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Chick-fil-A Bowl Visits Aggieland

December 18, 2013
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Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
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(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)

Officials of the Chick-fil-A Bowl visited Texas A&M on Wednesday to formally invite the Aggies to the Dec. 31 game. Joining bowl CEO Gary Stokan were Athletics Director Eric Hyman and head coach Kevin Sumlin.

Quotes from the press conference are posted below. Video and audio are available through the links to the left.


 

 

CHICK-FIL-A BOWL PRESIDENT/CEO GARY STOKEN

History of the Chick-fil-A Bowl…

“The Chick-fil-A Bowl will pay out $7.4 million this year which puts us over $125 million all-time. We are the ninth oldest bowl game in the country and enjoyed our 17th straight sellout, which is second only to the Rose Bowl in consecutive sellouts. We have an unopposed prime time slot on New Year’s Eve on ESPN, which has been wonderful for us in the past. We had the highest-rated non-BCS bowl game on ESPN last year, with 8.5 million viewers.”

About the bowl week experience…

“Everything we do throughout bowl week is a reward for the players. The players are the ones that have practiced and played all year and they deserve the opportunity to participate in a bowl game. The players will have an opportunity to stay in a great hotel, receive wonderful gifts and eat great food along with playing in a great facility and being treated first-class. We have a ‘Battle for Bowl Week’ with competition each night for the players to compete and have fun.”

The Chick-fil-A Bowl mission…

“The mission of the Chick-fil-A Bowl is to be the most charitable and scholarship-driven bowl in the country and we humbly do that every year. Each year we disperse more money back through charity and scholarship than any other bowl in the country. This year $1.6 million will be given back to the community in Atlanta and elsewhere. We have given $15 million in charity and scholarship since 2002, which is the highest for all bowl games in that span. Chick-fil-A and the bowl game will each donate $50,000 to endow a $100,000 scholarship at Texas A&M for participating in our game.”

TEXAS A&M DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS ERIC HYMAN

On the opportunity the Chick-fil-A Bowl presents…

“This is a chance for the A&M brand to go east and play in a venue that has hosted Super Bowls, Final Fours and the SEC Championship game. The hospitality and the service that is provided for the fans and team is second to none. It is truly an extraordinary experience for student-athletes and our coaching staff will walk away having had a fantastic experience. I think we will enjoy being in Atlanta; it is a wonderful place.”

On the Texas A&M’s Chick-fil-A Bowl Opponent, Duke…

“I know a lot of people in this area may not be familiar with Duke, but do not fool yourself, they are a very good football team. To have one of the best teams that they have had in the history of the school speaks volumes about the program that Coach Cutcliffe has at Duke.”

 

TEXAS A&M HEAD COACH KEVIN SUMLIN

On Chick-fil-A Bowl and Atlanta…

“The opportunity to expand our brand east, the chance for our players and fans to experience a new venue is exciting for us. Especially being in Atlanta, the venue that hosts our conference championship and will be a part of the football playoff series moving forward. We are excited to be there and play a team like Duke coached by David Cutcliffe, who has done a fabulous job. The time slot that the bowl offers on New Year’s Eve is another reason why we are looking forward to getting to Atlanta.”

On practice schedule and preparation for bowl…

“We prepare in a couple different phases, beginning with the developmental phase for our younger players that will conclude today. We have had roughly five or six practices with the guys and after the season that we went through we gave them a couple weeks off and put them through the strength and conditioning program. We have not practiced as much as we have in the past due to the wear and tear of a long season. We try to have a couple game weeks replicated with one this week on campus and one when we get to Atlanta. We will let them go Sunday morning and then meet up in Atlanta Christmas night. Our guys will celebrate Christmas twice, one with their family and one with the team in Atlanta.”

On increased recruiting presence in Georgia…

“Based on the list of recruits around Atlanta in the upcoming classes we would like to have a really good presence in that area. We have not really been over there as much, we have a couple guys on our staff that have recruited that area and I think that in the state of Georgia and the Atlanta area there are a lot of really talented student-athletes. Add in the unopposed time slot on New Year’s Eve that gives you an opportunity to showcase Texas A&M as a University along with our program to everyone across the world. This really gives up an opportunity to expand our footprint east and playing in a new venue is a great combination from an exposure standpoint nationally.”

On Texas A&M’s current state of mind…

“With the way this season has gone we gave them a couple weeks off and I really like our energy level right now. Guys have come back healthy with a little more bounce in their step. I think we were a little worn down there at the end both mentally and physically. Each of the last two years there has been something accomplished at the end of the year. We are looking to win this game and it would be the first time in program history to win three consecutive bowls (in consecutive seasons). There has been a lot of football played here with a lot guys that have come through this program that cannot say they have done that. That becomes something special for our seniors and can propel us in the offseason.”

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