A college team inspired by the Dallas Cowboys and willing to bus thousands of miles to play football is heading to North Texas on Thursday.
“They didn’t want to stop at the hotel to take a shower, take a nap and relax,” said Hugo R. Martinez and one of the presidents of a football game called Global Clasico. “They wanted to go straight to Arlington and see the stadium. So they’re incredibly excited about that.”
On Saturday, August 27, the Texas Wesleyan University Rams will open the football season by taking on Arkansas State University’s Queretaro Campus at Farrington Field in Fort Worth. The Global Clasico will be the first time the city of Fort Worth has hosted an international college football game.
“I said to a lot of people, yes, it’s a football game, but in the end, whatever the score is at the end of this game, that’s not what matters,” Martinez said. “What’s important is giving these Texas Wesleyan and Querétaro players that cultural exchange, to connect with people who may come from a different background but who have similar interests, that is, to say the love of football. It’s just amazing to me how a sport like football can unite two incredible cultures to make this happen.”
The Red Wolves are student-athletes from a branch of Arkansas State University in central Mexico, the first Mexican university to offer the American model of education.
“All courses are in English but also if you graduate from this university, your degree is recognized in the United States. So students graduating from this university will come to the United States and use the degree they obtained in Mexico .” says Martinez.
And just like the parent university in Jonesboro, the Querétaro campus has a football team.
“It’s American-style football, pigskin, helmets and pads,” Martinez said. “In recent years, American football has become more and more popular in Mexico and I think it’s because of the Dallas Cowboys. The Dallas Cowboys go to Mexico City and play at the Estadio Azteca. And the young boys and girls grow up watching them play in Mexico, like here in the DFW area, and I think Mexican kids have really fallen in love with football the American way, not only do they watch it and are huge Cowboys fans, but they have also started playing there at the high school level.”
When Martinez asked the Red Wolves manager what his side would like to do when they come to town, he didn’t hesitate to offer an answer. They wanted to visit Team USA’s home at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
“I said, I’ll see what I can do and I helped facilitate that. And I’m glad I did because I think it’s going to be one of the most memorable things they’ll do. in town in addition to playing in this fantastic game,” said Martínez.
Mexican players travel to Texas at their own expense. There was no budget to fly the team, so they chartered a bus to travel nearly 1,000 miles in 20 hours. They left on Wednesday and will arrive Thursday morning.
The Red Wolves and Rams will play the Global Clasico on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Farrington Field. Martinez is hoping for a large crowd at this historic event. Tickets are available here.
“Come on out and show these kids that we love the sport and that we’re going to support any team that comes this far, and welcome them to Fort Worth.”