Boise Blog Day Four: Tales from Testudo
Dec. 29, 2008
This is the fourth, and final, blog entry from Testudo, the Maryland mascot, detailing the football team's experience in Boise, Idaho, as the Terps prepare for Tuesday's Roady's Humanitarian Bowl.
The 2008 Roady's Humanitarian Bowl does not kick off until tomorrow afternoon, but the University of Maryland football team already has managed to thrill some residents of Greater Boise.
More than 20 Maryland football players, several members of the cheerleading squad and I spent Monday morning visiting with young patients at St. Luke's Children's Hospital here in Boise. We met children in the hospital's pediatric intensive care unit, distributing Terp gear, signing autographs and spreading Terrapin cheer. I, of course, also gave out plenty of hugs much to the delight of our young hosts.
"No parents like to see their child in the hospital, but having them visited by high-profile folks like football players from the University of Maryland means a great deal to them," hospital director Dr. Jerry Hirschfeld said. "Many of our children aspire to achieve such recognition when they get older, so it's really a wonderful opportunity for them to admire people they consider heroes, and to have their day brightened."
During the hospital visit, which represented part of the team's community outreach program, defensive linemen Deege Galt and Dean Muhtadi played board games like Candy Land and Chutes & Ladders with the children. Offensive lineman Dane Randolph, quarterback Jordan Steffy and their teammates distributed Terp snow hats to the excited youngsters.
Down the hall young patient Kaylin had a football player stuffed animal wearing a No. 8 jersey she introduced to Maryland's No. 8 - wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey. The junior wideout then visited with seven-year-old Monica in her hospital room.
"She was sitting there in her bed so excited to see us," Heyward-Bey said. "It felt really good to be able to make a little kid happy like that."
Earlier this morning, a handful of Maryland players attended the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Bowl Breakfast, where offensive lineman Edwin Williams offered testimony preceding the keynote speaker, pastor and former NFL linebacker Ken Hutcherson.
"It turned out to be a bigger event than I thought," Williams said. "They had high schools, middle schools and elementary schools all there as part of the FCA. Overall it was pretty cool."
Later Monday afternoon the Terps conducted their pregame walk-through, which represents the team's final preparation for the Roady's Humanitarian Bowl. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:30 EST Tuesday, and the game can be viewed nationally on ESPN.
Look for me on the sideline during our bowl game tomorrow afternoon. I ought to stand out amidst the blue turf!