Players from the New Era Pinstripe Bowl's Big 12 institution visit some of New York's bravest girls and boys when they spread holiday cheer at the Pediatric Cancer Center at Memorial Sloan Kettering each year. Below is an account of Iowa State's 2011 visit to Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Iowa State spends time at Memorial Sloan-Kettering/Craig Tapper
On Dec. 29, 2011, the day before the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, members of the Iowa State football team spent the morning visiting patients at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan.
"Out of all of the things we were doing this trip, I was looking forward to this one the most," said redshirt junior quarterback Brett Bueker. "It's always nice to give back to the community. Coming out here and seeing the smiles on the kids' faces, that's the best part."
The players signed autographs, participated in arts and crafts projects, tossed around a football and played games like Connect Four and checkers with outpatients before stopping by a handful of patients' rooms for private visits.
"I don't know if they are more excited or we are," said sophomore linebacker Jeremiah George. "I think they're pretty excited. They've got a lot of smiles on their faces, so that's nice. A guy beat me in a game of Connect Four about four times, so I've taken my share of beatings today, but I'm just glad to be here. It's been a lot of fun to give back."
Players and coaches from the New Era Pinstripe Bowl's Big East institution take part in a coaching clinic for Bronx youths at Yankee Stadium every year leading up to the game. The head coach and his players take a break from game preparation to connect with the next generation of hopeful student athletes. The clinic emphasizes what it takes to be elite in the classroom as well as on the playing field. Below is an account of the 2011 Chalk Talk event.
Growing up in the Bronx, Rutgers defensive lineman Al Page experienced firsthand some of the challenges facing youth in the area, so given the opportunity to speak to youngsters from his home borough, he let them know anything is possible.
"It will click for them: 'Wait a minute, this guy's from the Bronx. If he can do it, I can do it,'" said the freshman. "If I can do it, the main thing is they can do it, and nothing can stop them as long as they put their heart to it and they listen to their parents. As long as you listen to your teachers and your parents, you will be fine. I didn't realize how important that was."
The day before their matchup against Iowa State, the Scarlet Knights hosted children from the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club and the Bronx Colts, a youth recreational league, on the gridiron at Yankee Stadium.
The players and young athletes broke into groups, and after about an hour of lining up for impromptu races, tossing footballs around and talking about the game, Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano ended the meeting by stressing the importance of education.
"Without the academic part of this, you don't get to do what these guys are doing," he said, segueing into a brief talk about the merits of being a student-athlete.
David Patterson, vice president of the Colts, said, "Rutgers University has some young men that we met today that are absolutely outstanding, not just in the athletic realm, but in the academic realm. So when we preach to these kids the importance of academics, they can put a face to it."
For more information click here
A look back at a packed week of events.
Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone and West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen reflect on their Pinstripe Bowl matchup.
Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone and running back Prince-Tyson Gulley talk about the Orange's 38-14 victory.