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Charlotte’s public safety officers to battle FDNY in football

Some of New York City’s bravest practiced throwing the pigskin at Revolution Park on Friday as they prepared to go head-to-head against the Queen City’s public safety officers.

The Fire Department of New York’s semi-professional football team kept hydrated during the afternoon practice in Charlotte – and also made sure Charlotte Fire Chief Jon Hannan left the park premises before running through their drills.

“We take it seriously,” said Troy Roberts, president of the FDNY Bravest. “It gets intense.”

The Charlotte Cobras, a semi-professional team made up 57 officers from Charlotte-Mecklenburg police, the Charlotte Fire Department, the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement groups, play FDNY at Memorial Stadium on Saturday.

Proceeds from the charity game will go to help pay the medical bills of Charlotte firefighter Jeff Reid, who is battling leukemia.

The Cobras have donated more than $35,000 to law enforcement officers in need, Camp CARE in Charlotte, a Cornelius orphanage and other area charities since the group formed in 2006, CMPD Sgt. J.D. Furr said.

So far this season, the Cobras and FDNY are undefeated. But after Saturday only one team will continue its winning streak.

If the Cobras’ performance against defending league champs in San Francisco is any indication, the Charlotte team has a good chance of coming out on top, Furr said.

During the San Francisco game, the Cobras had more than 300 offensive yards and won 17-9.

The public-safety football game costs $5 to attend and starts at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Tickets are available at the door.

Steele: 704-358-5067; On Twitter: @steelecs
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