For the third time in as many years, newly anointed Walter Payton Man of the Year Chris Long, and a team of military veterans and NFL players, will make their way to Africa to conquer Mt. Kilimanjaro. It’s a harrowing climb, but one that supports building wells and providing clean drinking water to thousands of people who need it.
The 2019 “Conquer Kili” team has been set, and, in addition to Long, includes two current and one former member of the Philadelphia Eagles, along with three other former NFL players. From the city of Brotherly Love, Jason Kelce and Haloti Ngata will join this year’s trek, and Beau Allen has officially been peer-pressured into joining the team after Long made a big push to add him to the roster.
Long and Allen are good friends, and despite the latter not having trained for this extremely grueling ordeal, he agreed to go if they hit $15,000 in donations by Super Bowl Sunday — and they did. Fletcher Cox even donated $1,500 to make the trip happen.
Helping Long’s effort was this pretty amazing graphic he included in his initial social media push.
Every yr for @WaterboysORG , combat vets & NFL players summit Kilimanjaro, raising for clean water projects. In 2019, I want to bring my gigantic friend @Beau_Allen 19,341 ft up to the roof of Africa. He hasn’t trained. He’s scared of heights. He needs a little peer pressure. pic.twitter.com/tbvAgNFO5N— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) January 29, 2019
Last year’s climbing team included a couple former Eagles as well, with Connor Barwin and Vince Young joining Chris Long for the mission, which was captured as part of NFL Films documentary “The Way Up – Chris Long & The Waterboys”.
Given this year’s group, I really, really hope a camera crew is around to capture what should be an incredible few days of good-natured ribbing and a bonding experience like non-other.
Just, please, no one get hurt!