Family rings true for Bell brothers

By Charles Renning
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, October 14, 2005

Football players 'as close as you can get'

For Arizona football players Travis and Tanner Bell, every weekend during the football season is Family Weekend.

When the Wildcats take on Stanford tomorrow at 4 p.m. as part of the university's Family Weekend, it won't feel that much different for the Bell pair because whether the team is in Salt Lake City, Los Angeles or Tucson, parents Tim and Tracey Bell are there to support their sons.

"We put everything on the Visa," Tracey said, adding that the price is worth it to see Tanner and Travis play together.

"They learned that life is a precious thing and family is important," she said. "We always told them that all they have is each other."

The Bell brothers joined forces on the football field last season when tight end Travis committed to Arizona and redshirted his freshman season.

"They feel very blessed to be able to play together and play at this level," Tracey said.

Although the pair is only two years apart in age, they were three years apart in school and never played on the same football team, although they played together regularly in basketball.

"When (Arizona) called and gave me the offer to come here, I took it as quickly as I could," Travis said. "I've always wanted to play with him."

Tracey said Travis was recruited by a number of different schools but chose the Wildcats because of Tanner, who has played a significant role on the Wildcat's offensive line the last four seasons.

"He always wanted to play football with his brother," she said. "That was just a dream come true."

The Bell brothers are so close that they bought a house together in Tucson and live as roommates.

"We're pretty much as close as you can get," Travis said.

Tracey said it was nice to have the pair at the same university for both personal and financial reasons.

She said sending her youngest child, Travis, off to college was easier knowing Tanner would be in Tucson to help him out.

"He showed me everything I needed to do. He backed me up on everything," Travis said. While the Bell family continues to be supportive of one another on and off the field, the Bell parents have also taken on a role with the team.

Tracey said the couple often brings cookies and candies for the other players and treats players whose parents can't make it to all the games as extended family.

Tim and Tracey planned on arriving in Phoenix today around 6:30 p.m., driving to Tucson and spending as much time with their sons as possible. Tracey said that only amounts to a couple hours a weekend because of Travis and Tanner's football commitments.

"We're kind of at the mercy of their schedule," she said.

Tracey said the couple hopes to cook for their sons on Sunday when they have a little free time, but any time together is important to all of them.