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Bowl Blog #1 - Welcome To Fort Worth

The following blog is the first of what will be daily entries this week surrounding the Army football team's appearance in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl in Dallas, Texas.

Sunday, Dec. 26, 2010
Happy holidays Army fans!  Welcome to Fort Worth, Texas!  It's been quite a whirlwind trip to the Lonestar State already for the 2010 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. This is Tracy Nelson tuning in for my first of what will be daily entries this week from Texas. For those of you who have followed along throughout the season, I have provided in-game blogs for all of the Black Knight home games, along with the Army-Navy game in December. It's completely my privilege to be here in Texas for this year's bowl game, as head coach Rich Ellerson has led Army to its first post-season appearance since 1996.

Army will take on SMU on Thursday, Dec. 30, at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas. With the holiday season upon us now, it's been an adventure getting to Texas. Snow is expected to dump on the Northeast in the next day or so, we were more than lucky to get out of dodge this morning from Stewart Airport in Newburgh, N.Y. It was my first experience with a charter flight and I must say, it was organized and completely flawless, so kudos to those behind the scenes who had a hand in things (Bob Beretta, Ryan Yanoshak, Ben Russell).

If you've never flown a charter fight, it's pretty cool to just show up at the airport, jump on the plane and go. Evading the security lines and the hoopla around the airport, especially during the holidays, is always a good thing.

For the most part, the players met us in Texas from their homes scattered around the country. We had a half dozen more local players on the flight, but for the most part, it was staff and all of the coaches and their respective families.

We arrived in Fort Worth around noon central time and just in time to see my Bills get trounced by the Patriots (no surprise there ugh). The team hotel is beautiful from what I can tell and my first-ever visit to Texas has been a good one so far.

Later this afternoon, informal interviews with the players and coaches will take place after today's practice, which is going on until approximately 4 p.m. (I'm still getting used to the time change). Check back for quotes, a complete practice report and photos later today.

Tonight, we're off to the team welcome dinner at Billy Bob's Texas BBQ. Word on the street is that there are bulls involved. Either way, if that doesn't say "Welcome to Texas," I don't know what does.

Check back in tomorrow for more on our Dallas-Fort Worth adventure ...


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