Independence Bowl Notebook

Following the Team Welcome Dinner the Cowboys team and travel party returned to team hotel, the Holiday Inn Financial Plaza, to participate in a Christmas Eve service conducted by Team Chaplain Joel Tudman.

The group sang Christmas songs and hymns and heard a message from Tudman along with taking communion. The service was packed with players, coaches, support personnel, and families. Again, it was not a traditional Christmas Eve service but it had all the meaning and purpose.

Seeing Shreveport and Curfew
Yes, curfew! The Cowboys players had a 2 a.m. bedcheck on the first night in Shreveport and the call for lights out gets earlier each night. Sunday night's curfew was 1 a.m. with midnight for Monday, 11 p.m. for Tuesday, and 10 p.m. for Wednesday night, the eve of the Independence Bowl.

The players have been getting out and seeing Shreveport, mainly the restaurants and the stores on the popular Louisiana Boardwalk.

"It's really nice and I've never been to Shreveport so it's all new to me," said defensive end Nathan Peterson. "Seeing the boardwalk, the restaurants and all the shopping centers is really cool. Hopefully, we'll get more opportunity to go down there and check it all out. Last night I got a good chicken sandwich and that was about it.

"Everyone is trying to have fun but at the sametime it will determine whether we are above or below .500 on the season and it kind of sets the tone for off-season, spring football, and the summer," Peterson said on the more serious side and purpose of the trip. "It would be great momentum to take in preparing for next season and the opener with Georgia."

The casinos, which are plentiful in this river city, are 21 or over to enter and have been placed off limits to all Oklahoma State players, but as quarterback Bobby Reid and some of his "guys" discovered there are some good clubs in Shreveport.

"This is my first time here, but I'm from Louisiana," Reid said in delivering some information we didn't know. "I was born in Lake Charles, so it reminds me of my home town. I went out to a club (named) Coco Kelly's, me and my guys that I hang with. We had a good time, but we really didn't get to feel it because we had a two o'clock curfew, which is cool. It was a nice scene. I thought it would be crazy, but the club owner took care of us and made sure we had a good time."

The bowl game is a reward and while the team is here to win a game, head coach Mike Gundy does want the team to enjoy themselves.

"They were a lot of fun," Gundy said of the bowl functions. "It's an opportunity for us to get together with Alabama too. Our players have a responsibility to enjoy the Alabama players when we're around them and I feel the same way about the staff too. The Independence Bowl staff has been tremendous in just the day and a half that we've been here. It's an opportunity for the teams to get together and enjoy each other. There will be enough time on Thursday to knock heads with them."

Gundy has encouraged his players to remember curfew. In case they don't, strength and consitioning coach Rob Glass, as always, is in charge of enforcing the nightly deadline for players to be in their rooms.

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