WATCH: Cards help kids go on shopping spree

Posted at 6:32 PM, Dec 12, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-12 20:32:10-05

Three days before the Arizona Cardinals beat the Minnesota Vikings to clinch a playoff spot, Cards cornerback Patrick Peterson brought some of his teammates to help brighten the Christmas season for some underprivileged Valley kids.

A total of 50 children were given $100 each and partnered with Cardinals players at a Tempe Walmart on Monday to do some Christmas shopping at Peterson's annual "Shop with a Jock" event.

The only catch? Each child was required to buy at least one thing for him/herself. 

"Christmas is important to so many kids and so many families, but so many kids and families are not able to enjoy Christmas and enjoy gifts -- things that they want at Christmas," Peterson said.

"That's why it's so huge for me and important for me to come out and give these kids a little bit of hope and show them that there is someone out there thinking of them."

Joining Peterson on Monday was fellow defensive backs Tyrann Mathieu, Jerraud Powers and Justin Bethel. Defensive lineman Markus Golden and offensive lineman Mike Iupati were among the other Cards in attendance.

Each "jock" was grouped with 3-4 kids to guide them on their shopping spree. Peterson's wife gave birth to a girl in late November, so it's fitting that the four-time Pro Bowler was paired with all girls.

Peterson's group bought dolls and other toys that one might imagine young girls would enjoy -- but Mathieu had a different experience with the boys he was grouped with.

"They were trying to get these gun-movie things, and I had to shut it down. I had to be the bad guy," the Honey Badger said, adding most of his kids went over their $100 budget.

"I have two sons, so I already know how it is when I get in the store. Kids' eyes start to wander," he said. 

One of Powers' assigned kids, a six-year-old girl, was much more interested in clothes than toys.

"We'd actually done almost all her shopping without going down any toy line, so I kind of had to talk her into putting some stuff back just so she could get some toys," he said.

"Everything (she wanted) was more materialistic than toys, and I tried to get her some toys. She said she forgot about the toys."

The whole point of the event, of course, is to bring some joy into the lives of kids who haven't always had the merriest of Christmases.

In that way, Mathieu said Shop with a Jock was a total success.

"The most important thing is they have fun," he said. "They got everything they wanted, and they were smiling the whole time."