The Cowboys start their training camp on Saturday in Oxnard, Calif. Dez Bryant wants to have some fun before that, so he’s organizing what appears to be the social event of the summer in East Texas or anywhere else: a massive kickball party.
On Wednesday, Bryant posted on an unofficial Facebook page:
I'll be in Lufkin tomorrow...BBQ..Drinks all on me..also I want to play kick ball so we need to form some teams ..I'm trying to figure out which park has the most space to set all of this up at...any suggestions on parks hit my inbox...trying to have fun before I head back to camp...
EVERYONE free to join
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Lufkin, Texas, is Bryant’s hometown, about two hours north of Houston.
It’s turning into a massive event.
It turns out that lots of people in Texas would like to have free smoked meat and drinks and play kickball with an All-Pro Cowboys receiver. Bryant posted his note around lunchtime, and his invitation spread like wildfire. It had been shared more than 2,000 times before midnight. It appears lots of people are going to show up.
Bryant apparently dropped much cash on all the food. In a follow-up message, he wrote that he’d spent “$13k on BBQ” and added, “y’all better be hungry.”
The number had risen to $16,000 about an hour later.
“Act up and get a first class trip to jail,” Bryant wrote in another post, urging everyone to behave well at the public park where he’ll hold the event.
“On my life I didn't ask for no media attention...I just wanted to have fun with my people,” Bryant added. (Dez: I am sorry about writing this post. That you are putting on a big summer party in your hometown that’s open to everyone is genuinely great.)
The Lufkin News touched base with a local government official, who sounds pumped.
Mike Akridge, director of Lufkin Parks and Recreation, said several representatives for Bryant called him late Wednesday afternoon to determine the best place to hold the event. With its spacious parking, Kit McConnico was the best choice for what will "probably be a big crowd," Akridge said.
With only one day's notice to prepare the park, city officials are "going to do what we can" to make it look as good as possible, Akridge said.
"I think it's a great thing," Akridge said. "He's coming back to his hometown, and he's going to give back, let people see him and get to meet him, and bring some food for people — it should be fun for everybody.
"It's going to be a big day. I hope they show up," Akridge said with a laugh. "It'll be a good one."
A Houston barbecue is supplying the grub:
I don’t live in East Texas. If I did, I’d easily attend this event. It sounds awesome.