Jan. 1, 2001
By BEN WALKER
AP Sports Writer
MIAMI – Even with a ski cap on his head, Alonzo Jackson was
The Florida State defensive end was trying to stay warm Sunday, but it
no use. At least, not for someone who grew up in the South.
“This is freezing,” the Georgia resident said. “This is no fun.”
Almost all of his Seminoles teammates agreed. With temperatures around
degrees, most of them wore sweat pants and jackets – a few sported ski
too – for media day at the Orange Bowl.
The interview session was held at the Orange Bowl stadium while Pro
Stadium was being prepared for Wednesday night’s game. Sitting in the shaded
stands for an hour was taking its toll.
“It’s nippy,” kicker Matt Munyon said. “They told us it would only be
20 minutes. I think they lied.”
Munyon, from Panama City, Fla., looked miserable. Doubled over in only
short-sleeved jersey and knee-high football pants, he had his arms tightly
tucked across his chest and was shaking.
After No. 3 Florida State finished, it was No. 1 Oklahoma’s turn to
Having escaped the snow and ice in their home state, the Sooners basked in
“It feels like a heat wave,” wide receiver Ryan Daniel said.
Daniel, like many of the Oklahoma natives, was perfectly content and
comfortable without a jacket or long pants. Before they left for Miami, the
Sooners practiced outdoors in below-zero wind chill.
“Actually, this is quite warm compared to what we were involved with in
Norman,” quarterback Jose Heupel said.
Temperatures in Miami are expected to warm up as game time approaches.
REMEMBER WHEN: Chris Hammons slowly turned in a circle, making sure his
camcorder did not miss an inch of the Orange Bowl.
The Sooners tight end from Sulphur, Okla., had heard about the
stadium his whole life, and wanted to make sure he saw it all.
“There’s a lot of history here. I remember watching Oklahoma play here
boy,” he said. “My dad was excited that I was going to see it.”
Wednesday night’s game will be played up the road at Pro Player
home of the Miami Dolphins. But Sunday’s media day was held inside the
Bowl itself, which brought back memories for many of the homegrown Oklahoma
“All the great Sooners have been here,” said wide receiver Ryan Daniel
“They’ve all stepped on this field,” said wide receiver Buck Scifres of
Scifres hoped he’d have a chance to wander around. He could already see
palm trees beyond the end zone at the open end of the stadium, and wanted to
look at the big, orange letters that spell out Miami Orange Bowl on the
outside. No matter that they’re faded.
“That was always the first thing they showed on TV before a big game
here,” he said. “You’d see that sign.”
Oklahoma is 11-5 overall in Orange Bowl games. The 16 appearances were
most ever at the actual Orange Bowl stadium – the game was moved to Pro
starting in the 1996 season.
Scifres said he watched Oklahoma’s final appearance at the Orange Bowl,
its bid to win the 1987 national title was stopped by Miami 20-14.
“There’s a mystique here and I’m glad I’m getting to see it,” he said.
“But I remember that last game, and I still can’t stand Miami to this day
because of it.”
NO HORSING AROUND: When it comes to mascots, Oklahoma and Florida State
feature two of the finest in college football.
Only don’t expect to see the Sooner Schooner being pulled around by
Boomer and Sooner in the end zone during the Orange Bowl. And Chief Osceola
won’t be riding his horse, Renegade, onto the field at Pro Player Stadium,
Orange Bowl officials have banned the mascots from Wednesday night’s
saying in a statement that live animals are not allowed to participate in
Championship Series events because of safety concerns.
“I guess the way Pro Player Stadium is set up, the space around the
sideline isn’t as great as it was in the old Orange Bowl,” Oklahoma athletic
director Joe Castiglione said.
“I understand to some degree their concerns. We’re disappointed, but
what I understand, this isn’t the first time they have precluded the live
The Schooner will be at the stadium on game night, but not inside.
“We knew we may make the trip and not necessarily have access to the
field,” Castiglione said. “However, there are a half-dozen other events
Boomer and Sooner will participate, so it isn’t a wasted trip.”