Bears Chairman Delivers Hope to Panthers Football

Bears Chairman Delivers Hope to Panthers Football

WASHINGTON - More than 300 people will ride charter buses to the Washington Panther's big game Saturday. But a special surprise visit is giving the team an extra boost.
WASHINGTON - More than 300 people will ride charter buses to the Washington Panther's big game Saturday. But a special surprise visit is giving the team an extra boost.
On the eve of the year's biggest game and on the wake of tragedy, the Washington Panther football team is clinging to any motivation they can find, including seeing the Chicago Bears sporting their school colors.
“I thought it was pretty cool that even the big N.F.L. teams supporting us, because we're just like a small town," said senior Mason Chockley.  
"My grandpa showed me a picture of Kyle Long wearing a Washington Panther football shirt, so it was exciting," said Brogan Brownfield.  
Right now, it is hard to focus on football. Many of the kids are without homes. But the gesture from players they look up to means a lot.
"I'm actually a Packers fan, but I respect the Chicago Bears so much the fact that they did this is amazing," said Brownfield.  
If only the gesture ended there.
Friday, several seniors thought they were going to a team meeting. Instead, a special visitor arrived to greet them.
"I volunteered to bring them down. It's my pleasure to be here."
Bears chairman George McCaskey hand delivers t-shirts to the team, the same shirts they've seen players wearing on television. .
"We're behind the Washington Panthers tomorrow. Want to wish them the best of luck tomorrow. They're going to have a tough test and Sacred Heart's a good team, but we just want to see a good game," said McCaskey.
And it may just be the boost this team needs.
"We all look up to those players. Seeing them wearing them in press conferences and you know him bringing them down there for us is just incredible," said senior Chris Friend.  
"The chance to meet George, that's a pretty big honor in itself and he hands you these brand new shirts that they're going to have for the rest of their lives to remember," said head coach Darrell Crouch.  
But for now, the team will focus on Saturday. It’s one game away from everything else. And they know the town, and their idols have their back.
McCaskey says the entire organization is rooting for the Panthers. The Bears plan to send staff members to Washington Saturday and will help victims clean up.
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