July 13, 2010
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53 DAYS TO KICKOFF: He has never seen a Lamar football game, but Mike Friedman has heard about the Cardinals since arriving in Beaumont in 1998.
As sports director at KFDM-CBS Ch. 6, Friedman has fielded questions from nearly everyone in the Golden Triangle as to when, and if, football would return to Lamar University.
"From the moment I got here, people have asked me constantly if Lamar would bring back football," said Friedman. "To finally get to this point is really exciting for me. The return of football at Lamar is something that I have always wanted.
"I have just watched college football as more of a fan, but now to cover Division I football as part of my job, which I love, is fantastic."
Friedman, who graduated from Arizona State and watched football at its highest level in the Pac-10 Conference, knows the impact that having a college football team in Beaumont will have on the local high school athletes and the community.
"Lamar having a football team gives kids from the area a place to stay home and play. Ray (Woodard) has a lot of locals on his roster and that will be exciting for the community to watch."
Ironically, Friedman and KFDM are the CBS affiliate in Lake Charles and have adopted LU rival McNeese State as a hometown team, due in large part to the amount of Golden Triangle kids who have played for the Cowboys through the years.
KFDM, which will go live from Provost Umphrey Stadium on Sept. 11 when the Cardinals host Webber International in their first home game in 21 years, will now have a hometown team in Beaumont to cover.
The Texas State University System Board of Regents approved an athletics fee to restore the program in February of 2008 and named former NFL player Ray Woodard its eighth head coach on June 19, 2008.
Lamar will play an 11-game schedule this season, with six games being played in the newly renovated Provost Umphrey Stadium. The first home game will be against Webber International on Sept. 11.
Tickets for this historic season are currently on sale and can be purchased by calling the Lamar Ticket Office at (409) 880-1715 or by visiting the athletics Web site at www.lamarcardinals.com/tickets/footbl-s-tickets.html.