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Irish arrive in El Paso, festivities begin

Kelly Sombrero

While nasty weather across the country did its best to keep players traveling to Texas on their toes, the Irish arrived in El Paso and were welcomed by great crowds as Sun Bowl festivities begin. has a great mix of photos and videos, including a mariachi band welcome at the El Paso airport, a BBQ buffet and Talent Show that includes freshman Danny Spond playing the keyboard, Jamoris Slaughter rapping with Ian Williams supplying the beat, and Kona Schwenke, Justin Utupo, and Manti Te’o doing a Haka dance. (Personal highlight is head coach Brian Kelly donning the sombrero and directing the mariachi band...)

The Irish are set to square off with the Hurricanes in a bowling showdown before the big game, but I’ll keep the coverage here to mostly football. (If you’re looking for more great Sun Bowl coverage, and the El Paso Times Sun Bowl Mania page are your best bets.)

After a long wait and a great holiday, it’s the final game week of the season for the Irish. There’s plenty to talk about, so expect a lot more out of me before our final live-blog of the 2010 season.