Hundreds of children filled the indoor practice bubble at the Houston Methodist Training Center Thursday, and had fun at a football camp.
But the smiles, sweat and good times weren’t solely from learning the x’s and o’s, going through drills, and slapping fives with Texans players and cheerleaders. There was more to it.
The NFL Play 60 Character Camp is the brainchild of Pro Football Hall of Famer Anthony Muñoz. Perhaps the greatest left tackle in football history, the former Bengal started it up 18 years ago in Cincinnati, and is happy with the growth it’s gone through over nearly two decades.
“This is really a passion of mine,” Muñoz said. “I love it because we can use the game of football. We’re going to teach the young men and women the game of football. But then we’re going to beyond the game and teach them what it means to be a person of character. What it means to work together as a team.”
Houston Texans offensive lineman Greg Mancz, kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn, receiver Vyncint Smith, and outside linebacker Chris Landrum helped put the campers through drills, and also shared their personal stories and thoughts on character.
For Mancz, taking part in an event that Muñoz started was extra special.
“It means a lot to me,” Mancz said. “I’m from Cincinnati. I grew up watching him. Ironically, he was the first NFL player I ever met. I thought he was the coolest guy ever with all his broken fingers and stuff, and now I get to be an offensive lineman teaching all these young guys all the new fun things about football, and I’m excited to be here.”
At the conclusion of the camp, the elementary and middle school-aged kids got autographs and posed for pictures with the players.
It’s the seventh straight year Muñoz and the Texans have teamed up to hold the camp.
Members from the Battle Red Ladies fan club and Palais Royal partnered together to volunteer for a community huddle as part of the NFL Huddle for 100 initiative. Projects included creating an herb garden, adding flower beds, mulching, staining outdoor structures and power washing sidewalks.