Garth Brooks is a Hall of Famer when it comes to country music, and now, he is working with Hall of Famers in other walks of life. Over the weekend, Brooks teamed up with the Buffalo Bills for a football camp for more than one hundred children, all benefiting Brooks’ Teammates for Kids Foundation.
The camp took place at the Bills’ practice facility this weekend, a trend that Brooks has started during his current tour by holding these events at every stop. On hand to assist with the camp were NFL icons Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas. Kelly was incredibly eager to help Brooks with the camp:
I’m a big fan of Garth’s. If he asks me to do something, I’ll be there for him. And if I ever ask him to do anything, he’d be there for me.
It was quite a special moment for Thomas, who played at Oklahoma State in the 1980s at the same time Brooks attended the school, stated “to me, he’s the most famous Oklahoma State Cowboy ever.” Brooks, overhearing Thomas, responded with “I love you, man.” Brooks then followed his affectionate statement with:
I used to sit in the stands and watch him. So tonight, he’s going to sit in the stands and watch me. I like that.
Rex Ryan, the newly hired Buffalo Bills coach, took part, along with several of his players. The city’s professional ice hockey team, the Buffalo Sabres, also represented, while Buffalo native and New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was in attendance, along with members of his family.
Brooks and company took a hands-on approach during the two-plus-hour camp. The kids took part in an assortment of drills and were also counseled on the importance of being a good teammate. Bills running back Fred Jackson shared his thoughts on the camp:
It’s a pleasure to get to not only come out here and be a part of this, but to be associated with a guy like Garth. We love being out here giving our tutelage to the kids, and letting them know they mean a lot to us as well.
Brooks was particularly pleased to have Kelly on hand, in part because the former star quarterback is recovering from two separate bouts of cancer over the past two years.
When you’re talking about Jim Kelly, you’re talking about one of the greatest competitors on the field. And then you go up against cancer and you kick its (behind)? You’re one of the greatest competitors in life.
The Foundation was established in 1999 and has drawn in athletes representing a wide variety of professional sports including baseball, bull riding, golf and soccer.