They're rough, tough and all business on the field, but off the field, Chargers players have a soft spot in their heart for kids.
Once again, the Chargers are teaming up with San Diego County Adoptions and Adopt 8 for the "Join the Team" 2012 Calendar, featuring children still waiting to find a forever home.
News 8 takes you behind the scenes for an exclusive preview of the making of the calendar, as one Charger shares how his life has been impacted by adoption.
It's not everyday a kid gets the chance to push around a San Diego Charger. Players showed off their gentler side at a photo shoot to raise awareness about the need for adoptive families.
"The hope and desire to help these kids find a forever home is just, it's a small amount of my time I can give that hopefully can be a lifetime of change for them," said Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers.
For the fifth straight year, the Chargers are teaming up with San Diego County Adoptions and Adopt 8 to create an adoption awareness calendar and the players are passionate about finding these kids, and all foster children, a forever home.
"I just think that all kids deserve to have parents, deserve to have role models," said Chargers tight end Antonio Gates. "I think for me, if it wasn't for role models, I wouldn't be where I am today."
This is Quentin Jammer's second year volunteering for the cause.
"You see the calendar, get the word out, whatever you can do to help you know. Get a kid placed, adopt a kid, get out and do it," said Chargers cornerback Quentin Jammer
For Jacob Hester, adoption hits close to home.
"It means a lot to me, because my mom was adopted herself, and I know what it means to find a good family and be treated like you're a part of a family and thought of as their own," noted Jacob Hester. "It really means a lot for me and my family."
Hester says his grandma's decision to adopt his mo set the groundwork that allowed him to be the person he is today. And, Hester's story is just one example of the impact adoption can have on a family's legacy.
"We've had, to me successes, if we found one kid a home and we've done way more than that," said Rivers.
Rivers has donated his time to San Diego County's calendar project all five years the Chargers have been involved. And the players, who are dads themselves, say it breaks their hearts to meet these precious kids-- who have no family to call their own.
Eric Weddle first volunteered in 2009 and puts it down in his calendar each year.
"The calendar's my yearly deal, love doing it, love being a part of it, and hopefully they'll keep having me back," he said. "This is the best. It puts life in perspective when you see little kids, like this and what great spirits they have, great energy, and just humbles you. Anytime you can come out here and have fun with the kids and share some time with them, it's definitely amazing."
News 8's wants to extend a special thanks to the 13 players who graciously volunteered their time to this project, as well as photographer Sandy Huffaker and Art Director Blaise Nauyokas for their work.
The calendar was handed out at the Chargers home game Sunday, November 27 and coming soon at locations throughout the county. Check cbs8.com for updates as they become available.
If you are interested in adopting from foster care, or becoming a foster family, call 1-877-I-ADOPT-U to learn more about getting started or go to their website to take that first step and fill out an adoption form.