(From left, with pediatric patient) Captain Fear, Mike Alstott and Brian Griese helped liven up Valentine's Day at All Children's Hospital on Tuesday
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers showed a lot of heart on Valentine's Day.
On Tuesday, four prominent Buccaneer players attended a carnival for patients at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg. That day's particularly chill weather didn't deter the annual rooftop revelry, but it did relocate it, as the party was moved into the hospital's warm playroom.
There, Bucs Mike Alstott, Anthony Becht, Brian Griese and Dave Moore spread a little Valentine's Day love, mingling with the young patients and joining them in a wide variety of games. Four Buccaneers Cheerleaders – Nichole Creadon, Kayla Drawdy, Erica Permane and Jennifer Summers – were also on hand to enjoy the festivities with the kids. And a party just wouldn't be a party without Captain Fear, the swashbuckling Buccaneer mascot, who had a great time entertaining the room with his usual tricks.
The playroom, blanketed in red and pink hearts in honor of the gentle holiday, was transformed into a scene to rival the midway at the State Fair. The carnival included a ball toss where the winning kids were awarded a Buccaneers pennant, a station for sponge painting a large paper mural, a karaoke machine and a place where party-goers could get their picture taken with one or all of the Buccaneers in attendance. Another favorite with the kids was the football video game that was set up on the room's television set. Several kids used to competing against the pixilated versions of the Buccaneers had an opportunity to play alongside the real thing on Tuesday.
As usual, the kids weren't the only ones whose hearts were warmed by the hospital visit.
"I came to get my spirits lifted by these kids because they are amazing," said Creadon. "They're laughing and having such a great time. It really just makes your whole day better."
For Becht, the Valentine's Day party was his first visit to All Children's Hospital.
"This was a great experience," said Becht. "I had a great time with the kids, and it's cool hanging out with them."
The spirit of Valentine's Day was definitely in the air at All Children's Hospital where some big-hearted Buccaneers were able to spend an afternoon spreading a little love to some smaller hearts.
A group of Buccaneer volunteers won't have to travel far to make a big difference on Thursday morning and afternoon.
It's a short walk from team headquarters to Jefferson High School, where Michael Clayton and Dexter Jackson will lead a Buccaneer party to join in a field refurbishment project. Captain Fear and several Buccaneers Cheerleaders will also lend a hand. Along with volunteers from Jefferson High, The Home Depot and KaBoom!, the Buccaneer party will help replace 97,000 square feet of sod for a practice football/soccer field and aid in the construction of an obstacle course. After the refurbishment is complete, the Jefferson High field will be open to the public.
KaBoom! is a national nonprofit organization that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. The Jefferson High School project is part of KaBoom! and The Home Depot's effort to create and refurbish 1,000 playspaces in 1,000 days.
Pirates Watching Pirates
It's a busy week around town for the Buccaneers.
On Friday, several Buccaneer players will accompany children from local nonprofit organizations to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, where they will preview the park's new "4-D" comedy adventure movie Pirates.> Pirates 4-D, starring Leslie Nielsen, combines the latest 4-D special-effects technology with multi-sensory theater effects to thrill guests of all ages. Guests experience sprays of water and a shipload of surprises during their adventure with the sea's most hapless band of pirates.
Attending the sneak peek event will be Clayton, along with 15 kids from the Children's Cancer Center, as well as 20 kids who are involved with his newly formed Michael Clayton's Generation Next Foundation. Jackson will also accompany 20 kids from The Spring of Tampa Bay, along with 20 kids from the Dream Center. Members of Derrick Brooks' new First and Goal program will attend the showing as well.
The 15-minute nautical adventure will be shown in Busch Gardens' Timbuktu Theatre, which seats 750 guests. Pirates 4-D opens to the public on Saturday, February 18.
Tampa Sports Club Honors Galloway
Later on Friday, the Tampa Sports Club will hold its 45th Annual Tampa Sports Award Banquet.
As it does each year at its banquet, the club will honor the Bay area's outstanding professional and amateur athletes and athletic teams. In addition to inducting athletes into the Tampa Sports Club Hall of Fame, the club recognizes the Most Valuable Players from the various area sports teams. This award couples with the annual media-selected honor to give two opinions on the local MVPs.
Wide receiver Joey Galloway will be honored as the Buccaneers' MVP. Galloway started all 16 regular-season games in 2005 and finished with 83 receptions for 1,287 yards and 10 touchdowns. He broke the team record for receiving TDs and put up the second-highest yardage total in franchise history.