I’ll always be thankful to Sun Bowl Association Executive Director Bernie Olivas and his staff for picking me as the 2019 Legend of the Sun Bowl.
Bernie met me in the press box before the game and personally escorted me to other sections of the Sun Bowl Stadium.
First stop was the Captain’s Club where I was warmly greeted by two other legends, Sun Bowl game selection chairman John Folmer and TV coordinator Jimmy Rogers Jr.
Folmer was quick to point to the photo in the media guide that shows Ysleta High School football players throwing me in the shower in 1960. He was in the photo!
I eventually wound up in the Captain’s Club watching the game.
THE NEXT STOP Bernie took me to was the tailgating tent.
It seemed everyone there wanted to take a photo with the new legend, including former El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser, owner of Hyundai of El Paso and former sponsor of the Sun Bowl. He gave me a big hug and insisted on a photo with me.
I also got to meet the new sponsor of the Sun Bowl, Tony the Tiger, who was there in person. He wanted a photo with me, too.
I also got to meet another former sponsor of the Sun Bowl, Gerald Rubin.
BUT THE BIGGEST thrill came when I stood in the middle of the Sun Bowl field before the game and was introduced to the fans as the 2019 Legend of the Sun Bowl.
I can’t describe the chills of standing before more than 42,000 spectators and receiving their cheers of congratulation. It was surreal.
I’VE BEEN LUCKY to have received other awards, as the media guide pointed out
- The Hicks-Media Award for Excellence in Journalism, 1991
- El Paso Athletic Hall of Fame induction, 1978
- El Paso Baseball Hall of Fame induction, 1988
- El Paso High School Athletic Hall of Fame induction, 1985
- El Paso Boxing/Karate Hall of Fame induction, 1983
- El Paso Golf Hall of Fame induction, 1995
- UTEP Golf Nugget Award, 2011
- Otstanding Ex, El Paso High School, 2013
- Consultant, “Glory Road” movie, for which Don Haskins said I was responsible
Now I can add the unforgetabable honor of being selected as a Legend of the Sun Bowl to that list. I give thanks to God every day for all his blessings.