By Tyler Alley
A few surprise guests showed up at the Ferrell Center Saturday to give praise and honor Baylor’s 2011 bowl-winning football team: Waco mayor Jim Bush, state senator Brian Birdwell, a Longhorn fan and even members of the NoZe Brotherhood.
The latter of those guests presented Heisman winner and junior quarterback Robert Griffin III with a pair of Superman underwear, a green and gold version of their famous mask and dubbed him Bro. HeismaNoZe Trophy.
The crowd at the Ferrell Center cheered the team with every announcement and every highlight video of the 10-3 team shown on the big screen.
“It’s awesome,” senior linebacker Elliot Coffey said. “Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would be in this situation. You hope for it, but you don’t know if it’s going to happen, you don’t know how it’s going to happen. For them to have this huge event at the Ferrell Center, as opposed to just having us at the team meeting room doing something within ourselves, having the fan support that we did.”
Griffin was also presented with a proclamation from Birdwell signed by Gov. Rick Perry. Griffin thanked Baylor nation and for their time and asked the fans to continue their support for the team next season. Before exiting the stage, he pointed out the Longhorn fan garbed in burnt orange and said, “We’ll get after them next year.”
Bush declared Jan. 14 as Baylor Football Day to honor the success of the team.
Sophomore nickelback Ahmad Dixon, redshirt freshman receiver Levi Norwood and junior running back Jarred Salubi were also brought to the stage representing three members of the team from the Waco area. Dixon said he believed the 2012 Bears would carry forward the success of the 2011 team.
“I’m very hungry,” Dixon said. “Our offense often just took away the spotlight, and they deserved it, but now it’s time for the defense to step up and show America that Baylor’s not just an offensive team, that we can stop teams from scoring as well.”
When asked if he believed Baylor would be in a BCS Bowl next season, Dixon nodded and replied, “Very much so.”
After the event, fans were able to have their picture taken with the Valero Alamo Bowl Trophy and the Heisman Trophy.