Photos & story by Herman Delgado
Every year around Thanksgiving, many local football fans start asking, “Who do you think is coming to this year’s Sun Bowl game?” You have those that go into statistics and really dwell into the details about their predictions. And then you have those that really don’t care what teams come to play in the big game, they simply look forward to the Sun Bowl game every year because it’s an El Paso tradition.
In steps Eddie Morelos, Media Relations Director for the Sun Bowl Association, a position he has held since August 2015. A 2006 NMSU graduate, Morelos earned a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with an emphasis in public relations. Morelos has played sports or been involved in sports since his Lordsburg high school days going back to 1997. He excelled in all sports, and the fact that his current position entails sports make life that much sweeter. “I’ve done this type of work since 2005, as a student at NMSU,” said Morelos. “I never envisioned doing this growing up. I wanted to be a teacher and a coach…I wanted to teach English and coach basketball and football.” As I sit in Morelos’ office, I notice the many football helmets and football memorabilia on his shelves, desk, and tables. You could say these helmets describe the many helmets Morelos wears to have success at his job. By having success at his job, simply makes life easier for the Association’s QB…Bernie Olivas, Executive Director at Sun Bowl Association. Just like in the game of football, having a positive team, great teamwork and communication make the quarterback’s job that much easier.
Many fans who attend this yearly El Paso tradition have no idea of the planning and preparation that goes into putting on an event of this magnitude. Planning, scheduling, meetings, appearances, and fundraising, to name a few of the ingredients that go into the yearly Sun Bowl game is unbelievable. Traditionally the game has always taken place on December 31st, but the planning for that day starts on January 1st of every year. “Planning starts on January 1st… return equipment that was rented, review receipts, look over budgets, review session, and just like that… comes March,” said Morelos. “We then start looking at all our year plans…Sun Court coronation, the Thanksgiving Day parade, a flag football tournament, punt-pass-kick competition…it’s a year-long process. I have to do approvals through the website, create a basketball program, respond to e-mails, meet with pre-party teams that show up….I love it, I really do love this job!”
The game was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic, but fortunately Kellogg stepped up and were able to cover many of the costs associated with the cancellation of the game. “We’re very blessed as an organization, because we have a really great title sponsor in Kellogg and they were able to pay employees that were supposed to work the game,” said Morelos. “We were also able to qualify with some loans because of our non-profit status. The biggest thing we have here is the support from our community and the many sponsors…and again, especially Kellogg. Without this support we would not be at this point to prepare for this game this year.” Morelos also credits Ft. Bliss and the entire military community for their continued success. “We have a great relationship with Ft. Bliss and staying connected to them is very important to us…keeping the soldiers involved. People are buying a lot of the ‘Salute a Soldier’ program and hopefully a lot of soldiers show up.”
When Morelos is not in his office on Pinnacle Street, you can find him in working the clock and keeping the score book at El Paso Chihuahuas games. With a laugh he adds, “My official title is ‘Field clock coordinator’…I get to watch so much baseball and I really enjoy it.”
When he’s not at Chihuahuas’ games you will find him behind the broadcasting table keeping stats at UTEP or NMSU basketball games, or up in the press box inputting stats for UTEP football, you will also find him hosting Sports-N-More Podcast, a hobby he recently picked up and enjoys doing. What Morelos enjoys most is keeping stats, “I do a lot of stating, I’ve worked two national championship games for college football with the media relations crew, and I’m hoping they invite me back this year,” said Morelos.
In his off time, Morelos enjoys watching baseball. “I’m a big time Chicago Cubs fan…I’m a baseball guy! I’m a Bears fan, LA Lakers fan, and over the past five years I’ve really enjoyed watching soccer,” said Morelos. He not only enjoys covering and watching sports, but Morelos also stays busy in maintaining his health and physical conditioning at his home gym in Doña Ana, NM. This Aggie practices what he preaches. Aside from his busy work schedule and social life, he loves talking about his 20-year-old son, Victor Marcos Ramirez, who will be graduating from the University of New Mexico in May 2022. “A proud Lobo!” adds Morelos. “We have a great relationship and I’m very proud of all his accomplishments.” With that said, we shake hands and I leave him alone as he’s got to get back into the huddle with his QB and his Association teammates…there’s many things to get done before the day ends.