MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - This year, Christmas will look a little different for the Memphis Tigers football team. Instead of being at home with family, they will be spending the holidays with their teammates in Texas.
For the Tigers this week is all about football, but it’s also Christmas in a couple days. And the Tigers talked about how all they need is each other -- their Tiger family for the holiday season.
Monday the Tigers held their first practice inside AT&T Stadium. Over the next couple days these teammates will spend every minute together. It won’t be a traditional Christmas, but it will be one spent with family.
“This is our family down here. I’ve said it all along. We got our entire family here," said head coach Ryan Silverfield. "We’re not always blood, but we live and die together for this. We’re grateful to spend Christmas together as a family and the holidays as a family.”
The players say the Cotton Bowl experience and achieving their biggest dreams together as a team is the only gift they want for Christmas.
“We’re one big family that’s our biggest emphasis on the team," said Jacobi Francis, Tigers defensive back. "And I’m just blessed to be here with my brothers and coaches, that’s a big a Christmas present for us as well.”
“Growing up this is what you dream of, so this is a Christmas gift itself like Jacobi said so we’re very happy to be here," said Tigers Quarterback Brady White.
Many Memphians will be opening Christmas gifts, spending time with family on Christmas Day. I asked the team if they had any special plans for Christmas, they told me on that day, they’re going to be hosting practice here in AT&T Stadium which is a present itself.