Video: Blue Raiders talk Christmas movies, presents, and traditions


Photo by Tyler Lamb / Sports Editor

For the second consecutive year, the Middle Tennessee football team will be playing in a Christmas Eve bowl game. After dropping last year’s Bahamas Bowl to Western Michigan, the team is looking to redeem themselves with a win this Saturday against Hawaii in the Hawaii Bowl.

In the spirit of the holidays, Sidelines Sports Editor Tyler Lamb met with a few of the team’s biggest names to talk about subjects other than football. The group reminisced and shared memories of the Christmas season that stretch far greater than the field.

Being away from home on Christmas can be annoying, but for some, the idea has become the norm.

“It’s normal for me, got used to it,” said Mathers. “At the same time, I wish I could be home or the family could come. But they are going to support me, they’ll watch the game and tell other family members to watch the game as well.”

Not being with family on Dec. 25 means missing out on a big dinner. For D.J. Sanders, that may be the hardest part of traveling back on Christmas day.

“We always have a big meal on Christmas at my house. All my family comes there,” said Sanders. “I’m probably going to be missing the cake the most. My mom always asks me what kind of cake I want, even if I’m not going to be there. And maybe they’ll save me a plate, I’m hoping they save me a plate…but I’m not expecting one.”

There will be time for Sander’s to eat his cake and for the guys to celebrate the day with their families after they get back. But for now, the team has their sights set on bringing home a trophy.

“I feel like my family kept me high-spirited,” said senior defensive tackle Raynard Felton. “They know this is my last bowl game, and personally I wanted my family to attend it because last year we went to the Bahamas. They never complained or anything. They said ‘Go ahead, and we’ll watch it.’ It’s a big game in Hawaii and very exciting, so I feel like our families have accepted it, and we have to go out there and make them proud.

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To contact Sports Editor Tyler Lamb (@Tlamb35), email

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