One week after Hurricane Irma ravaged parts of the Sunshine State, several NFL football teams have a new addition to their uniforms to raise awareness of the aftermath.
The Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jacksonville Jaguars have all added “ONE FLORIDA” decals to the back of their helmets for the remainder of the season.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The 3 Teams Will Wear the Decals All Season Long
The decals are an outline of the state of Florida accompanied by the phrase “ONE FLORIDA.”
The Bucs and the Jaguars start off the action by playing in Tampa on Sunday while the Dolphins start their season against the Los Angeles Chargers.
The Florida football teams aren’t the only NFL franchises paying tribute to those affected by a hurricane this season. The Houston Texans are wearing “Houston Strong” decals on their helmets for the entire season following the damage brought by Hurricane Harvey.
2. Irma Made Landfall in the U.S. as a Category 4 Hurricane
Irma was one of the most chaotic hurricanes out of the Atlantic Ocean since Hurricane Dean hit in 2007. It’s also the most intense hurricane to strike the United States since Hurricane Katrina tore apart New Orleans in 2005.
Irma caused widespread damage throughout its duration, especially in the Florida Keys and Carribbean. The storm started as a Category 5 and then dissipated a bit down to a Category 3. But it re-intensified once it got back over the Atlantic and made landfall in the Keys as a Category 4, bringing dangerous winds in excess of 130 mph.
Including the Carribbean islands that it hit, Irma killed 82 people and caused about $62 billion in damage.
3. The Dolphins & Bucs Had Their 1st Game Postponed Because of Irma
Irma made landfall near the Miami area on the morning of September 10. Because of that and the conditions that it was set to bring, the NFL initially postponed the season-opener between the Dolphins and the Bucs in Miami.
Initially, league officials worked to find a solution that would work for both teams. But eventually it was decided that the two teams would makeup the game during Week 11, when both of them were scheduled for a bye. That means the Dolphins and the Bucs have to take a Week 1 bye and play 16-straight regular season games.
4. The 2017 Hurricane Season Has Been the Busiest in Years in the U.S.
The late summer and fall months bring hurricane season to the coastal regions of the U.S., and this year’s season has already been a significant one.
Harvey, which made landfall in Rockport, Texas on August 25, was the first major hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. since Hurricane Wilma in 2005.
In just four days, many areas in Texas received over 40 inches of rainfall. Peak accumulations of 51.88 inches made it the wettest tropical hurricane ever in the U.S. The large amounts of rain mixed with the tides from the coast caused extreme flooding, especially in the Houston area. It displaced over 30,000 people form their homes and prompted the U.S. Coast Guard, along with law enforcement and volunteers, to rescue over 17,000 people.
Overall, Harvey caused at least 83 deaths — 82 in the U.S. — and led to around $200 billion of damage.
Just one week later, Irma pummeled Florida.
Now, there appears to be another significant storm on the horizon, as Hurricane Maria takes form. While forecasts aren’t guaranteed, it’s supposed to take much of the same path Irma took, striking Florida just over one week after Irma did.
5. Players Have Been Raising Funds for Hurricane Relief
Various franchises and players from the NFL have done their best to raise funds for the hurricane relief in their respective cities.
For Harvey, Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt sent out a message days after flooding impacted the city. Initially, he was looking to raise $200,000 to donate. However, the response grew dramatically, and in just over one week, Watt’s fund raised over $37 million from over 200,000 donors across the globe.
Watt said the money will go to the Houston Flood Relief Fund and said after the Texans’ Thursday-night victory against the Cincinnati Bengals that he intends on working with officials to ensure the money goes to the right place.
“I’m meeting with organizations and people that are in Houston, because we’re trying to make sure the money stays in Houston and the surrounding areas and it goes directly to the people, not to overhead cost,” Watt said on the post-game show. “So I’m working with organizations and I’m going to get the best organizations in each category that I want to help. Things like rebuilding houses. Things like food. Things like schools for the kids. Making sure that we take care of all these different areas.”
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