William George Jordan once wrote that "happiness is the soul's joy in the possession of the intangible." This couldn't have been more true than on Wednesday afternoon when three New York Jets players visited the Madison 6 Unit at Mt. Sinai Hospital proving that smiles and laughter are perhaps more powerful than even the most potent of medicines.
Greeted by a friendly staff and countless posters and cards, Tackle Adrian Jones, Running Back Cedric Houston, and Safety Andre Maddox were welcomed by a group of delighted children.
In the first of two question and answer sessions, the players were welcomed with a loud round of applause. They fielded questions from the inquisitive kids about topics ranging from what video games they play to what it feels like to be tackled in the NFL. The players spoke about their careers and encouraged the children to fight their illnesses with strength and courage. But, most importantly, they spent time with the kids, not just as football players, but as role models and friends.
When asked what visiting the hospital meant to him, Tackle Adrian Jones said, "It's always good to actually go out and brighten up someone else's day that may not be in the same situation that you are in."
As noted by the hospital's staff, some of the most reticent children were exuberant and outgoing upon the players' arrival. "A girl who rarely spoke in the hospital was one of the most talkative ones. It obviously brightened their day." said Safety Andre Maddox.
The second of two sit downs took place just down the hall with a slightly older audience of teenagers. The group provided a welcoming atmosphere that was both hospitable and kind. Questions again ranged from where the players were from, what they liked to do for fun, and whether or not the Jets are going to win the Super Bowl this year.
At the end of the day, running back Cedric Houston said, "I think it was important for me and my teammates to come out to the hospital and get to interact with the kids on one of our days off." Adrian Jones added, "Its good to go out and see the kids and have their faces light up...it just gives you a good feeling inside."
As an on going goal to support their community, New York Jets players regularly visit local hospitals, schools, coach's clinics, and community outreach centers. The New York Jets pride themselves on the ability support the community by providing a learning experience that allows children of all ages to not only dream but instill in them the will to be great in all aspects of life.