At first glance, they didn't look all that much like the NFL's only three-time MVP, save for the Green Bay Packers replica jerseys that many of them wore to school that day.
But as Packers GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman addressed students at Lannoye Elementary School in Green Bay, last Friday, he made sure to remind them that they all had something in common with quarterback Brett Favre.
"God gave (Favre) a tremendous gift to throw the football," Sherman said to a roomful of youngsters surrounding him on the gym floor. "But everybody in this room has that gift. You may not know what it is -- maybe it's art, maybe it's dancing, maybe it's academics ... maybe your gift is just that you work really hard -- but everybody has a gift that God gave them that they can use and get as far as they want to go with that gift. Everybody."
Sherman's appearance at Layonne Elementary was in cooperation with the Staples Coach of the Week program, which each week during the NFL season allows league representatives to honor one head coach whose team played an outstanding game.
Sherman was named the Staples Coach of the Week following the Packers' thrilling Week 16 win over the Oakland Raiders, Dec. 22. As a result, Lannoye was the lucky area school to receive a $5,000 spending account from Staples to purchase school supplies.
A former teacher himself at Stamford (Conn.) High School in 1978, Sherman presented the check to Lannoye Elementary and addressed its student body.
Sherman talked to the students about rising above adversity, something the Packers were able to do in their 41-7 win over the Raiders, which occurred just over 24 hours after Favre lost his father to a stroke.
"That was a very tough game for us because that was the game where Brett Favre's dad, Irv Favre, had died," Sherman told the kids. "That was very difficult for Brett to deal with, but what he does really well is handles adversity and he's a great leader."
Heading into the 2004 season, Sherman said that one of his main challenges is to "recapture the spirit" that was displayed by his players down the stretch in 2003, when the Packers won five straight games before falling to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Divisional playoffs.
Recreating that magical feeling won't be easy, but Sherman is excited to try.
"I love doing my job," Sherman said. "Even though there are a lot of pressures that come with my job, I wouldn't have it any other way. I have the best job in all of sports."