Greetings from Fort Worth, Texas. A long day is winding down — at least for me, some of the players are out enjoying downtown Fort Worth, but I’m at the end of a day that began at 5:47 am in New York and featured a stop at Michie Stadium, a three-hour plane ride, two hour practice and incredible Texas BBQ for lunch.
The staff and Armed Forces Bowl volunteers all lined up to greet the team as it entered Billy Bob’s Texas, a BBQ/bull-riding/concert venue in the Fort Worth stockyards. Army got it’s first taste of SMU with a “minute to win it”-styled contest on stage at Billy Bob’s (Army won a few rounds, including the apple-stacking challenge that Josh Jones just dominated). Head coach Rich Ellerson and Athletic Director Col. Sam Johnson were presented with some sweet white cowboy hats on stage to the roar of both teams.
“With a number of our players from Texas, this is a real boon for them and their families to be that close to home and have a chance to play one more time in front of those folks,” Ellerson said. “This is a long way from West Point, but it’s not foreign territory for us.”
On the field, Army went through a two-hour practice at Kennedale High School, which is easily the most fancy, professional high school sports facility I’ve seen (they have an indoor football practice facility, plus a field-turf field with tons of seating). Check out GoArmySports.com tonight for a recap of the day at Kennedale, along with a photo gallery of some of my images.
Monday is more of the same — practice, workouts, lunch, dinner. The team and staff are getting a police escort throughout the state from the Fort Worth Police, making travel a breeze. The weather is due to warm up to 73 for gameday on Thursday. Before then, the team has a few charitable events lined up before a walk-through of Ford Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.