Posted: Dec 30, 2013 11:45 AM by Maddy Glab, KOMU Sports Reporter
Updated: Jan 1, 2014 7:13 AM
DALLAS, Texas - The Mizzou football team broke from AT&T Stadium, also known as Jerry World, to see a different part of Texas.
The Mizzou football team said they are starting to get familiar with Jerry World, but the team traded its football gloves for helping hands for the day. The players went to a world where not everyone's fit to play a contact sport.
"I really am truly happy and relieved that we came here," Missouri senior defensive lineman Marvin Foster said.
"I love being around here, it's great," Missouri senior tight end Eric Waters said.
The team spent its afternoon at the Children's Medical Center, and they said visiting there was important to their bowl week.
"We live such a privileged lifestyle," Waters said. And, to see people that are going through stuff like these kids in this hospital you know pain, being sick, and not being able to play outside. Just to come in here and give some of your time makes a world of difference."
The children may not be able to lace up to practice on a football field, but they are definitely mentally strong.
"Just with all the courage that these kids have, we talk about football players having courage, but the courage that these kids have is remarkable," Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel said.
Signing autographs for the children, making crafts, and sharing laughs was on the agenda for the football team during the visit. Missouri junior defensive lineman Kony Ealy had all the children sign a hat. When Ealy asked the kids for their autographs their smiles grew from ear to ear.
"Like they were legitimately really excited," Foster said. "It warmed my heart like this is probably like the best part of the whole bowl experience for me."
The seniors broke off into groups after crafting and moved to rooms to see children who couldn't make it downstairs where most activities took place.
"It's awesome to see kids smile, especially if you go make a visit as a small group," Waters said. "It lights up those kids days."
"Putting a smile on someone else's face I mean gives us the same kind of satisfaction," Missouri senior wide receiver Marcus Lucas said. "We're very happy to do this and thankful for getting this opportunity."
A team of guys that traded tackling for touching hearts.
"Just, if I could, I'd do this all the time," Waters said.