The Texans and Verizon Wireless partnered up for the second annual Back to Football Care-A-Van to show fan appreciation and give back to the community. Loaded up in a school bus, two cheerleaders and nine players including Duane Brown, Danieal Manning, Whitney Mercilus, Wade Smith, Case Keenum, Jon Weeks, Brooks Reed, Ben Jones, and Earl Mitchell drove around town meeting fans and sharing their excitement for the start of the 2013 season.
Outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus felt humbled by the outpouring of support.
"It was a great turnout, having fun with the fans and seeing all the cheers and the joy on their faces just to get an autograph or a couple of free things," Mercilus said after leaving their first stop at Palais Royal in Meyerland. "You know they are going to be out there at five o'clock in the morning ready and waiting for us to just come out and practice. We appreciate them a lot."
Texans players went to work at the second stop at Burger King in Missouri City. All-Pro left tackle Duane Brown went into it with a game plan.
"I plan on doing as much as possible," Brown said, "Definitely taking orders in the drive-thru, I think I am going to have a lot of fun with that."
Players worked at the cash register, flipped burgers, and poured drinks while fans enjoyed free food courtesy of Verizon and the Texans during the visit.
The Verizon Care-A-Van also stopped at HEB/Verizon Wireless in Pearland and ended the trip with a visit with the children at the Texans YMCA, the team's community partner. Players handed out 50 backpacks loaded with school supplies to all 50 kids from the Third Ward neighborhood.
Verizon provided fan giveaways for each stop on the bus tour including: magnets, koozies, pens, footballs, jerseys, blue tooth speakers,and Blackberry Q10s.