Sept. 3, 2008
Jonathan Mann, Texas Media Relations
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A group of Longhorns took time out of their busy schedules last week for a trip to the Dell Children's Medical Center to pay a visit to some of their biggest fans.
"I personally love to be around kids," said junior quarterback Colt McCoy. "I love to see kids all the time and play with them, and I think my teammates feel the same way."
Longhorn players visit children at the hospital every Friday afternoon before a home game. The event is a tradition that was formed when Mack Brown arrived at Texas, and is an experience that athletes anticipate and enjoy.
"We're very down-to-earth teammates," said senior defensive tackle Roy Miller. "We always love the opportunity to give back to the community. It's a good thing for both the children and us."
The players appreciate their celebrity status when they stop by the hospital, realizing that it's not something to be taken for granted.
"Any time you're dealing with children, you've got to be a good role model," Miller said. "You want to present yourself as a responsible person, you want to set that example for any child, because they are the future."
"I think there are a lot of young kids that look up to us," McCoy echoed. "Any time we can spend just a little bit of time with them, I think it's great for us and for them."
The trip is much more than an autograph and photo session. For the children, it's a chance to focus on something brighter.
"When the football players get here, it's a complete distraction from even being in the hospital," said Ashley Davis, the hospital's special events coordinator. "It gives them a positive experience here and something to really look forward to."
For Miller, the trip is an eye-opening role reversal, as he finds inspiration in the children's attitude.
"Just hanging around with the kids and being able to see them in different circumstances and still being optimistic and happy, those kinds of things touch me," he said. "I look up to them."