Open Letter To The Editor

The Colorado football program made a big impression on PetroSun Independence Bowl officials, and members of the Shreveport community, both on and off the field. Inside, an open letter to the editor from Independence Bowl Chairman Joe Darwin about what he witnessed from the Buffaloes prior to the football game.

To the University of Colorado players, fans, administration and of course, Ralphie: Thank you for making the 32nd PetroSun Independence Bowl one of our most memorable. And, not just on the field of play. We feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to host the Colorado contingent in our bowl. It is not a common occurrence that a community feels the impact and creates a connection with one of our bowl teams. It happened this year — big time!

The most visible evidence of that connection came the day of our Lift Up America food distribution on the stadium grounds. We requested that a few players from each team participate in order to expedite the distribution and create a "feel-good" moment for those in attendance.

What we did not expect is that Colorado would send their entire team to assist — four bus loads full of football players. Colorado's assistance insured the success of the event and pushed up the timetable for the distribution. The most touching part of the event was when a nearby resident inquired with three of the Colorado players regarding the distribution. The players did not know that it was coordinated through service agencies and proceeded to assist the elderly man carry four boxes of frozen food back to his home — 2 miles away!

Shreveport Police intervened and arranged for transportation using one of the bowl courtesy vehicles. The players rode with the man back to his home and assisted him in carrying the boxes into his home. It was a special moment for many of us in attendance and one we will always associate with the University of Colorado. As fans, you can take pride in the manner your institution was represented.

Those of us who witnessed what occurred on that cold winter morning in the middle of a stadium parking lot saw character and integrity on display. Those traits emanate from the top down. The enthusiasm of your leadership is infectious. Dan Hawkins and Mike Bohn are quintessential athletic program leaders that any university would be privileged to be associated. Colorado is fortunate these gentlemen have chosen to be a part of a resurgence that is forthcoming.

As college football fans ourselves, we look forward to Colorado's reemergence as a power in the Big 12 Conference and we will take pride in knowing the first step on that road occurred on December 30, 2007 in the PetroSun Independence Bowl. Thank you for giving us that opportunity.

Good luck and Go Buffs!!

Joe Darwin
Chairman of the Independence Bowl

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