PHOENIX, Ariz. - Members of the University of Oregon football team, in town for Monday night's BCS Championship game versus Auburn, made some new Ducks fans during a Friday visit to Phoenix Children's Hospital.
Ten Oregon players, strength and conditioning coach Jim Radcliffe and The Duck mascot spent 90 minutes touring the various floors and units and visiting with the children being treated there. The Ducks signed autographs, posed for photos and handed out Oregon memorabilia among the patients, who ranged in age from less than a year to teenagers.
The 10 student-athletes - defensive tackle Brandon Bair, quarterback Nate Costa, tight end Sam Doman, center Jordan Holmes, cornerback Talmadge Jackson III, rover Marvin Johnson, linebacker Casey Matthews, linebacker Spencer Paysinger, defensive end Kenny Rowe and offensive lineman Bo Thran - and The Duck stopped off in the hospital's school and the pediatric intensive care unit, among other areas, and made dozens of new Oregon fans.
And just as important, the children left an impression on the Ducks.
"They told us the kids will be talking about this visit for days," said Johnson. "But I know we will be too."