Warriors Arrive in New Orleans

By Paul Drewes

NEW ORLEANS (KHNL) --  The Sugar Bowl is not only a huge deal to the University of Hawaii Warriors, its also very important to the city of New Orleans.

So the first team to arrive for the BCS game, got a big welcome in the Big Easy.

The Warriors sendoff was a warm one, with a distinctive island sound, and feeling of aloha complete with lei as Hawaii heads to New Orleans.

After a long overnight flight, it's a different city and a different sound.

Jazz music greets the team as they leave their chartered flight.

Giving them a warm welcome on this cool morning in the Big Easy.

But while the time zone and city has changed, some things haven't, like head coach June Jones' worry about the impact the hype for this big game will have on the players.

"It's going to be something our kids have never seen, it's going to be something like the superbowl atmosphere. They don't have any idea of the media, the hoopla that goes along with a big time BCS game. Its going to be a great experience, hopefully we get all of that out in the first 48 hours and then concentrate on football," said Jones.

The players have been practicing in Hawaii for their matchup with Georgia, but their focus has been football, and not all the other distractions of New Orleans.

"Practicing here you don't feel the pressure but once we get there, it will be all business," said Warrior Defensive Lineman, Keala Watson before the players boarded the plane on Christmas.

And as those same players got off the plane in New Orleans, their excitement showed across their faces as they prepare to play in the biggest game of their lives.

While the Warriors arrived in New Orleans first, the Georgia Bulldogs were the first to practice at the Superdome on Wednesday evening.