Want NFL stars Drew Brees or Jerry Rice as your Facebook friend?

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who made NFL history this past week by throwing a touchdown pass in his 48th consecutive game, is my friend on Facebook.

Well, not really. But Kinect for Xbox could make that happen … if I was a kid.

Microsoft’s Xbox team and the NFL have joined forces to make America healthier and reduce childhood obesity. One of the incentives is an actual NFL star friending a kid on Facebook and giving him or her a “social autograph,” which kids can then share with their friends.

A Microsoft spokesman I talked to today called it “social memorabilia that can live forever” and “the autograph of the 21st century.”

Xbox launched the Facebook app yesterday, and it’s called the 60 Million Minutes Challenge.

Above: Kids participating in the challenge.

Image Credit: Xbox/Microsoft

The goal is to get kids up, active, and moving for 60 minutes every day. Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control, but I know from personal experience with the Nintendo Wii that video  games with real-world motions can actually get kids — and adults — off the couch. And yes, I have built up a sweat to a Kinect game on Xbox!

“When you enter the 60 Million Minutes Challenge, you’ll be entered into the contest,” a Microsoft representative I spoke to this morning said. “If you win, an NFL player will friend you on Facebook, and will post a personal message on your Facebook wall.”

The project’s magic number is 60 million minutes of exercise, for which Xbox needs to get a million children to take the pledge. On day two of the contest, 30,000 minutes have already been promised.

One small fly in the ointment: Facebook contest rules around age. Down at the bottom of the contest page are these words (emphasis added):

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Legal residents of the 50 United States (D.C.) 18 years and older at time of entry. Ends 2/3/13. To enter and for Official Rules, including odds, and prize descriptions, visit terms and conditions. Void where prohibited. The NFL Entities (as defined in the official rules) have not offered or sponsored this sweepstakes in any way.

When I asked Microsoft about that, a spokesman said they needed to play within Facebook’s contest rules, but that they’re looking for “kids of all ages to participate.” And, I suppose, kids can enter with parental permission.

So maybe I am back in the game.

photo credit: Axel.Foley via photopin cc


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