The high school band danced, twisting and stepping in a processional that sounded like a parade. The song was called "Fun" -- exactly what Thomas Herrion would have wanted at his funeral.
Two horses pulled Herrion's casket behind the band until reaching the Travis Avenue Baptist Church in Fort Worth.
About 1,000 people gathered there yesterday to say farewell and reflect on the affable San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman, who died last week after collapsing in Denver following a preseason game.
Former teammates, coaches and NFL officials filled the pews. Red and gold flowers rested on Herrion's casket. On either side were pictures and helmets belonging to the 23-year-old, who was fondly remembered in a service that elicited almost as many laughs as tears.
About 30 players, coaches and personnel from the 49ers attended the service. Among them were rookie quarterback Alex Smith -- who played with Herrion at Utah -- head coach Mike Nolan and most of the offensive line.
Others in attendance were NFL senior football operations manager Merton Hanks, who said he was speaking on behalf of NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue. Also there were several of Herrion's former teammates and coaches from Utah, Kilgore Junior College and Fort Worth Polytechnic High School.
"He really brought a lot of joy to people," said 49ers guard Paul Zukauskas, whose locker was next to Herrion's. "It was the least we could to come down here."
* BEARS: Kyle Orton's NFL career is barely more than a month old and he's already mastered one quarterbacking skill. He knows how to be diplomatic.
"Whenever I'm on the field I feel confident I'm going to help the team win and do whatever I can. Like I said, it's not my decision. I'm just going to try to prepare myself and be ready to go," Orton said after a strong performance in Chicago's 16-12 win over Buffalo on Friday night.
With Rex Grossman out until at least late in the season with a broken ankle, the Bears had turned the starter's job over to Chad Hutchinson, but for the second straight game he struggled with interceptions and sacks.
"Chad didn't have a good night, made a lot of bad plays, but we'll just go from there," Coach Lovie Smith said. "I was really pleased that Kyle Orton stepped in and gave the offense a boost."
* JETS: New York cut veteran punter Micah Knorr, giving the job to Australian Ben Graham. Graham, who decided to give the NFL a try after 12 years in the Australian Football League, had 14 punts for an average of 43.4 yards.
The Jets also cut running back DeCori Birmingham, tackles Ethan Brooks and Henry Tellis, wide receivers Eddie Jackson and Carl Kearney, and cornerback Art Thomas.
* DOLPHINS 17, BUCCANEERS 14: Ricky Williams rushed for 59 yards, all in the opening half, and scored the first touchdown of the preseason for Miami's first-team offense, helping the Dolphins earn new coach Nick Saban his first win.
Gus Frerotte played 21/2 quarters, suggesting he'll be Miami's starting quarterback in the opener.
* COWBOYS 21, TEXANS 9: Roy Williams unloaded several crushing blows and Terence Newman provided an interception in the end zone and plenty of tight coverage, helping Dallas win in Irving, Tex.
The Cowboys used quarterback Drew Bledsoe and most of the first-team offense until midway through the third quarter, while Houston pulled quarterback David Carr and his unit after halftime.
* BRONCOS 37, COLTS 24: Peyton Manning threw for 206 yards and two touchdowns over the first 21/2 quarters, but it wasn't enough to win in Denver.
Mike Anderson scored a 93-yard touchdown as part of his 159-yard, two-score night for the Broncos. Jake Plummer went 10 for 16 for 150 yards and one score in his two-plus quarters.
* SEAHAWKS 23, CHIEFS 17: Darrell Jackson caught seven passes for 99 yards and one touchdown in visiting Seattle's victory.