My trip to Malawi: An experience of a lifetime!

Last week I was blessed to be able to take a trip to Africa with my wife and daughter. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and this year the opportunity presented itself and I jumped right on it! On this amazing trip to Africa I saw many things that have changed my life.ambassadors in malawi

Each year during the off season I take a vacation, this year my choice was Malawi, Africa which sits on the southeast region of Africa. Malawi is a very beautiful, peaceful place and at the same time very frustrating due to the previous government and corruption. This country in 2013 is living like it’s stuck in the 1900’s or worse when it comes to technology, production, development and sports.

The mind set of  those living in Malawi is so narrow that it’s sad.With interest rates of 40% being normal in Malawi, the ability to own a home seems like only a dream to many. On the positive side, going to the village of Zomba was amazing. Going into the classrooms with the children and playing in the field with the kids is something I will never forget.

empowerAs we arrived, all the kids ran up to us and started singing in their language, “the visitors are here, the visitors are here!”. During my trip, One World Futbol, a company who has committed to bringing the joy of soccer and play to the youth around the world, donated 11,000 balls to help the development of youth sports in the country. My host, Jack Brewer, introduced me to the President of Malawi, Dr. Joyce Banda, and we had economic development meetings with many of the ministers in the country.

As a result of this trip, I am thrilled to announce that my foundation will be partnering with the Jack Brewer Foundation and Joyce Banda Foundation to help the youth sports development of the country of Malawi! im very excited to expand my vision to a global stage and work with these great people and new friends.I’m very thankful to have participated in this trip. It was a great experience and I look forward to my next visit!


A blog from the winner of the Ultimate Game Day Raffle!

*Written by guest blogger, Brian Standefer*

It all started about three weeks ago when I saw Adam Schefter re-tweet Drayton. “Thanksgiving in Detroit 2game tix, 2 side line passes hotel, airfare In  Proceeds benefit Detroit military families“.

As a Texans fan and knowing they were playing the Lions on Thanksgiving and the fact that all proceeds benefit military families, I couldn’t resist buying a ticket.  But never in a millions years did I think I would win.

Friday Night, just 6 days before the game I received a call and e-mail saying I had the winning ticket and was selected for the Drayton Florence Foundation Ultimate GameDay Giveaway.  I could not believe it!  Growing up I’ve always watched the Lions on Thanksgiving Day and it has been on my bucket list to attend if the Texans every played them on that day.  Somehow, someway it was coming to fruition.  My wife who is a RN at a hospital here in Houston was fortunate enough to get off work on short notice.  I think it helped with her boss being a big Texans fan, and my boss being one as well.  😉

Thanks to Frontier Airlines and the airline voucher we flew from Houston to Detroit on Wednesday the 21st.  We stayed at one of the nicest hotels I have ever been to – the Westin Book Cadillac in downtown Detroit.  Thanks to the generous support of Drayton’s Foundation and the hotel, the 2-night stay was fully complimentary.

Thanksgiving Day came and my wife and I headed off early to the stadium to enjoy some tailgating.   We enjoyed some cold beverages just outside the stadium at a local bar & grill and visited with many Texans and Lions fans.  Once the doors opened to the stadium we went inside and received our Pre-Game Sideline Passes.  It was an unbelievable experience walking through the tunnel and onto the field.  My wife and I were quickly greeted by Drayton, as we probably stuck out like a sore thumb wearing our Texans red.  It was awesome to meet a pro athlete, but even more of an honor to meet a guy who stands for supporting such a great cause – our Armed Forces.  Drayton and I had a good conversation and got to take a few pictures.  Knowing he was going to be covering Andre Johnson most of the game you could tell he was extremely focused at the task at hand.  It was cool he was able to take a few minutes before the game to say hello.  Definitely a class act guy.

We enjoyed the sideline passes for about an hour. We were able to walk up and down the sideline watching both teams warm-up.  Seeing these guys in full pads just feet away makes you realize how big and physical they are.  We then were escorted back to the tunnel towards the main concourse to our seats.  While in the main tunnel both teams came through and walked right by us.  It was awesome seeing each player’s ‘GameFace” as they headed to the locker room just minutes before the start of the game.

We had great seats right on the Lions sideline, lower level, looking right down the goal line.  Being visiting team fans wearing our Texans jerseys I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the Lions fans.  I will say, the fans were great!  All were friendly and we enjoyed a little back and forth smack talk.

