The East-West Shrine game in football is an all-star game consisting entirely of college seniors. The teams are split up based on which side of the Mississippi River their school is on, though the best, most worthy 100 players are always invited.
Individuals are chosen for the game if they are considered good enough to potentially make an NFL roster. As such, the game serves as a stage where these players can display their talents in front of a large crowd that includes NFL representatives one last time before their college careers come to an end. The game now takes place around the middle of January.
Assistant coaches are pulled from NFL teams that have not made the playoffs and are chosen based on their merits, which includes being a good coach and a good person. In this sense, the game also serves as a way to evaluate assistant coaches who have potential to be a head coach.
Aside from being a showcase, the game provides awareness and support for the Shriners Hospitals for Children, which treats children for a number of different ailments, even if the family is unable to pay the medical bills. The event is more than just the game itself. Players also visit the local hospitals and are given a chance to connect with the patients. Moreover, a silent auction is held in order to order to raise additional funds.
The first football game in the East-West Shrine series took place in 1925 in San Francisco, where it made $25,000 for the hospitals. Before that, however, it was a baseball game. A captain of one of the teams figured a football all-star game would be more popular and draw more attention, so the game was switched and the modern East-West Shrine game was born.