It’s often in the face of tragedy that the sports world is forced to take a step back and put things in perspective.
The Houston Texans did just that on Wednesday as they moved their scheduled practice from 11:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. in order to attend a memorial for a group of fallen Houston firefighters. Members of the Texans organization including players, coaches and team personnel attended the public memorial service at Reliant Stadium for Captain Matthew Renaud, Engineer-Operator Robert Bebee and firefighters Robert Garner and Anne Sullivan.
Head coach Gary Kubiak thought the move was necessary to support the community that has embraced his team.
“Our community means so much to us as an organization; that goes without saying,” Kubiak said. “These players, they come from all over the country and they become a Houstonian. We put a team together and get very close to our city, and it’s something that we talked about as a team with the players the other day. We get so much support from them, and it’s time for us to show our support for these families and the people that serve our city on a daily basis.”
The team stayed for the duration of the three-hour ceremony, which included remarks from Texas governor Rick Perry, Houston mayor Annise Parker and Houston fire chief Terry Garrison.
There were 14 people hospitalized when a restaurant connected to the Southwest Inn caught fire in May. Renaud, Bebee, Garner and Sullivan were first responders and were killed on the scene.
For Kubiak and his players, the tragedy helped them remember that football isn’t everything.
“It’s interesting; we’ve had a few things happen this offseason with coaches’ families and a few things going on,” Kubiak said. “It kind of makes you stop, and we’ve got a lot of other things other than football going on in our lives that we’ve got to handle, too. We want to help these families handle this situation.”
The team’s attendance at the service was a classy move that will no doubt be remembered by the families of those lost and those who were injured in the fire.
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