Wednesday, January 8, 2014

AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic, Global Warming and Happy New Year

Yes, tis I, with balaclava 
Those of you from the frozen tundra are probably laughing at us about now, but we just hit a new low, not seen in over 20 years. The temperature dropped about 43° in a very short time period and the winds picked up to about 15 mph. This, of course, presented a rare opportunity to see how well my winter cycling clothing functioned at a -15°F wind chill. Quite well, thank you. Great way to start the new year.

I’m no stranger to the cold. Back in the ‘80’s, I spent the better part of the winter living in a GP tent at 9,000 ft. at the USMC Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, CA. It goes down to -20°F in January and warms up to 0° around March. The Sierra’s aren’t as bad as Colorado. At Ron Beckman’s place, it was about -29°F, presenting some challenges for starting up our trucks as we headed to Dallas for the Cotton Bowl.

For this year’s attendees of the Lion’s Den Invitational, we had 92 Challenge Competitors who provided the pre-game entertainment on the West Special Events Plaza. The photo array may be viewed on our Flickr account ( This being our first appearance at a winter sports event, we were pleasantly surprised at the ease with which this event transpired. The only thing that could have been better would have been an absence of the wind. At 20kts, we could not drop the banners or put down the carpets.

So, this event marks a new paradigm for the Challenge with events around the year. For example, next month will see us at the Daytona 500 for speed week. Coming off of our CBS Sports Spectacular show and the attendant publicity and media coverage of the Cotton Bow, we’re off to a truly great year. And, it would appear that we pleased the organizers to the point that they suggested this become an annual ritual.
Virtually the entire complement of Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge competitors participated in the unfurling of the flag
If you’re just starting to get your feet wet, welcome to one of the greatest fraternities within the fire service. You’ll never find a better bunch of guys with whom to associate. As evidenced by all the smiling faces above, there’s not a happier band of brothers anywhere. Welcome to the club!