Missouri Visits Children’s Medical Center
DALLAS – Missouri Head Coach Gary Pinkel and the Missouri Tigers football team spent Monday afternoon visiting Children’s Medical Center in Dallas as part of the events surrounding the 78th annual AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic.
Players from Mizzou spent their time at the hospital interacting with patients in the center’s Butterfly Atrium, while a group of senior players and captains visited patients in their rooms.
Chris Durovich, president and chief executive officer of Children’s Health Services of Texas, welcomed the group along with former Cotton Bowl Chairman John Stuart and his wife, Barbara.
“Thank you Children’s Medical Center for all you do for young children and the opportunities you provide so that these kids can become healthy,” said Coach Pinkel. “What you have to understand is that we get just as much out of this as these kids. It means a lot to us to be here.”
During the visit, players signed hats and posters, helped patients with arts and crafts projects, and posed for group pictures. Dozens of children from the hospital, accompanied by family and nurses, enjoyed coloring Mizzou logos, making paper football helmets and learning the Mizzou chant, led by Coach Pinkel.
“This is all for the kids,” said senior All-American defensive end Michael Sam. “It makes their day and it’s so great to see how excited they are. We’re very happy to be here.”
For Missouri players, the trip to Children’s Medical Center was much more than a break from preparation for Friday’s game.
“It brightens our day to see these kids,” said junior offensive lineman Mitch Morse. “Our coaches stress to us that no matter how bad you think your day is going, even if football is keeping you down, you have to understand that at the end of the day, you have it pretty good. It’s such a blessing to be here today. People may say that we’re touching these kids’ lives, but really they are touching ours.”
Founded in 1913, the not-for-profit Children’s Medical Center is the fifth-largest pediatric health care provider in the country. Dedicated to making life better for sick children and kids with serious illnesses, Children’s was the state’s first pediatric hospital to receive Level 1 Trauma status. A major pediatric kidney, liver, intestine, heart and bone marrow transplant center, Children’s specializes in treatment ranging from simple eye exams to treatment in areas such as heart disease, hematology-oncology and cystic fibrosis. This year, Children’s is celebrating 100 years of making life better for children.
The 78th AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic is Friday, Jan. 3 on FOX. Airtime is set for 6:30 p.m. CST with kickoff scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Making their fourth appearances as members of FOX’s broadcast crew, Gus Johnson and Charles Davis will describe all the action and will be joined by Kristina Pink reporting from the sideline. FOX is broadcasting the Classic for the 16th consecutive year.
ESPN Radio returns as the Classic’s national radio partner for the second-straight year. Brad Sham, the “Voice of the Dallas Cowboys,” will partner with Ed Cunningham offering color commentary and Ian Fitzsimmons adding analysis from the sideline to provide the call of the 78th Classic to hundreds of affiliate stations around the country as well as subscribers of Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio in the United States and Canada.