BUFFALO, N.Y. – Buffalo Bills defensive end Mario Williams has something new to crunch on other than opposing quarterbacks.
And it's all for a good cause.
Williams unveiled "MariO's," a honey toasted oats cereal named after him on Tuesday. "Cool" as Williams said it was to have his picture on a cereal box, more important to him was donating all of his proceeds to Carly's Club, a Buffalo charity which supports children with cancer, and their families.
"The biggest thing is not being on the cereal box, it's the opportunity and the chance to give back to those who need help," Williams said at a Buffalo-area supermarket. "My father was actually diagnosed two years ago with colon cancer, so I definitely know what it's like to go through with a family member having cancer."
The cereal also allowed Williams to gain a new fan, 9-year-old Lucas Lowe, who two years ago was diagnosed with Leukemia.
"He's a great guy, and I want to say thanks to Lucas for being very strong," Williams said, as the diminutive Lowe reached out and patted the 6-foot-6 player on the side of the leg.
Lowe then delivered a big laugh, when addressing the 75 people on hand.
"I just want to thank you guys for coming out and supporting me and Mario today," said Lowe, wearing a Bills cap autographed by Williams. "I didn't know there were going to be so many people here today."
"MariO's" is the latest limited edition cereal produced by PLB Sports. That's the Pittsburgh-based company which brought area sports fans "T.O's," during Terrell Owens season in Buffalo, and "Flutie Flakes," during Doug Flutie's tenure as the Bills quarterback.
Williams is a two-time Pro Bowl selection and pass-rushing specialist, who signed a six-year, $100 million contract in March.
The cereal box is in Bills red and blue colors, with a picture of an open-mouthed Williams pretending to be roaring on the front.
Lowe is featured on one side of the box. There's a picture of him posing with his muscles flexed below a brief biography and details about Carly's Club, which supports patients at Buffalo's Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
Lowe's mother, Maureen Warren, said her son will continue receiving treatment for another two years.
"This is awesome, very awesome," Warren said. "It's a really cool thing because not many people get to be on a cereal box."
Williams couldn't finish the news conference without a fan asking him about how many times he expects to sack New England quarterback Tom Brady when the two AFC East rivals first meet on Sept. 30 in Buffalo.
"Ah," Williams said, breaking into a big smile, "We'll get to that."
The cereal is sold at Tops Markets locations in western New York, and also available online (www.plbsports.com).