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Alabama Spends Christmas in Shreveport



SHREVEPORT, La. - The University of Alabama football team was in Shreveport, La. on Christmas day. The team practiced for the first time on Sunday after arriving in Shreveport yesterday for the 2006 Petro Sun Independence Bowl.

The Tide players were in helmets and shoulder pads this afternoon for a two-hour practice in the cold, damp weather at Independence Bowl Stadium.

"That is kind of what bowl practice is supposed to be like," said interim head coach Joe Kines. "We had a lot of zip in our step today. I thought we jumped around pretty good. The guys concentrated real well after having a couple of days off. It was kind of exciting to practice on Christmas. Not many of the guys have ever done that before."

When asked about whether or not the team had a smooth practice or not, coach Kines replied by saying,"The opponent we are playing takes care of that. Anytime you are playing a quality opponent practice always picks up. Our youngsters can watch film. They have been at this thing long enough to know when somebody is good and Oklahoma State is certainly a quality football team so practice went pretty good." 

Following practice the Crimson Tide players and staff gathered for Christmas dinner at the hotel and the players then had the option of going to a movie or staying in the hotel.

Alabama will practice at the same time tomorrow and will wrap up its preparation on Wednesday. The game against Oklahoma State will take place Thursday, Dec. 28 at 3:30 p.m. (CT) and will be televised by ESPN.