On both Sunday and Monday, several Denver Broncos players spent time at hospitals with victims from the theater shooting that occurred early Friday morning in the Denver suburb of Aurora. Among them was linebacker Joe Mays, who says he went to the hospital hoping to cheer up victims, but in actuality left with a new look on life thanks to the time spent with them.
Twelve people were killed and 58 were injured during a massacre early Friday morning in the Denver suburb of Aurora. James Holmes, the alleged shooter, made his first court appearance on Monday.
Joe Mays joined 104.3 The Fan in Denver with Evans and Klatt to discuss what it was like seeing the shooting victims, why he decided to do it and the inspiration he took from it as well as the upcoming season and the presence of Peyton Manning as camp nears.
What was the day like for you to see the shooting victims?:
“It was a special day. We wanted to go to the hospital and talk to the people who was affected by the tragic event over the weekend and just try to talk to them and put a smile on their face. And you know what? We ended up having a smile on our face by the end of the day because of just how positive they were, knowing they were blessed to be alive. It was just a great feeling. I felt a lot better leaving than I was when I first got there.”
What was your reaction when you first heard of the idea to do this?:
“They sent me a text and I responded and said, ‘Yeah, I definitely want to do it and go visit the people.’ That was just an easy decision to make. You definitely want to try to do whatever you can to try to make their day a little bit better than it was. That’s what we were expecting going in, but you know what? They ended up making our day a lot better than it was.”
You seem inspired and blown away by the experience:
“They have a different feeling on life now. You just never know when it’s going to be your last time, so I think they really made us feel a lot different than how we felt about life. We’re all blessed to be able to just walk around. They responded to tragedy. They could have lost their lives, but they different. … We just took that away.”
Was it maybe something that shows the media talks so much about the guys getting in trouble to sometimes notice the good things going on?:
“Definitely. It’s really not the media’s fault that you guys get so much info on guys and what they’re doing out there. Guys definitely have to be smarter than that. They have to know that there’s always a target on our back. We’ve been told that ever since we’ve been in the league. … But, there’s definitely a lot of other guys in the league that are doing something positive.”
What are your feelings about this season as training camp nears?:
“I’m excited. Last year, I was excited but we came in on short notice. We didn’t really have a lot of time to learn the playbooks and jell among other. We’re not trying to make excuses, but this year’s a different year. … It’s going to be great this year; I really believe so.”
How big of a deal is it to the players that Peyton Manning is the quarterback?:
“It’s a huge deal. For one, he’s definitely going to take control of the offense. He’s going to be another leader out there. He’s basically going to be a player-coach out there on the field. There’s nothing wrong with that. And it just adds another leader to the team, a guy who knows how to win and has been there. … Two, besides Peyton, we definitely added a lot of pieces this offseason.”
Listen to Joe Mays on 104.3 The Fan in Denver here (Interview begins at 10:10)