University of Southern California linebacker Tony Burnett, who has come under some criticism on the Internet for his remarks about playing in the Hyundai Sun Bowl and coming to El Paso, has issued an apology.
"Earlier today I made some tweets I regret," he wrote on his Twitter account Monday afternoon. "To the city of El Paso and representatives of the Hyundai Sun Bowl, I apologize for my remarks. My team and I are grateful for the opportunity to play in our first bowl game in three years and we are appreciative of all of the hard work that goes into making the game happen.
"What I tweeted was not representative of my team or my university. I sincerely apologize and hope my apology is taken at its word. I am excited for the bowl game and I hope we can give you a great show. Thank you for your support and Fight On! I am not perfect. When a mistake is made you apologize. it is the simplest complexity of life."
Earlier on Monday, tweeting under the name Benjamin S. Button, Burnett wrote "Georgia Tech!? El Paso, Texas!? New Years Eve!? FML" about the Dec. 31 Sun Bowl matchup. That tweet and two other tweets about El Paso that were posted early Monday were deleted in the afternoon. Editor's note: View the tweets in the picture above.
Earlier Monday, he also tweeted, "El Paso "if you never seen a real life giant tumbleweed get ready," and, "Well on the bright side get a chance to go out a winner so hey. Work my ass off 15 more times then one last go round in the card n gold."
Burnett's Twitter profile states, "I'm me n no social network will change that." Read his USC official bio here.
USC was ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press preseason poll and projected by some to contend for the national title. They did not qualify for a Bowl Championship Series bowl game and were invited to the Sun Bowl.
Some people aren't always happy with coming to El Paso to play a game, but sometimes their minds are changed.
Berry Tramel would not have been considered an ambassador for El Paso in 2009.
In the lead-up to that year's Sun Bowl, Tramel, a sports writer for The Oklahoman, said El Paso was "not a great tourist destination." He also said the city does not have great weather, and there are not a lot of things to do.
"El Paso might be a fine place to live, but I'm in no hurry to return," he wrote in 2009 as Oklahoma was getting ready to face Stanford in the Sun Bowl.
This time around, he was a bit more complimentary, even calling it a good trip.
"I enjoyed it. I hope to be back soon," Tramel wrote in his blog this past September after Oklahoma defeated UTEP (the University of Texas at El Paso) at the Sun Bowl.
Tramel wrote about Marty Robbins' ballad "El Paso," how it might be one of the best ballads ever written, and that it would make a great screenplay with just a few pieces of dialogue thrown in.
He said he has felt safe in El Paso but that looking over to Juarez, Mexico, he is reminded of the violence over there making it the "murder capital," as he called it.
He also called El Paso a suburb of Juarez and said it's strange to realize you're only a few hundred yards from a place "where the U.S. constitution loses its punch."
Maybe most perplexing, he called El Paso's Mexican food OK and said the Mexican food in Oklahoma is better. Tramel liked the sopapillas at Leo's Mexican restaurant and said he could eat 30 of them if he had gone to the restaurant on an empty stomach.
His colleague, Stephanie Kuzdym, the beat writer for the Sooners, posted several pictures and a couple of videos from the trip, saying she loved how the Sun Bowl is carved into the mountain.