For many football players, the look of their cleats is a symbol of their identity. On Sunday, they were able to display cleats that represent the very causes they stand for.
The My Cause, My Cleats initiative allows players to customize their footwear to showcase a charitable cause that is important to them, and players really get into it.
They all have a reason, whether from their own personal experiences or ones close to them.
Garrett Bolles, rookie offensive lineman, wore cleats for special eduation.
"I was in special education all the way through college," he said, "So I just wanted to give back to these kids. Every one in five kids has a learning disability."
Each player looked to represent his own cause.
For rookie returner Isaiah Mckenzie, helping the elderly is his important cause.
“The older adults that nobody thinks about, nobody really looks upon," McKenzie said. "I grew up with my grandma. I took it to heart to help the elderly and bring joy to their life."Trevor Siemian wanted to represent pediatric cancer, which makes sense for a guy who visits Children's Hospital frequently.
“There’s such a cool perspective those kids have," Siemian said. "You go in there and they’re the first to crack a joke or they’re smiling. You almost feel selfish going over there because I feel so good leaving, hanging out with those guys, just really cool people over there.”One of those kids was Christian Lyons. The 16-year-old Dakota Ridge junior was diagnosed with Leukemia as a freshman.
“It was scary," Lyons said. "Gotta get chemo, first thing they say is here’s your plan, tell you all your plans you had before changed.”One of those plans included a high school football career.
“Honestly it felt like my life was ending because football was my life,” Christian said. Even though Lyons' playing days are done, his passion for the game is not. That's why he came to mind when Siemian asked Children's Hospital for some help designing his cleats.
“I really wanted another kid to do it because I thought they deserved it more," Christian said. "I don’t know why, but I did. But I was told I needed to do it, so I did and I had so much fun.”
Siemian and Lyons met at Broncos Headquarters and bounced ideas off one another.
“I was nervous and he really made me very comfortable after talking with him," Christian said.
Christian came up with most of what is the final product Siemian admitted.
“He did. Yeah, I got out of the way.”
After calling the shots for Siemian's cleats against the Dolphins the only question on his mind was the pro quarterback's reaction. “I just hope he likes them. He says he does…" said Christian.
“Just to know that I designed those, he helped. I don’t know, I can brag to all my friends about it,” he said. Trevor will wear the cleats on Sunday in Miami, and Christian hopes that other kids that have stared down cancer or are currently, take notice.
“I don’t want it to be just leukemia." he said. "I want it to be all Pediatric Cancer. And I want of course I want the other kids to feel it, and feel loved.”