As the countdown for Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington continues, I have prepared myself by hitting up as many local college football bowl-related activities as possible. In addition to all of the TCU/Rose Bowl mania, I have been to the Armed Forces Bowl at SMU and the Ticket City Bowl at the Cotton Bowl in Fair Park. Wrapping up this pigskin-intensive stretch was the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic between the LSU Tigers and Texas A&M Aggies.
The 75th edition of the legendary game took place at Cowboys Stadium and was broadcast by FOX, so everything about the event felt a bit like a 'dress rehearsal' for the upcoming Super Bowl. Since I have been to this $1.2 billion palace for everything from the Cowboys-Giants inaugural game to the U2 and Tim McGraw concerts to the Manny Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey fight and, of course, the 2010 NBA All-Star Game, I can honestly say that I am getting accustomed to the amazing surroundings. But for the first ever prime-time Cotton Bowl, there was a special feeling of excitement.
I made my way around the stadium during the first half, wading through the rowdy standing-room-only crowd of 83,514. My first stop was inside the Founders Club on the main level. It is actually a club-within-a-club -- a private section was curtained off from one 40 yard line to the other. There were flatscreens and a grand buffet along with a couple of bars. Then I headed down to Miller Lite's Club Lite on the visitors' side at field level. While inside, I met the legendary running back Jim Brown before he made his way out to the field for the halftime ceremonies.
Later in the second half, I was on the field behind the south end zone. I had a great view of the game and LSU's ridiculously hot "Golden Girls" cheering section. They had plenty to cheer about as the Tigers defeated the Aggies 41-24. I even ended up in the center of the LSU confetti-filled celebration as they received the Cotton Bowl trophy while the Aggie faithful filed out.
Texas A&M has not won a bowl game since the 2001 Galleryfurniture.com Bowl at the Astrodome in Houston. LSU on the other hand, was all smiles in the press conferences. Head coach Les Miles praised Cowboys Stadium and the Cotton Bowl game.
"I don't think there is any question that this will eventually be a BCS Bowl game," Coach Miles said. "It has all the makings, the strength and environment that you need."
A fantastic Cotton Bowl week that began in the decked-out media hospitality suite at the Omni Mandalay Hotel in Las Colinas has come and gone. Now it is on to Super Bowl XLV.
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