The Hyundai Sun Bowl is set to kickoff Monday and will feature Southern California (7-5) and Georgia Tech (6-7). Much has been made of a few USC players tweeting their displeasure with El Paso and the Sun Bowl matchup. But that's not the whole story.
First, earlier this month, USC Senior Tony Burnett tweeted, "El Paso: "If you've ever seen a real life giant tumbleweed get ready." He wasn't happy with the matchup either, "Georgia Tech!? El Paso, Texas!? New Years Eve!? FML."
Then, on Wednesday, USC Freshman Defensive End Leonard Williams used an expletive to describe the Sun City shortly after landing at El Paso International Airport. He later apologized, saying, "Sorry about what I said last night. It came out wrong. I'm so grateful to be a part of this bowl and looking forward to a great game." and, "I also think the people in El Paso are very welcoming and made me feel at home. Once again I apologize for speaking with out thinking."
Besides the two exceptions, NewsChannel9 found plenty of good things players had to say about our city.
Senior Defensive End Zack Kusnir tweeted while the team visited with soldiers at Fort Bliss, "Havin' a blast out here in El Paso with our troops!" He, Senior Quarterback Matt Barkley, and Senior Running back Silas Redd posted pictures of their trips to Fort Bliss.
Senior Safety TJ McDonald, " These people out here in El Paso showin mad love!"
Freshman fullback Soma Vainuku thought, " El Paso pretty cool place."
Soma was impressed with the gas prices compared to California too, " 3.09 for gas in Texas. Only if that was in California!" His teammate Senior Quarterback Emon Saee agreed, "Gas is $2.99 in El Paso.... What the heck man?!?!"
Senior Center Khaled Holmes enjoyed the welcome at the airport, "El Paso welcomed us with great mariachi music and delightful people! Going to be a great week!" And posted this picture:
Georgia Tech players had plenty of praise for El Paso and the Sun Bowl as well.
Freshman Quarterback Vad Lee enjoyed his time at the Children's Hospital, " The Hospital visit is by far the best experience of being apart of a Bowl game. Some really cool kids with different stories."
You can see all the USC player tweets here. and Georgia Tech player tweets here.