On Tuesday night, a number of Broncos players joined 300 children from the Denver area at Sports Authority Field at Mile High for Hometown Huddle, a few hours of exercise and hands-on interaction with the kids.
The event was put together by the Mile High United Way, Playworks, The Boys and Girls Clubs and the American Heart Association.
Among the players were tight ends Julius Thomas and Virgil Green, running back Knowshon Moreno, fullback Chris Gronkowski, tackle Ryan Clady, safety David Bruton, linebackers Danny Trevathan and Wesley Woodyard, defensive end Ben Garland, center Quentin Saulsberry, safety Duke Ihenacho and cornerback Omar Bolden.
The players participated in various team-building games that got the young boys and girls running around the field and outside the stadium. All the physical activity was a welcome sight to Green.
“I think it’s real good because in today’s day and age, you have a lot of kids that really aren’t being active, playing video games all day,” Green said. “I always tell guys, ‘Back when I was younger it just seemed like we were always outside.’ And now you drive by playgrounds, you don’t even see kids out. It’s like, ‘What happened?’ So it’s great to see kids out having fun.”
The activities ranged from listening games to various variations of tag to ‘Interception,’ which involved the kids rotating between quarterback, wide receiver and defensive back. Green, for one, was impressed with what he saw.
“There’s a lot of great athletes out here,” Green said. “I don’t know how many kids we’ve got, but I saw 20 or 30 kids, once they get developed, you’ll see them in the NFL one day.”
The interaction between the players and the athletes appeared to be as enjoyable for the Broncos as it was for the kids.
“It’s always fun out here with these kids,” Trevathan said. “You get to meet a lot of great kids that are hopefully going to have an impact in this community like I’m trying to impact their lives. It’s just fun out here trying to be active with them instead of just always donating stuff, you actually get to come out here and spend time with them. I think that’s what some pro athletes need, and other people as well.”
Giving back to the community via charitable contributions is one way many players often make a positive impact on the community. Trevathan said getting to work with children on a personal basis is even more rewarding.
“You want that full effect with the kids,” Trevathan said. “You want to be able to impact them and get inside the kid’s head because you never know what a kid’s going through, especially with today’s society. You can impact them so well, you can be a mentor to these guys. It’s great out here having fun with them.”
Tuesday night marked the 14th Annual Hometown Huddle, and it was the fifth time for Woodyard, who has participated every season since he joined the Broncos. Though the reception from the kids was familiar, he said their excitement never gets old.
“It’s exciting,” Woodyard said. “When they see us walk through the tunnel, they’re screaming at the top of their lungs and big smiles go on everybody’s faces. That’s what it’s about, seeing the joy of the kids, you can’t explain the joy that they have for us.”