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Desmond Howard

Meet UPS Ambassador Troy Calhoun
Troy Calhoun

I love October.  Leaves are turning, temps are dropping, and college football starts getting really serious.  As a UGA alum (’82) who watched Herschel Walker romp ‘tween the hedges many an autumn Saturday, nothing warms my heart more than a cool fall day in October.  Showdown Saturdays.  Huge conference rivalry games.  Vegging on the sofa watching endless hours of football.

It just doesn’t get any better than that.  And for all of us college football fans, UPS is making the 2012 college football season even better by adding some great game-changer ambassadors: ESPN Analyst Kirk Herbstreit,  ESPN Analyst Desmond Howard, Oregon Head Coach Chip Kelly and Air Force Academy Head Coach Troy Calhoun.

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Meet UPS Ambassador Desmond Howard: Videos
Desmond Howard

To me, nothing compares to a crisp fall Saturday.  It’s all there: sweatshirt and jeans, crystal blue sky, blazing foliage, and the smell of freshly cut grass.  All is right with the world . . . just don’t burn the brats.

Then, when game-time nears and the anticipation builds, things come into sharper focus.  The strategy’s been set.  The game-plan is in place.  Now, it all comes down to performance and execution.

And, who better to share that experience than UPS’s new Game-Changer ambassadors: Air Force Academy Head Coach Troy Calhoun, Oregon Head Coach Chip Kelly, ESPN Analyst Kirk Herbstreit and ESPN Analyst Desmond Howard?

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The Logistics Behind Doug Flutie’s 1984 Hail Mary: Video
The Logistics Behind Doug Flutie’s 1984 Hail Mary

I remember the day that gave us the play that will forever be known as “Hail Flutie.” It was Friday, November 23, 1984 – the day after Thanksgiving. Our family was doing what we usually did every year – stuffing our faces with leftovers and spending quality family time around the TV that evening. I was only eight years old.

What transpired that evening has often been called one of the greatest moments in the history of sports – not just college football. The setup was perfect: Two nationally ranked teams in Boston College and the University of Miami, and two star quarterbacks (Doug Flutie and Miami’s Bernie Kosar) poised for an offensive shootout on national television. And the biggest difference from today: BC-Miami was the only game on TV that day.

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UPS Team Performance Index: A New Weekly College Football Statistic
UPS Team Performance Index

Having grown up in the south where it’s often said that “football is a form of religion,” I’ll be the first to admit that we Southern football fans are collectively the leaders when it comes to taking football fanaticism – both good and (at times) bad – to the extreme. Whether it’s 80,000+ showing up to a spring football game (good), entire states turning national signing day each February into an unofficial holiday (good) or an irrational fan poisoning 100-year-old oak trees on his rival team’s campus, few can legitimately argue that college football isn’t an undeniably relevant part of the South’s cultural fabric.

But while Southern football fans may arguably be the standard bearers when it comes to “college football fan passion,” my years of working in college sports have shown me that we definitely don’t have that market cornered in this category. From Midnight Yell practice, to Dotting the “i” in Script Ohio, to “Touchdown Jesus,” it’s become plainly evident to me that college football fan passion stretches well beyond regional and geographical boundaries. And it’s this nationwide college football fan passion (and the unique school traditions that come along with it) that, to me, makes the sport so special.

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