Carey Rottman & Brian DawkinsEven though professional sports is probably the last thing on your mind when it comes to alleged gunman James Holmes and the Colorado shooting masscre during The Dark Knight Rises screening, the Denver Broncos are stepping up and shining a small light on this otherwise incredibly sad, tragic story. A half dozen Broncos visited with five patients at the Medical Center of Aurora, and then they also met with the emergency room workers that responded on Friday morning.
And it seemed that both groups inspired each other. Like I said, the Broncos winning the Super Bowl was most likely the last thing on these victims' minds. But seeing their heroes reach out as they were recovering probably meant the world to them ... and it meant a lot to the players as well.
According to linebacker Joe Mays, "What we were trying to do was go in there, show support, and try to put a smile on these people's faces. But the thing is, they put a smile on our faces."
Seeing the aftermath of this inexplicable carnage helped give him a little bit of perspective: "They had such positive attitudes. They knew they were blessed to live and they knew they were going to have another chance to walk about with their families."
The other players who took time out of their last Sunday before training camp were offensive tackle Ryan Clady, Chris Kuper, defensive tackle Ben Garland, receiver Eric Decker, tight end Jacob Tamme, who gave a play-by-play on his Twitter account, as well as Brian Dawkins, who retired earlier this year. And four other patients received a call from newly signed quarterback Peyton Manning (a guy who always does the right thing!) on Sunday, which was probably super-exciting for them too.
Dawkins added his two cents after his visit and tweeted:
Just left the Aurora Medical Center. Got a chance 2 thank the Wonderful Emergency team. & C a couple of the brave victims & thr loving Families. After leaving there, one thing I will defiantly do is hug my wife & kids when I get home. & squeeze them 'em tighter!!!!
I'm hoping that this visit and the phone calls did these patients a load of good on their difficult road to recovery. I for one am happy to see the Broncos reaching out to their fans with such a classy gesture as their city is reeling from the largest mass shooting in U.S. history. Although football goes far down on the list of priorities after something like this happens, it never hurts to remember that the guys we cheer for every Sunday can use their starpower to help out a fan and community in need.
What do you think of the Denver Broncos players visiting the Colorado shooting victims?
Image courtesy of DenverBroncos.com/Stuart Zaas