Former Fresno State football standouts Derek and David Carr returned to Fresno on Saturday, Feb. 17 to host “Inside the Huddle,” an event benefiting Valley Children’s Healthcare.
Fans from all over the Valley filed into the Saroyan Theater for what turned out to be a night of laughter, reflection, football analysis and charity.
ABC30 Sports Director Tommy Tran emceed the event, while the Carr brothers answered questions from the audience and covered a wide range of topics.
Derek gave fans insight into his life as quarterback of the Oakland Raiders.
“I break my ankle before the last game of the year, I don’t get a chance to play in the playoffs,” Derek said as he reflected on the 2016 injury that ended his season. “For that to be taken was hard because of how much time I have put into this thing. I built a gym in my garage. That’s how much it means to me.”
The brothers also analyzed some of the big plays from the past NFL season. One of the plays was the Raiders’ game-winning touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs.
The brothers said they are optimistic about the direction of the Fresno State football program under the leadership of head coach Jeff Tedford.
“[Tedford] wanted to come back here because there is something special about the Central Valley, particularly about Fresno [State],” David said. “Before the season, he didn’t expect to have the success they had this year, but it was really cool to see and it’s only going to get better.”
The brothers said they hope that Tedford continues to recruit local kids.
“Bring those kids that are local, give them a shot. I guarantee they’re going to play their hearts out for you because their dad is in the stands, grandpa or whoever it is,” David said. “That’s so important. I’m so glad [Tedford] is doing that.”
“I love that we’re giving those kids in the Valley a chance because they give us a chance,” Derek added.
Around the NFL, where players are always looking to brag about their respective college teams, the Carr brothers now find it easier to join the conversation.
“We don’t get a lot of time to talk about Fresno. It has been a while – really since [Derek] was playing – but when they were playing really well, like last year, it was really cool,” David said. “You get bragging rights. You can talk a lot of trash.”
The Carrs are longtime supporters of Valley Children’s. Derek and Heather Carr established DC4KIDS in 2015, two years after the birth of their first child, Dallas, who was born with a life-threatening disease.
DC4KIDS helps Valley Children’s Healthcare meet the needs of more than 1.3 million children who live throughout Central California. To date, DC4KIDS has raised more than $400,000 for Valley Children’s.
David and Melody Carr are also advocates for Valley Children’s. Three of their four children, who have type 1 diabetes, are treated with Valley Children’s pediatric specialists in Bakersfield.
On Saturday, the brothers invited two special guests to the stage. One was 8-year-old Jaden, who was the first patient in the Central Valley to have a special magnetic rod surgically placed in his back to treat his sclerosis. The other guest was Violet, 8, who was diagnosed with liver cancer in May, 2017 and has completed her fourth round of Chemotherapy.
The Carr brothers took pictures with the children and signed autographs.
Derek Carr gave one final advice before ending the night.
“You’re gonna be praised and you’re gonna be criticized. Ignore both because neither matter,” Derek said. “You just do you, work as hard as you can.”