7:41am -- That's not a misprint. It's actually seven o'clock in the morning. I woke up hoping it was going to be 9:30am (around the the time I usually get up), but it wasn't even close. Now I can't fall back to sleep because I'm so excited about my trip to Texas with the Eastern Washington football team.
The Eagles play for the FCS National Championship (the official name is the 2011 NCAA Division I Football Championship Game, but that's way too wordy) on Friday against Delaware at Pizza Hut Park (pictured above) in Frisco, Texas (click the link to learn more about Frisco). The game is scheduled to kickoff at 4:05pm, and it can be seen live on ESPN2.
Eastern flies out of Spokane on a chartered flight around 3pm today (they'll be loading on buses around 1pm in Cheney). It's good that these guys are finally leaving. They've been itching to play again since they beat Villanova in the semifinals nearly three weeks ago. My photographer Brett Allbery (<--- he's doing his best impression of a screaming eagle) and I will be with the Eags every step of the way this week. We hop on a flight at 1:30 this afternoon, getting into Dallas around 9pm CT (making an hour long pit stop in Denver). I'll be tweeting along the way, so be sure to follow me @TLKREM2. I'll also be posting updates on KREM.com today, so stay tuned.
5:02pm (MT) -- We just landed in Denver, but we won’t be here long. It’s about an hour layover before we jump on a plane for Dallas.
It’s been a pretty uneventful trip so far (don’t get me wrong…I’m not complaining). It hasn’t been perfectly quiet though. The guy sitting in front of us was listening to his music way too loud, so we could hear the music bursting out of his head phones. I was OK with the first song (Every Rose Has Its Thorn by Poison), but then it went to country music. I’m not so cool with that. I guess I should get used to it, figuring we are heading to Texas.
I’m also not OK with all the extra fees airlines charge these days. I must be really behind the times (or I just never check a bag). United Airlines didn’t make us pay for the first checked bag, but they charged us $30 for our second bag (it was an extra $100 for our oversized edit bay). When you’re travelling for a television station, that adds up in a hurry (because of all the equipment we need to bring). This is always an issue on these trips, but it gets more expensive every year. After all those fees before we got on the plane, they wanted me to pay for a snack on the flight. Seriously?!
That’s the last rant you’ll hear from me…sorry. I don’t have much time before we board the next flight, so I have to get running.
11:56pm CT – So much for an uneventful trip…
We made it to Dallas, but much later than we were originally scheduled to arrive (United Airlines did not come through for us today).
Our flight out of Denver was backed up by twenty minutes because our plane was running behind from wherever it was coming from (I think it was Boston). That was just the beginning though. We boarded the plane, sat there for forty minutes, and then we were told there was an electrical problem (the emergency lights on the aisle weren’t working). The maintenance guys couldn’t find a solution, so they decided to take our plane out of service. Luckily, the airline quickly found us a replacement (I honestly thought I was going to be sleeping at the Denver airport for awhile). We had to deboard our plane, walk halfway across the concourse, and then wait for our new ride. In the end, we were delayed by nearly three hours. It was awesome (I really hope you are picking up on the heavy dose of sarcasm)!
I’m happy to finally be in Texas. This is my first trip here since I visited San Antonio/Corpus Christie when I was younger. I thought I remembered everyone here would have an awesome twang (or maybe that’s just the stereotype), but I haven’t heard it that much yet.
We still have a 30 minute drive to Frisco ahead of us (it’s located northeast of Dallas), but it should be pretty simple (if I didn’t just jinx us). This is the last time I plan on updating the blog tonight (unless something really crazy happens).
I can’t wait for tomorrow and I’m sure the Eagles are in the same boat. This trip is going to be much like a bowl game for the Eastern Washington football team (that means there are a handful of events scheduled around the championship game). All the fun starts tomorrow (all times listed as Central Time). The Eagles have a team picture at Pizza Hut Park from 9:30-10:30am, they then meet with the media at 10-10:30am, and then practice (closed to the media for some reason) from 10:30am-12:30pm. The team gets a small break, but then they head to a local elementary school for a "Stay in School" rally (2:15-2:45pm). The day ends with "The Great Texas Barbecue Bowl" (7-9pm), a feast honoring the Delaware and Eastern Washington football teams. Lone Star Attitude will provide the entertainment, while Randy White's Hall of Fame BBQ will provide the food.
I'll have live reports on KREM 2 News starting Wednesday morning (around 5am and 6am PT). I'll also be tweeting updates and pictures throughout the day (again, follow me @TLKREM2). We'll also have coverage on KREM 2 News at 5pm, 6pm, 10pm, and 11pm as well (it's my goal to bring Frisco to you if you can't make it here yourself).
For more great EWU football coverage right now, be sure to check out the related links to this story (you can find them above).
Thanks for reading! Go Eags!!!