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Tulsa and BYU Meet at Billy Bob's

Tulsa Head Coach Bill Blankenship tips his new Cowboy hat at Tuesday night's Team Wlecome at Billy Bob's.
Tulsa Head Coach Bill Blankenship tips his new Cowboy hat at Tuesday night's Team Wlecome at Billy Bob's.
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Dec. 28, 2011

Fort Worth, Texas - Fort Worth's renowned Billy Bob's also known as the "world's largest honky tonk" served as the meeting grounds for the BYU Cougars and the Tulsa Golden Hurricane on Tuesday night for the 9th annual Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl Team Welcome Event.

"It was a lot of fun. I've never been to Billy Bob's. It's a really cool place. I'd definitely spend time here in my off time. There's definitely a lot of hospitality, it's been a good time," said Tulsa native and Hurricane offensive lineman Brian DeShane.

Both teams were treated to Texas size heaps of brisket, turkey, potato salad and baked beans, while they watched on as 2-time Emmy winning sportscaster Scott Murray dubbed both athletic directors and head coaches Bill Blankenship and Bronco Mendenhall "real cowboys" as they were each presented traditional Peter Brothers cowboy hats.

After a few words of encouragement from Bell Helicopter directors, the teams saddled up to compete in a southern style version of NBC's hit game show "Minute to Win It".

Both programs rooted on their teams as selected players made their way to the stage to participate in the game hosted by Cameron Fox. Tulsa sophomore receiver Brett Davis and BYU senior linebacker Simote Vea were two of the four participants to kick off the game show, whose task was to see which players could stack layers of plates and cups the fastest within one minute.

Other games including "This Blows" consisting of players knocking off an entire table of Dixie cups using air they had blown into a balloon, in which Tulsa sophomore Marco Nelson captured the victory to even the score, 1-1.

After winning the "Mega Bubble Challenge" which consisted of blowing a bubble nearly seven yards through a hoop, Hurricane senior offensive tackle Matt Romine said he did not mind getting up and joking around on stage.



"It was unexpected, our football operations guy kind of joked with me about it but I didn't think he was actually for real. But you got to do what you got to do for the team, whatever it is," said Romine jokingly.

BYU claimed the "Paper Dragon" in which players were forced to unroll two entire rolls of party streamers had the teams laughing and competitive, and even had the Cougars chanting "Folsom" after sophomore running back Ryan Folsom prevailed, making the game show tied, 2-2, before the last round. The final game was the "Kleenex Pull" as players were required to empty a box of kleenex with one hand. BYU claimed a victory in that matchup as Tulsa's Milton Howell was narrowly edged out. The Cougars took a 3-2 win in the "Minute to Win It" challenge.

Romine was one of many seniors in the building celebrating their final game as either a Hurricane or a Cougar. Having bowl experience in the past, he still feels as though it is necessary for teams to come together in a more light-hearted atmosphere before taking on the field at any bowl game.

"It's part of a bowl, I kind of look at bowls as rewarding a team for having a winning season. And with any bowl, this is the third bowl I've been to now, it builds team camaraderie for seasons to come and also it's kind of a reward to get away for a few days. You're still getting down to business with the football game but you're able to come do stuff like this and have a good time," added Romine.

Other Tulsa participants in the "Minute to Win It" competition were Thomas Roberson, Rashad Robinson, Marco Nelson, Derek Patterson, Michael Britton, DeAundre Brown, Brentom Todd.

Tulsa practices Wednesday morning for its' final workout at Kennedale High School, before going to SMU's Gerald J. Ford Stadium on Thursday for its final preparations for Friday's Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. The game kicks off at 11:01 am Friday and will be aired on ESPN television. The game can also be heard on the Golden Hurricane Radio Network, locally in Tulsa on 740 AM/FM 102.3 FM KRMG Radio.