It's crunch time here in OrlaNDo. Tomorrow is the day the Irish have been waiting for since they fell to Stanford in Palo Alto on Nov. 26.
With only about thirty hours until game time, the team headed out to the Hilton Orlando Hotel for the Champs Sports Bowl kickoff luncheon. They will have a short break at the team hotel later this afternoon, before a trip to the Citrus Bowl Stadium for a final walkthrough and team photo.
As I wrote about yesterday, both the Irish and the Florida State Seminoles visited Give Kids The World village on Tuesday morning. It was not only a great service event, but also a way for the teams to enjoy some time together for a good cause before they clash on the field on Thursday.
The "Our Team, Our Story" video above highlights some of the activities that the players participated in, but also provides a glimpse of the very entertaining dance-off that broke out between the teams. Several of the players showed off their moves during the "Cupid Shuffle" and "Teach Me How to Dougie," with Brandon Newman, Cierre Wood and Theo Riddick stealing the show.
Bowl games always give gift packages to the players from each team, often including an assortment of clothing and electronics. For this year's Champs Sports Bowl, each player received a gift card to Best Buy, and the Irish went on their shopping spree last night after dinner. It was awfully entertaining to see over 100 Irish football players enter Best Buy at once, like kids in a candy store, trying to decide what to purchase.
With no academic responsibilities during the semester break, the Irish have certainly had their share of fun this week, but they've also balanced it with their usual football activities, meetings and practices. Though today is only Wednesday on the calendar, it's a Friday in the eyes of the team. Right now they're focused on one task and one task only - beating Florida State tomorrow, closing out 2011 with a W and heading into the new year with momentum for the 2012 season.
- Josh Flynt ('11)