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Road to bowl paved with effort

A special 12-page section inside today’s edition focuses on the University of North Texas Mean Green and its road to the Heart of Dallas Bowl at 11 a.m. on New Year’s Day against the University of Nevada at Las Vegas Rebels.

The much-anticipated bowl game at the Cotton Bowl will be the first for the Mean Green since 2004 and marks a celebratory end to a successful first season in Conference USA — regardless of the final score.

The game is the culmination of the efforts of many and the hard work of a select few that has brought the Mean Green to this level.

A vision along with community, student and donor support blended together to create a one-of-a-kind “green” Apogee Stadium.

A commitment by university administration to stand behind athletics through thick and thin while still ensuring its athletes achieve scholastic heights has laid the foundation.

And the hard work and leadership of coach Dan McCarney and the team who have come together as a unit have helped UNT’s Mean Green achieve a successful 8-4 regular-season finish.

But another thing has also occurred and that is the growing support of the community surrounding the team. From the ever-ready tailgaters to those season ticket holders to the families and others who come for a single game, all of it makes a difference.

And it’ll make a difference to both the coach and the team on New Year’s Day to see everyone from Denton in the Cotton Bowl and wearing green.

We hear there might be some tickets available, but we’d recommend a quick call to the North Texas athletic ticket office at 940-565-2527 before they sell out.

Maybe we can make this a New Year’s Day tradition to wear green and visit each other in the risers at a UNT football bowl game every year — an annual tradition right up there with the black-eyed peas and cabbage.

At least we’ll resolve to try.