Longhorns open Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl trip with practice and visit to Sea World
Dec. 24, 2011Photo Gallery
SAN DIEGO - The University of Texas football team spent its first full day in San Diego on Christmas Eve with the first practice of the trip and a visit to Sea World.
"This is part of the experience and the fun of bowl games," said head coach Mack Brown. "You get the guys to focus on what's important and that is practice, which we had a really good practice this morning. Then it is time for them to have some fun and enjoy experiences they probably haven't had."
The Longhorns arrived in San Diego Thursday afternoon after having two days away from the practice field to spend with family and friends for the holidays. Upon arrival, head coach Mack Brown held a team meeting before an official welcome dinner hosted by the Holiday Bowl at the team hotel.
Focused and ready to continue preparation towards the game against Cal on Wednesday, Dec. 28 at Qualcomm Stadium, Texas put on full pads for a practice at UC-San Diego to start off Saturday's schedule. The team continued to work on its game plan for the Holiday Bowl matchup.
From practice the coaches, players and staff headed to Sea World. While the team walked around to view different shows and exhibits, Coach Brown along with captains Blake Gideon and Fozzy Whittaker were included in a show with a beluga whale at the Wild Arctic facility. All three participated in the show that included the whale leaping out of the water to touch their outstretched hand and also jump out of the water to give them a kiss.
Whittaker was also part of a group of Longhorns invited up close to Shamu's tank. The group was soaked when the killer whale jumped out of the water and came down with a splash that sent a wave of water over the tank covering the players.
The team will be back on the practice field and has another activity planned for the afternoon on Christmas Day in San Diego.