Sunday, December 30, 2007

Packed I-bowl

I can't ever recall seeing the parking lot at the Fair Grounds packed so early before an Independence Bowl.

Our car drove past the Fair Grounds 2 1/2 hours before kickoff, and there was a sea of cars stretching between Independence Stadium and Fair Grounds Field. Sorry Colorado fans, but the majority of cars had Alabama memorabilia hanging off it.

We're 90 minutes from kickoff now and traffic appears to be moving smoothly westbound on I-20. There was a considerable wait to get off at Hearne Ave., just like every year.

Last night's pep rally was a terrific experience for fans. Both teams' marching bands and cheerleaders were there for the fans, but only Colorado players showed up to distribute souvenirs to fans. Alabama players were conspicuously absent. Hmmmm...

Saturday, December 29, 2007

She's here

There are just a few mascots in college football that are bigger than life.

Mike the Tiger at LSU. UGA at Georgia. Bevo at Texas.

But maybe the biggest of the mascots rolled into town. Ralphie IV, Colorado's 1,200-pound mascot, got her first look at Independence Stadium today. Her calendar also includes a visit to the Pep Rally tonight at the Louisiana Boardwalk.

Ralphie seemed to be in good spirits getting her picture taken this morning at the stadium. Her handlers put the over/under at how many people can pet her and like at 70 before she becomes annoyed.

She'll certainly bring some star-power to the game as she runs out with the Colorado team tomorrow night before the 32nd PetroSun Independence Bowl.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Behind the mike

In case you were wondering, ESPN's broadcast crew for Sunday's game will be Mark Jones doing play-by-play with Bob Davie handling color duties. Stacy Dales will be the sideline reporter.

For Davie, the trip to Shreveport comes on the 10th anniversary of bringing Notre Dame here. Davie was the Fighting Irish's coach when Notre Dame lost 27-9 to LSU in the 1997 Independence Bowl.

Davie figures to enjoy this trip a little more.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Saban's latest moves hit YouTube

Nick Saban won't be challenging Helio Castroneves for the "Dancing With the Stars" title, but he was quite impressive at Alabama's Christmas party.
Take a look as the video hit YouTube.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

It's c-c-c-o-l-d

The Colorado Buffaloes made it into town -- about three hours later than they hoped.

They didn't get to enjoy the Team Welcome Party. But hey, they did get to practice.

And it was cold.

Hey, I know the folks in Colorado probably aren't impressed by shivering sports writers in 40-degree weather. But it was a wet cold.

And yet, here were the Buffs practicing in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts, like it was the first week of two-a-day practices.

“We always practice in shorts,’’ Colorado quarterback Cody Hawkins said. “They won’t let us wear sweat pants in practice. A lot of guys may want to wear sweat pants. But when you’re running around, it’s not that bad.’’

Easy for him to say, he didn't even bring any long-sleeve shirts to Shreveport.

By the way, shows the high temperaturs for the rest of the week being, 54, 55, 57 and 65 on game day.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Tide rolls in

Alabama arrived in Shreveport today and immediately went to work for Sunday's Independence Bowl. We've all known this day has been coming for a month now, but it was still odd to see Nick Saban and his straw hat on the field at Independence Stadium.
People around here think they have a gripe with Saban -- or maybe used to since the LSU Tigers are just fine without him. I'm the one that should be ticked. I'm a life-long Miami Dolphins fan. He left my team in shambles. He left it high and dry. He left it primed to go 1-15.
It's embarrassing. Unfortunately the folks in South Florida had to pay for Saban's little professional experiment.
The Tigers are in the National title game while Bama is in Shreveport, Louisiana for the Independence Bowl. Trust me, no one in Miami is feeling sorry for him.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Eyes on the I-Bowl

You can just about bet on at least one of the nation's top recruits watching the PetroSun Independence Bowl.

California running back Darrell Scott is considered to be the best player at his position in the country. Scott's uncle, Josh Smith, happens to be a wide receiver at Colorado.

Buffs fans are already dreaming of what it would be like to have Scott in the Colorado backfield next season. He is considering Colorado, Texas, Florida and LSU.

Another top recruit who will likely have considerable interest in watching the I-Bowl is wide receiver Julio Jones from Foley, Ala. Jones is a top target for Alabama and has Tide fans salivating of the prospect of him in a Crimson Tide uniform.