Cotton Bowl: Notes And Inside Scoop

The Oklahoma State Cowboys had a chapel service Sunday morning, then meetings and a trip out to Euless Trinity High School for practice. The highlight of the day for both the Cowboys and Missouri Tigers will be attending the Dallas Cowboys game with the Philadephia Eagles, a showdown for the NFC East Division title and a trip to the NFL playoffs. The OSU party will include some 260 people.

Artists Assists at the Welcome Dinner
Quarterbacks Clint Chelf of the OSU Cowboys and James Franklin of the Missouri Tigers ended up being valuable assistants to an entertaining artist at Saturday night's Cotton Bowl Welcome Dinner.

While both teams and members of the Cotton Bowl staff and volunteers dined on beef brisket, braised short ribs, and catfish with all the fixings the artist worked on two creations, painting them upside down to further confuse the audience. The first painting was Pistol Pete and the second was the Missouri Tiger. Give him credit as he was painting them upside down on the canvass and was moving very fast.

He then brought up Chelf and Franklin and explained that art like football had the potential of one strong brush stroke, but needed many brush strokes for success. He had each quarterback do one brush stroke and then asked them what potential they saw in that stroke.

Franklin went first and said he saw a vase, the artist quickly executed and not only brought out a vase, but using Franklin's stroke on the other side to emerge the profile of a person. Chelf was second and he said he saw in his single brush stroke, "hills." The artist provided hills but below a beach and a lagoon for a full island including palm trees.

He finished up with a couple of profiles of the two quarterbacks, while asking them some questions to entertain the audience. Attendees, including players, had the opportunity to takes pictures with a Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl trophy and several Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. However one of them was not Zack Craig's girlfriend and veteran Cowboys cheerleader Jordan Daigle.

The evening finished with both teams moving over to the club seats on the 50-yard line to watch two excellent videos highlighting each team's season and a personal welcome from Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. As they left each person was presented with a Dallas Cowboys t-shirt.

Jones' welcome was really well done. He also introduced a video on the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame which includes former OKlahoma A&M great Bob Fenimore. You can expect former OSU wide receiver Rashaun Woods to someday be inducted in the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame as he still holds the single game receiving record for the Classic.

Love Those Post Practice Snacks
I,t is good to be an Oklahoma State player, especially after practice. In order to speed the players through a meal, provide it under NCAA and conference bowl guidelines the players get a snack after practice that they can consume on the bus and that saves having a sit down catered meal.

Saturday, as the players departed the Euless Trinity practice site they enjoyed a Dallas original, and in the opinion of some of us natives, a delicacy. Each player picked up a box with a pizza and then a sack with a sandwich and a cookie from Campisi's. Very few things top Campisi's pizza and sandwiches. The players eat on the way back and when they are back at The Gaylord Texan then they can get right into their free time and enjoying bowl festivities.

Saving Time Heading to Dallas-Philly Game
Mack Butler and Rod Johnson in football operations do a great job of ordering and setting up the post practice snack, and that will allow the Cowboys to save time as once they get back to The Gaylord Texan it will be a short turnaround to leaving -- five buses and a total of 260 players, coaches, support staff, and families -- for AT&T Stadium and the Dallas Cowboys game with the Philadelphia Eagles.

The OSU Cowboys players are all pretty excited about attending. They will watch the game from scaled down suites with dry snacks and Gatorade and those type of beverages.

Talking to a few players and support staff, the Dallas-Philly game is a big highlight. Not that many players, coaches or staff have ever been to NFL games. There is usually a schedule conflict in the fall.

Cowboys wide receivers coach Kasey Dunn has coached in the NFL and many of the coaches and support staff have been to NFL training camps or practice facilities. Oddly enough, Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy claims to have never seen an NFL game in person, and is looking forward to enjoying it with his three sons and his team of football sonst.

It Really is that Big (and the Cotton Bowl Really is that Hospitable)
The Gaylord Texan is huge with its ice sculptures and many exhibits, shops, bars, and restaurants. I'm told it includes more than 2,000 rooms and a full convention center on one side of the complex. It is plenty big enough to house a college football team and several other groups at the same time. It has a boat dock on Lake Grapevine, which actually belongs to neighboring Bass Pro Shop.

Also, I received an email on Saturday morning from the Cotton Bowl. The email allowed me to download my own personal app on my phone from the bowl that included scheduled events I needed to know about, maps that would be helpful and the ability to get instant notification on news releases throughout the week from both teams and Cotton Bowl. That is just an example of how far and away the Cotton Bowl is in organization and hospitality.

The players and staff all say their hospitality room is unbelievable in terms of food and activities. It is not a surprise as the Cotton Bowl is known for that.


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