Arizona Cardinals go all out to welcome Arizona Wildcats football team to Tempe practice facility

Posted at 5:47 PM, Aug 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-11 01:03:33-04

It's been a tough week for the Arizona Wildcats football team.

The Arizona Cardinals were happy to make it a little better.

UA football has had its share of distractions this week, starting with the sudden death of offensive lineman Zach Hemmila on Monday. A bout of inclement weather then forced the Wildcats to abandon their own practice field.

The Cardinals were generous enough to help out their neighbors to the south by opening their Tempe practice facility to Rich Rodriguez's group Wednesday and Thursday -- and as the Cats arrived from Tucson on Wednesday afternoon, they were greeted by familiar logo in the end zone.

By all accounts, the Cardinals did everything they could to make the Wildcats feel right at home in the Arizona State Sun Devils' backyard.

The generosity was noted by UA athletics director Greg Byrne in his weekly "Wildcat Wednesday" newsletter.

Rodriguez reflected on how much Hemmila had grown over the years.

"In the last two and half years, it's been remarkable how he's grown as a person, as a player,” Rodriguez said.

"Two days before he passed he told me that was the best he has ever felt,” said Josh Kern, Hemmila’s teammate.

Hemmila's cause of death has not yet been determined.

The Wildcats will head back to Tucson on Thursday afternoon, but they'll return to the Valley soon: Their season opener vs. BYU will take place at the Cardinals' home field, University of Phoenix Stadium, on Sept. 3.