Army

December 6, 2013

Bringing the gridiron to ‘the box’

Tags:
Les Ozawa and Gustavo Bahena
Public Affairs Office, NTC and Fort Irwin

Soldiers, Families part of FOX NFL Thanksgiving broadcast from NTC training area

Fort Irwin Soldiers and Family members atop an M1 Abrams tank yell out a cheer during a FOX NFL Sunday pre-game show. The show was broadcast live from a National Training Center training village before the Thanksgiving Day NFL game between the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers.

There’s nothing like football on Thanksgiving – it’s a national tradition. This year, Fox Sports invited the Soldiers and Families of the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., to share in that long standing custom.

On Thanksgiving Day, Fox Sports conducted a live pre-game broadcast from the NTC training area, known as “the box.” The 1995 Heisman Trophy winner, Eddy George, and sports analyst Jay Glazer were on hand to banter between Fox Sports Los Angeles and the Fort Irwin crowd of about a thousand people.

Soldiers got a chance to shoot questions to Fox hosts Howie Long and Terry Bradshaw in Los Angeles during the pre-game production.

The NTC and Fort Irwin commander, Brig. Gen. Ted Martin, attended with his family and told a TV audience of some 30 million football fans that he has “the best job on the planet” commanding the NTC, during an on-air interview with George. Martin also gave a huge shout-out to the installation’s Soldiers and community.

“We have the best Soldiers and best Families in the Army!” Martin exclaimed, eliciting a huge cheer from the crowd.

The Fort Irwin audience joined the nation to watch the Green Bay Packers play the Detroit Lions on what turned out to be a warm and sunny autumn day in the High Desert.

“FOX NFL Sunday has had a long and storied tradition of honoring all the brave men and women, who serve our great country,” said FOX NFL Sunday coordinating producer Bill Richards in a press release. “This day and time of year marks another opportunity for us to give thanks and show these individuals how much we appreciate all they do for us.”

FOX Sports coordinating producer Jennifer Pransky said that FOX has travelled all over the world to broadcast segments with the military and described the NTC as unique.

“This venue is by far the most visually interesting, and of course the enthusiasm makes this even more appealing,” Pransky said.

At half-time, George and Glazer moved to a Fort Irwin Dining Facility to tape an on-air segment with Soldiers in the serving line and took some time out to have Thanksgiving dinner before returning to “the box” for post-game production and autograph signing.

“We’ll never forget this Thanksgiving,” Glazer told the crowd as they closed the show.




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