Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota wouldn’t leave the team’s Special Olympics event on Saturday at Nissan Stadium until every kid had a catch.
The Titans posted a video on social media of Mariota encouraging and throwing three passes toward the same child, then celebrating once he caught the ball.
“I just like seeing their faces light up,” Mariota said in a separate video produced by the team. “I enjoy being around them. I think they’ve got such a great perspective on life, and they’re always so happy.”
Titans head coach Mike Vrabel also participated in the event, known as the Music City Blitz.
Adam Germek, president of the Special Olympics of Tennessee, discussed the importance of the team’s participation.
“I heard one of our athletes say this is the best day of his life,’ Germek said in the video, “so if that gives you any indication of the excitement that the coach and Marcus and the coaching staff and the entire Tennessee Titans staff has brought to this, that says it all.”
Hat tip to you Mr. Mariota. This popped up on my twitter timeline over the weekend and I thought it was so awesome. Mariota comes off to me as such a genuinely great dude on and off the field and this video further proves his point. It’s April, lots of players are still enjoying their time off before offseason workouts and conditioning programs begin and here is Marcus Mariota hanging out with children who are less fortunate than most and he refused to leave the field until he lit up every single one of their faces. He’s not doing it for publicity, he’s doing it all for the kids because he recognizes how fortunate his life is and how it’s not exactly sunshine and rainbows for others. Those kids have had a rough go so far in life, but they’ll cherish that moment of catching a pass from their hero for the rest of their lives.
This isn’t even close to the first time he’s done something like this either. I remember back at Oregon he would have very close relationships with those that are less fortunate.
He also stays and signs autographs for fans way longer than he should. It’s easy to say you’d do the same in his spot, but it’s also so easy to let the fame get to your head. When I see stuff like this I’m genuinely impressed with his patience and humbleness.
I love this guy. The NFL needs more human beings like Marcus Mariota.