2008 Season On The Horizon

With the season opener just over a week away, excitement is building as Rice prepares to host SMU before a national television audience, and hopefully a big crowd in the stadium...

Got your tickets yet?

That seems to be the most pressing question asked by Rice marketing folks and fans alike. Hopefully your answer is "yes".

One man's opinion is that the team deserves a big turnout next Friday night. Afterall, they've worked extremely hard since last December to improve as individuals and as a team. To a man, none feel like last season's results are reflective of the team they are now.

Hundreds of tons of steel have been moved in the Owl weight room. Miles and miles of running and jumping and stretching have been logged...

Many mornings while you were sleeping, the Owls were lifting and running. Many evenings while you were having dinner, the Owls were conducting voluntary team drills. When it was too cold for most folks to be outside - the Owls were out there anyway. When temperatures topped 100 degrees this summer - they were out there then too...

When other students were partying, they were catching up on homework or studying film...

And it wasn't just the players that sacrificed - the coaches spent more time in the last 9 months away from their families than with. They signed a great class of kids in February, some of which will play this year. And before the ink was dry on those Letters of Intent, they were recruiting what is a fantastic 2009 class. In the process they spent several weeks on the road, hours and hours looking at film, and ate plenty of take out meals in the office - making it home if they were lucky only to kiss their children good night before they went to sleep...

And while questions lingered a few months back about the administration's effort to promote the team and game attendance, we've seen a blitz of activity in recent weeks, particularly in recent days. The "Operation Sellout" campaign has been featured in newspaper ads, television spots, and radio messages. Even a telemarketing campaign by Rice Coach David Bailiff himself began this week.

There's no question this team, the staff, and even the administration has shown a strong commitment to becoming a winner. They want to perform at the highest level - they want to win championships. And by now, it should be obvious that they want to do it in front of their friends - say 40,000 or so. Do they deserve a packed house next Friday night when June Jones makes his C-USA coaching debut? Darned right.

Besides, the atmosphere of a "Game Day" just isn't the same on TV. You don't get the smells, the food, the tailgating, the bands, watching warm-ups before the game. The whole thing is an awesome experience - especially in person.

Man I get butterflies thinking about it!

One more thing, going to a football game is a truly American experience, and remember we have the freedom to do so because our troops have paid the ultimate price all over the world.

So won't you exercise that freedom and show up? Hopefully you'll see a big Rice Owl victory! If nothing else come to say, "Thanks, we appreciate your efforts to give us Owl fans a winner". I hope you will.

Its the least we can do...

GO OWLS!!!


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