If They Think That's A Big High-School Stadium....

The Texas Bowl fever is building!! Kinda.

This year's match-up between Rice and Western Michigan University isn't exactly setting too many people's hearts on fire, although it should turn out to be an entertaining game.

Previous Texas Bowls have had bigger names, though, so this one is flying under the radar a bit.

Not in Kalamazoo, though. That's home for WMU, and the Kalamazoo Gazette is all over the team's first trip to a relatively big-time bowl.

What's been one big surprise for the Broncos? What they consider to be the huge, amazing, unbelievable size of the high-school football stadium at which they practiced.

The thing is, they practiced at HISD's Delmar Stadium, which is not exactly the most inspiring high-school field around. Perfectly serviceable, but without any of the "wow" factor you see in the suburbs.

Not to WMU, though:

TEXAS-SIZED STADIUMS: WMU practiced Sunday at Delmar Stadium, a venue used by five Houston high schools, because of the Houston Texans' home game against the Chicago Bears, which occupied the Texans' facilities.

By Michigan prep standards, Delmar Stadium would be close to top-of-the-line (a few MAC venues aren't much better).

The police escorting the Broncos to practice Sunday apologized for the facility and Tom Ricker considered it well below the norm.

"Football's just something else down here, next to God. And it's not me making it up," Tom Ricker said. "Like this stadium right here, this is a dump. Schools out by (where) A.J. (attended) have double-decker (stands) and one has columns like (Soldier Field)."

The Tom Ricker they quote is the father of A.J. Ricker, a WMU assistant coach who grew up in Klein.

Maybe they should take the Broncos out to Katy or The Woodlands, if they really want to see how we do things here.

-- Richard Connelly

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