A visiting Arizona Cardinals entourage received an enthusiastic welcome from Rim country fans during a lunch time visit Feb. 17 to the Pizza Factory restaurant.
Among those on hand for pizza and an up-close look at the Cards were Payson High School students, Special Olympics athletes, Parks and Recreation Director Bill Schwind, and town councilor Tim Fruth.
As Cards fullback James Hodkins, running back Damien Anderson and Arizona Cheerleaders signed autographs for the onlookers, team representatives strolled through the crowd answering question after question about the team and the NFL. The Cardinals mascot, Big Red, also was in attendance.
In addition to Cardinal giveaways, representatives doled out information about the new Cardinal stadium, set to open in 2006.
According to Ron Minegar, Cardinals vice president of marketing and sales, "the caravan tour presents the Cardinals organization with a great opportunity for our players and staff to visit fans from all around the southwest. Each stop will allow ushe chance toisit with our many radio affiliates andelps to further develop relationships with our surrounding communities."
The stop in Payson was the first in several the Cards will make on their Cardinals Caravan Tour. After leaving Payson, the caravan traveled to Show Low. Future tour stops include Tucson, Albuquerque, New Mexico and Las Vegas, Nevada.
During Wednesday's stop in Tucson, Josh McCown (quarterback) and Scott Player (punter) will a host a kids camp for 100 students at Prince Elementary School.