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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Football festivities slated to debut ’08 season

    Founding athletic traditions typically takes more than a few years to establish at the university level. But for those organizers in the Zona Zoo, great strides have been made over the past three years in developing “”Bear Down Fridays.””

    Today begins another weekend full of festivities designed to build community spirit at Arizona Stadium for the UA football season opener against Idaho, Saturday at 7 p.m.

    As in recent years, “”Bear Down Fridays”” returns tomorrow at 5 p.m. on University Boulevard, where students and fans will have the opportunity to begin building a pre-game atmosphere as the clock strikes 24 hours before kickoff.

    But unlike the prior two years, the ASUA and Zona Zoo Crew have expanded the weekend schedule to include appearances this weekend from athletic director Jim Livengood and UA football head coach Mike Stoops; a free concert from Sunday Afternoon and artist Eric Hutchinson; and the debut of “”Live from Bear Down Fridays,”” a live variety talk show aired simultaneously beside its studio.

    “”For the first couple years, it’s been growing,”” said Zona Zoo executive director David Roost. “”I feel like this year it’s finally begun to establish itself.””

    Today the Zona Zoo will host a public press conference in the Santa Cruz Room at the Student Union Memorial Center on the third floor at 4 p.m.

    “”This is what we’re going to be known for – that’s the most exciting part of this whole thing to me,”” said Roost, who has directed every year of Bear Down Fridays. “”We have the opportunity to be involved when it’s just gaining its roots, growing and developing.

    “”It’s going to be one of those events that’s going to define spirit at U of A one day,”” Roost added.

    Zona Zoo Crew sophomore Maddy Rundin, co-host of the television show, will pilot the first episode from its stage on University Boulevard, close to the Dunkin’ Donuts.

    Rundin expects the show to grow as the season progresses, and has plans to interview athletes and coaches from all sports, not just football and men’s basketball.

    “”I think it’s important because there really isn’t anything that makes one sport better than the other, it’s just in terms of popularity,”” Rundin said. “”They get a lot of media attention, just in general – they’re just more exposed.””

    Rundin plans to begin interviews with Roost, members of the Pride of Arizona marching band, and possibly even Livengood, she said.

    “”We talk about football and all the fall sports now, and basketball in winter, but it’s not just solely about the big three sports, it’s all around,”” Rundin said. “”I think it’s important these athletes get recognition, too.””

    Roost added: “”People are starting to understand – this isn’t something we’re just trying out. It’s hear to stay.””

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