Dec. 29, 2013
North Texas cheerleader Taylor Towery talks with a CityWalk resident Sunday afternoon. (photo by David Pyke)
DALLAS, Texas - Sunday saw North Texas hold its first practice in Dallas before serving lunch at CitySquare's downtown-Dallas CityWalk@Akard facility, as preparations for the New Year's Day Heart of Dallas Bowl continue.
• After a celebratory arrival in Dallas, the Mean Green awoke to a cold, gray morning over mostly empty downtown streets, occupied only by a handful of personnel cleaning up the debris around the nearby convention center left by Saturday's night's electronic-dance-music festival revellers.
• But while a cold front came in Sunday, everyone connected with the Heart of Dallas Bowl was heartened by the updated forecast for Wednesday: no chance of rain, sunny and 63 degrees.
• North Texas practiced at Highland Park High School's football stadium Sunday morning. It was a lively, vocal session, and multiple players felt it was a productive practice. The team will have its final full workout of 2013 on Monday morning, then a conduct a walk-through on Tuesday.
Photo Gallery - Sunday's practice
• Media attention continues to focus on the team and this game, but it has not appeared to be a distraction. Sunday, Channel 8's George Riba interviewed several players as well as head coach Dan McCarney. Also interviewing the Mean Green on Sunday were KXAS Channel 5, Brett Vito of the Denton Record-Chronicle, and John Henry of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
• Several players, coach McCarney, cheerleaders, North Texas Dancers, and Scrappy participated in a special event at CitySquare in downtown Dallas. CitySquare started as a food pantry in 1988, and now provides food, housing, care, job training, and legal services to the city's low-income, homeless, and formerly-homeless citizens. The organization is this year's beneficiary of the Heart of Dallas Bowl. Click here for more information on CitySquare.
Photo Gallery - Visit to CitySquare
• The North Texas contingent mixed with residents of CitySquare's CityWalk@Akard facility downtown Sunday afternoon. The cheerleaders and dancers decorated the facility's common room, then joined with the football team's representatives to serve lunch and talk to residents. An impromptu football game, with Mean Green players and a pair of young CityWalk residents, broke out briefly on the blustery third-floor deck. It was difficult to tell who enjoyed the afternoon more - the residents or the North Texas representatives.
• Sunday night, the team will attend the Dallas Stars hockey game at the American Airlines Center. On Monday, it's practice in the morning, a team event in the afternoon, and then a team dinner at Babb Brothers BBQ in the evening. The Ticket (1310 AM and 96.7 FM) will be on hand for a live remote broadcast from 7 to 8 p.m.