports figures brought to
    the fold via Duckett. They include Tim Bograkos, "Little" John
    Flowers and Travis Walton, as well as Duckett himself.

    Caine estimates that the teams have already raised
    over $15,000, and hopes that although the event is free, further donations will
    be made by those in attendance.

    In addition to the main event, there will also be a
    dodge ball tournament and games for kids.

    "It should be an awesome day," said
    Caine, who hopes this event will become regular and spread nationwide.

    "I want this to be around for a 100
    years," he said.