The tasty frozen yogurt threatening to spill down his chin and onto his shirt certainly influenced his statement, but Sammy McNair still had the big picture in mind when he gave his assessment of his day at One Buccaneer Place on Thursday:
"Best day ever!"
Lately, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been extremely busy finalizing their preparations for this weekend's NFL Draft, when a new wave of young talent will be added to the roster. On Thursday, however, the Bucs' staff took some time to connect with the next generation in another, more personal way.
It was Bring Your Child to Work Day for the team's employees, and it turned One Buccaneer Place on its head...in a good way.
Everywhere you turned in the spacious hallways and offices of the Buccaneers state-of-the-art facility, hardworking employees were shadowed by their sons and daughters, all eager to see what mom and dad do from nine to five. McNair, the cousin of Photo Archivist Anique Coffee, was one of over 30 children who spent the day with their parents, cousins, aunts, uncles and siblings on Thursday. The day-long event was the brainchild of Co-Chairman Ed Glazer, meshed with the nationwide Bring Your Child to Work initiative that some organizations take part in.
"Mr. Glazer thought it was very important that the children of Buccaneer employees understand what their parents do on a day-to-day basis," said Vice President of Business Administration Brian Ford, who brought his two sons with him to work Thursday. "There is more than just football to the Buccaneers. A lot more goes into what the team does every day than what you see on TV."
There was even more than usual going on at One Buc on Thursday, which was evident to the visiting kids as soon as they walked into the building's lobby. Each child was greeted emphatically by Captain Fear, the Bucs' gregarious team mascot. Captain Fear welcomed the kids to One Buc, handed out hugs and high fives and posed for pictures.
Most of the kids then headed to their escorts' offices, where they got a rare glimpse at what their parents and relatives actually do for the Buccaneers - everything from payroll and security to helping out in the kitchen.
Lunch followed not long after, with Chef Mike Beadles and his crew serving up a kid-friendly menu of mac-and-cheese, mini-burgers and fries, hot dogs and the like. The well-appointed dining room at One Buccaneer Place is outfitted with a frozen yogurt-dispensing machine and an assortment of toppings to go with it; needless to say, that area was a popular one with the kids.
After lunch, some of the younger kids were given the opportunity to run around on the One Buc practice fields and toss a few balls around. Many of the older children, on the other hand, were interested to see what their parents would do with the afternoon, back in their offices.
Business went on as usual, more or less...there may have been a bit more noise in the halls than usual, and perhaps a few more cookies consumed at lunch. In all, the day was a rousing success, as team employees brought their kids into their daily lives for a change. Everyone enjoyed the day so much that the team plans to hold the exact same event next spring...only bigger.
"That was important, to see what mom and dad do," said Ford. "We tried to take the kids around and introduce them to the other people on the staff, to promote the team and family effort that we're trying to maintain around here. The kids saw a lot of neat stuff, met a lot of new friends and we're looking forward to next year to make it even better."