NFL Network to Air Documentary on Hall of Famers’ Trip to Israel Led by Patriots Owner
The television channel NFL Network will air on Friday night a documentary about New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft taking 18 Hall of Famers on a trip to Israel this past summer, the NFL announced on Thursday.
The one-hour film “NFL Films Presents: Touchdown in Israel” shows how the visit to the Jewish state personally impacted the former players. During their trip, the Hall of Famers coached two local football games in Tel Aviv, visited the Mount of Beatitudes, the Dead Sea, Western Wall and other locations, including the Jordan River, where several players had baptism ceremonies.
Hall of Famer Joe Greene said one of the things he looked forward to the most when embarking on the trip was “understanding more and more about the Jewish culture” and the closing scene of the film is an emotional dinner in which all the Hall of Famers stand up and reflect on the trip affected them.
The film’s producer and director Keith Cossrow said watching the players talk about their personal feelings may have been “the most extraordinary event” he experienced during his 20 years at NFL Films.
“This is one of the most rewarding films we’ve ever done,” Cossrow said. “[In the beginning] you see them getting on the plane, one Hall of Famer after another. They knew how special it was too.”
Kraft informed the players that for over 25 years he and his late wife had taken a group of people to Israel who have never visited the Jewish state before. He told the Hall of Famers “no matter your background…you’ll find a way to be uplifted by the country.”
At one point Detriots Lions Hall of Famer Lem Barney told Kraft about “how thankful [the players] are for you.” The film also features Kraft giving a speech in Hebrew about his love for Israel and first visiting the country on his honeymoon.
“NFL Films Presents: Touchdown in Israel” will air Friday at 8 p.m. ET on NFL Network.