Sean is going to great things with this #CuseTixForKids movement and a great recap of how things went is over at Syracuse.com. People can talk all they want about the numbers but the personal experience I had after the game made the whole thing worthwhile.
I had full intentions of visiting the #CuseTixForKids section of the stadium, however my journalistic conscience told me that a slightly tipsy and emotional Cuse sports fan trying to conduct serious interviews would not only reflect poorly on my character but also lead to pretty crappy content.
Thus, I freaked when Terrel Hunt became my favorite player, stayed for the slightly awkward postgame ceremony and took Instagram proof that Syracuse did indeed win the 2013 Texas Bowl.
As I walked out of Reliant Stadium (sidenote: HUGE.) I wanted to walk around the stadium at least once, see exasperated Minnesota fans, overjoyed Cuse fans and ensure that I could drive my rental car. I saw the Syracuse cheerleaders loading up to head home. I know a few of them because I'm a nice guy (and mostly they're in classes and I get lucky with group assignments) and I went over to say hi.
As we were chatting, a group of boys aged 5 to 11 in oversized orange shirts came up and asked the cheerleaders to sign their shirts and footballs. They were looking for football players but the pretty girls and guys the size of football players would do. One of the guys told the boys to go long and before I knew it, I was playing catch with an SU cheerleader and some kids who were there because of you guys.
We threw the ball around, While we were playing, we asked how old they were, what they liked about the game etc. One of the little boys looked up and said "I liked seeing my first touchdown."
That's what you did. You gave a little kid his first football memory. He'll probably never to go to SU. But maybe he'll play football and learn life lessons from it. Maybe he'll bond with a Big Brother over the game and some day pay it forward. I don't know and I'm not Nicholas Sparks so I can't write a tear jerking love story from this. But it's a memory as much for him as it was for me and at the end of the day, that's something special this community created.