Linebacker Clark Haggans (back) and tight end Dominique Byrd (center) show a good time to surprise bowlers Sam Potter and Kay Transtrum at Tuesday night's Kingpin Challenge.
The six of them, led by Zack Potter and his girlfriend Kay Transtrum, were just there to get autographs and mingle with the Cardinals.
That would have been good enough at the team's Kingpin Challenge, the annual bowling event to raise money for Cardinals Charities. They didn't have the money for the $1,000 it took to bowl, but Potter said he saved up to pay the $150 donation to hang out with the team and his group did the same.
Assistant head coach Russ Grimm came up to sign autographs and engaged the group in conversation, asking if they were bowling. No, came the reply. So Grimm and the Cardinals engaged in a little charity of their own, carving out a couple of extra bowling spots for Transtrum and Zack's younger brother Sam, a budding bowler himself.
"They're probably a little jealous," a smiling Transtrum said of her non-bowling friends.
"They enjoyed it," said Grimm, who had originally offered to pay for the bowling spots before the Cards delivered the pair of openings. "That's the way it should be."
The subplot was part of a successful second Challenge, which featured all the Cardinals' players and coaches. Not everyone bowled – quarterback Kurt Warner, for instance, took a pass to rest his weary shoulder – but everyone embraced the chance to raise money for a good cause.
"We get such an amazing opportunity to impact people off the field," Warner said. "I am always excited about opportunities like this, whether it is the Cardinals running it, whether it's other players doing it or if it's myself because you can impact lives."
Coach Ken Whisenhunt said the players enjoy the laid-back nature of the bowling event makes. He added that after a difficult loss Sunday, the light mood at Brunswick Kyrene Lanes could only help.
"It is great to be out here with the fans, because it's refreshing," Whisenhunt said. "They are so excited and so positive about the team. It's a great atmosphere for us to be around. And it's great to see all the players out here, because it's so important."
The feeling is reciprocal. Zack Potter, who had come with his brother the year before as well, was beaming after taking part in a 10-minute conversation with defensive end Calais Campbell.
"When you go to an autograph show you get the signature and then you're done," Zack Potter said. "Here, you get to hang out."
The TFB team, consisting of Tim Bidwill, Chip Halquist, Dave Wiltberger, Jon Jenkins and Lyle Sendlein, won the Kingpin Challenge Tuesday night, capturing a Fleming's wine and gift basket as top prize. Budweiser – Brian Anderson, Dan Figor, Dave Donnelly, Joe Verdusco and Deuce Lutui – finished second and received iPods. Third place was the Coke team – Dan Adams, Terry Thompson, Janet Baker, Gary Baker and Karlos Dansby – and they won a Cardinals' travel bag.
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