JOPLIN, Mo.--Players and staff of the Kansas City Chiefs professional football team got a workout here Thursday morning helping clear debris from the May 22 tornado.
Fortified with water and first aid from American Red Cross workers, the 136 members of the Chiefs organization cleared lumber, mangled appliances and other wreckage in one of Joplin's hard-hit neighborhoods.
Fullback Shane Bannon accepted a bottle of water from Red Cross worker Loreena Storer and scanned the treeless landscape.
"This is unfathomable to me," said Bannon, who was so newly signed with the Chiefs that he had arrived in Kansas City just the night before from his home in Connecticut. "You see it on TV, but that doesn't show how bad it really is. I couldn't be happier to be here helping."
As Bannon went back to work, Red Cross volunteer Josh Ennesser, an emergency medical technician, applied eyedrops to a member of the Chiefs staff who had caught a faceful of dust.
Ennesser, his brother and a friend had driven from Chicago to Joplin less than a week earlier.
"We had a vehicle full of tools, a location and a desire to work," he said as another Chiefs player stepped up with a scraped forearm--a massive forearm.
Asked if he was a Chicago Bears fan, Ennesser shook his head. "Not today," he said.