As far as the game goes, I will say that was the wildest, craziest, pull-your-hair-out games I have ever attended.  The Lions defense started strong holding the Texans offense to many 3 and outs early on.  Megatron made some big catches on 3rd down and it wasn’t looking too good for the Texans.  As both teams began to settle down it was looking more and more like the shoot-out I thought it would be.  Drayton made some real good plays on Andre Johnson to knock the ball out of his hands.  It was almost bitter-sweet watching Drayton go against Dre’.  After a bad call by the referee’s and a rule that makes no sense, the Texans were back in the game.  After a 98 yard drive the Texans tied the game late in the 4th.  Heading to overtime my stomach was in knots.  Our kicker lined up for the game winning 47 yard line and missed it just to the left upright.  I thought that was our chance and we let it slip away.  The Lions drive down and set up Hanson who is automatic for a game winning FG.  I couldn’t believe what I was seeing as it bounced off the upright on to the field of play.  The Texans were able to drive down with just a few minutes remaining in overtime to kick the game winning field goal.  That game was one heck of a roller coaster.

After the game we stood outside the stadium and saw the Texans players heading to the bus.  My wife and I made our way to Greek Town and enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner at Fishbones.  We had an excellent meal and was able to watch the Redskins hold off the Dallas Cowboys.

Knowing our flight was Friday evening, we went for an early lunch at HardRock in downtown Detroit where we were also given food vouchers from Drayton.  We enjoyed good food and a good atmosphere at the Hardrock.  After lunch it was time to head back to the airport, and back to Houston.

My wife and I had an amazing time and whether the Texans won or lost it was one I’ll never forget.  I want to thank Drayton Florence for all that he does on and off the field.  I know the city of Detroit is better off with the support he gives to the men and woman of the military.  Best of luck the rest of the season!  #SaluteToService

Brian Standefer

*The views and opinions of this blogger are completely his own and not reflective of the Detroit Lions, Drayton Florence or the Drayton Florence Foundation.

My Super Bowl 2012 Experience!

My Super Bowl experience this year was very different and exciting. I traveled abroad to Honduras and El Salvador to visit our troops that have been stationed there along with James Lee of the Tampa Bay Bucs and Darrel Young from the Washington Redskins.

Our first stop was Soto Cano where Col. Brown was in charge. We visited all the work stations throughout the base — even the special ops guys which to me was the highlight! They were secluded from everyone else and even Col. Brown didn’t have access there. Growing up as a military brat I always said I wanted to be a Navy Seal or Green Beret and I found myself surrounded by a room full of them.

In visits with the troops, we found ourselves exchanging stories from life to the battle field. It was a very intense but fun situation. We watched the big game at Soto Cano and got to meet all the soilders, airmen and navy personnel. Interesting face: I learned they all don’t liked to be called soilders! Where did you watch the Super Bowl?

El Salvador was a much smaller base but the mission of both places was to help the DEA and Coast Guard in assisting in the inteception of illegal drugs coming from this area to the US.  On our second stop we were able to play flag football and construct some football drills for the men and women in El Salvador — one guy happened to be from Tonawanda (NY) and he had his Bills gear on so I let him lead the exercises.

I am so thankful for the people from Armed Forces Entertainment and ProTour Productions who made this trip possible. We were welcomed with open arms to show our support for the men and women that serve our country. This was an experience I will never forget and hope to do similar trips in the future.

Tough loss… Awesome memories.

Last week was unique in a sense — I went back to where my career began. Upon arrival I was tasting the authentic Mexican food and trying to decide which restaurants I would visit.

Seeing the guys I came in with still playing well made me feel good and competing against those guys was awesome. I saw lots of friends and enjoyed the time I had with them. Even though we lost the game the memories I have will never fade.

I appreciate all that this game has given me!

Welcome to my blog on my website!

Welcome to the Drayton Florence Foundation blog on my website! With the launch of the this site, I’ll be launching a new feature — a blog where I’ll be talking about the latest news, the newest information and updates on my foundation and I’ll be open to answering your questions and addressing topics you can send to me! An idea for an upcoming blog? Email us at and share it with us! You never know, I just might answer your questions right here!

I am so excited at the launch of my new website just in time for the Christmas holiday season. As many of you know, I’ve really focused my foundation this year on supporting our military families in Buffalo, in Ocala, and beyond.  In communities all across our country, men and women in our military are leaving behind family and friends as they are called to protect our freedom. And it’s not just in Iraq or Afghanistan. Our soldiers are all over the world in places like Bosnia, Egypt, Korea and more. Today more than 1.5 MILLION men and women in uniform serve in over 135 countries around the world!

Military families struggle with issues including finances, child care and particularly the stresses involved with raising children and maintaining the family unit during this separation. These families make sacrifices for you and me every single day, and I’ve passionately committed the resources of my nonprofit foundation to support these families.  I hope you’ll join me in my many projects, events and activites coming up.

I wish you and your families a very blessed, safe and happy holiday season.