Even with a busy holiday schedule spent preparing for the 2011 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, the Ragin’ Cajuns football team spread joy to patients and their families at Lafayette General Medical Center on Monday.

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At left is Cajun tight end Ladarius Green with Mary Broussard, the mother of the twin preemies the players are holding, coach Mark Hudspeth and quarterback Brad McGuire at Lafayette General's NICU.

“It was an honor that they chose to come here the day before heading to the New Orleans Bowl,” says David Callecod, LGMC’s president and CEO. “The joy they brought to our patients was immeasurable, not only in pediatrics, but throughout the whole hospital.”

More than 90 members dressed in their vermilion and white jerseys visited hospital areas that included pediatrics, pediatric ICU, neonatal ICU, physical therapy, outpatient surgery and the Cancer Center of Acadiana, as well as other wings of the hospital.

The patients and staff were not the only ones thrilled to see the team that has reached a bowl game after a 41-year dry spell. Even passersby who spotted the athletes crossing the street to head inside the hospital cheered the players on. “Go Ragin’ Cajuns!” one man shouted as he honked his horn. “You have made us proud!” another lady yelled from her car.

The team took off at 12:30 p.m. today from the Cox Communications Athletics Center. The Cajuns face off against the San Diego State Aztecs in Mercedes-Benz Superdome Saturday.

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