Check out the photos at the bottom of the page and email me with any questions, comments or ideas - firstname.lastname@example.org. Here is a photo of one of the roller coasters at Busch Gardens that the players were able to enjoy Saturday.
11:00 p.m. ET
After a hot day at practice with defensive players available for interviews at the end, some of the players headed out to Busch Gardens for the rest of the day. The players were treated by the park with groups getting led around by a staff member and given privilege to cut the lines and get to the front seats in all the big rides.
Being the snake I am, I was right there with the players who were getting filmed by Thad Jackson from our video services staff. The rides were great and the players had lots of fun roaming around and hitting up the different rides and activities. Since we didn’t get there until a little later in the day we didn’t stay all that long and were unable to see most of what Busch Gardens had to offer.
Thad just arrived today along with Erin (our third and final blogger) and the rest of the secondary travel party. I would like to give a special shout out to Todd Nelson (Event Management) and Bill Nayes (Football Operations) for the unbelievable job they did over the past month with all the travel planning and arrangements for the team, band and staff.
I would have posted this earlier but we grabbed some dinner after getting back from a long day of practice and Busch Gardens. So I apologize to all the fans out there that were waiting around their computers all evening for the next posts … it won’t happen again (but I was really hungry).
Well that’s all for tonight, but I’ll check back in tomorrow before practice and Beach Day over at Clearwater beach tomorrow.
2:20 p.m. ET
Out at practice now and trying to follow the Wisconsin-Texas men’s basketball game on their live stats (seems like a pretty exciting game) FLOWERS for 3 and the Badgers win!!!!
Alright back to football. After we were scheduled for 20 5-minute periods, Coach B decided to trim it back since the guys went pretty hard yesterday (but he didn’t tell them until the start of practice) the guys got a nice mental boost and went at it hard for an hour in their last day of half-pack practice this year.
Thank goodness we went short because it was by far the hottest day of practice this week. Mid-80’s and not an ounce of shade.
After practice we are going to head over to Busch Gardens and enjoy the rest of the day at the Tampa theme park. I’ll put up some photos from it later tonight.
I spent a little time with the training staff today talking about their regular day on the job. They get up early and start taping ankles and wrapping up guys who have sore parts in their own make-shift training room at the hotel.
The crew, consisting of two doctors, a dentist, three trainers and a number of student trainers then pack up for the practice site, bringing all their equipment with them. While at practice the students provide the players with water, tape and pretty much anything else that comes up throughout the day.
The doctors are on hand in case something dreadful would happen and someone got seriously injured. After practice the trainers provide ice and wraps for anybody that needs them and makes sure that all the players are healthy and ready to go afterwards.
Alright, hope everyone enjoys the basketball win and check back later for a report on the rest of the day.
11:10 a.m. ET
After another long delay without a post here it is. After practice we had a quick turnaround before going to the GameWorks Arcade. The players had a blast playing video games and eating all the food they wanted.
There were a crazy number of games to play everything from interactive racing to old-school air hockey. The Wisconsin-Tennessee battle got going a little early as players from opposing teams we squaring off for some early bragging rights.
I’ve gotten a few questions on the night life here in Tampa so I figured I’d finally give in and share. The players did not have any curfew for the first three nights here in Tampa (including last night). From now until the game, the players will have a curfew to make sure they are getting fully prepared for the Outback Bowl.
Tampa has a lot of “extra-cirricular” activities to partake in. Ybor City is kind of like Madison’s State Street with tons of shops, restaurants and bars, while Channelside offers a wide variety of restaurants and shops. The players have buses available to them from the hotel to take them wherever they would like to go.
Enough about yesterday, time to move onto a busy Saturday. At 9:00 this morning Justin and I joined Bill Nayes (Football Operations) and John Chadima (Associate AD) for the Outback Bowl operations meeting over at Raymond James Stadium. Staff from each part of the gameday functions was on hand to go over the gameday activities and to make sure everyone had what they needed and is prepared for Tuesday.
After the hour meeting we headed back to the hotel and had a little time before practice (time for me to sit down and do some blogging). Justin is going to take coach Bielema over to the media hotel for a press conference at noon and then meet the team and myself over at Jefferson High School for practice at 1:15 p.m.
Practice looks like it’s going to be a little shorter today since the guys went pretty long and pretty hard yesterday in the hot sun. After practice the guys will be bussed right over to Busch Gardens for an afternoon of roller coasters and fun. I think I’ll try talking to somebody from the Athletic Training staff today at practice and give you a little better feel of what they do on a daily basis.