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Arizona congresswoman competes in Congressional Football Game

PHOENIX — U.S. Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) traded in her heels for football cleats on Wednesday, when she faced off against Capitol Police officers in the Congressional Football Game for Charity.

McSally was part of the Mean Machine team, a team of bipartisan members of Congress and former professional athletes, in an effort to take the championship from the Guards, a team of Capitol Police officers, who have won the last three years in a row.

According to RollCall, the team names were taken from the film “The Longest Yard.”

Tickets for this year’s football game was $10, with the benefits going toward the United States Capitol Police Memorial Fund, Our Military Kids and A Advantage 4 Kids. It took place at Gallaudet University, a private university in Washington, D.C.

McSally also sung the national anthem at Wednesday’s football game.

The game is the first since two Capitol Police officers were credited with saving the lives of several Congressmembers, including Sens. Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, after a gunman shot at them during a baseball practice in June.

One of the officers, David Bailey, played in this year’s game.

“We don’t get a chance to say ‘thank you’ to them as often as we’d like, so this is just a really good opportunity to thank them for their service,” said Rep. Jeff Denham, a team co-captain, told Roll Call.

In preparation for the big day, lawmakers practiced at least three days a week for more than a month, according to Roll Call. The practice sessions were led by former Phoenix Cardinals outside linebacker Ken Harvey and former Phoenix Cardinals defensive back John Booty.

And, according to Roll Call, Harvey and Booty did not take it easy on the Congressmembers — if the players were late to practice, they were forced to do pushups.

“Half of it is the desire to learn and I’m kind of amazed that you see these congressmen and they’re like kids. The desire to learn is there,” Harvey said. “Teaching them in a couple of weeks in what takes a lifetime to learn is difficult but a lot of the guys are really putting a lot of effort into it and you can see day by day that they’re getting better.”

According to a video posted on McSally’s Twitter account, the Mean Machine did not take home the championship, losing to the Guards 7-0.

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