Bears players did more than just toss around names during their meetings Friday morning at Halas Hall when they voted for Pro Bowl selections that will be announced by the league on Tuesday.
They tossed around some cash for Jackie Taylor, the one-year-old daughter of slain Redskins safety Sean Taylor.
At the urging of the NFLPA, players are being asked to donate a little to a trust fund for the little girl. Strong-side linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer, the club’s NFLPA rep, said nearly everyone chipped in, agreeing to donations that will be deducted directly from their paychecks making it easy.
Another player said it was heartening to see rookies stepping up with $300 apiece, and top veterans agreeing to as much as $5,000. It’s believed the Bears players totaled close to $20,000. As the player said, most guys didn’t know Taylor. They acted out of respect and with the knowledge that if anything ever happened to them, their family would be taken care of as well.
``If everyone gives something,’’ Hillenmeyer said, ``This little girl will have the best college education ever.’’
The Bears stepped forward and did the same thing for Buffalo tight end Kevin Everett, the Sports Illustrated cover boy this week who suffered a serious spinal cord injury earlier in the season.
A lot of the community work done by players from the top of the roster on down to the very bottom gets overlooked at times. Also overlooked can be the real sense of family they have toward one another, be it teammates or players in other cities they know by only name.