Celebrating ACC Football: Friday, December 5
Dec. 5, 2008
Hello everybody. This is your source for (almost) every event in Tampa, leading up to the 2008 Dr Pepper ACC Championship Game. I am Stuart Smith, the website intern, and I am hosting/posting this blog... and there is A LOT going on today!
We will be providing photo galleries and blog entries from many of the events around Tampa today. Also, we will let you in on a few secrets from behind the scenes!
Today features a community outreach event, the ACC Awards Luncheon, the Toast to the Atlantic Coast and the Night of Legends. Check back often, as new material will be added all day.
Toast to the Atlantic Coast
10:00 p.m. - I just returned from the "Toast to the Atlantic Coast," the fan event the evening before the game. Everyone there was having a great time and I really met some characters. They had a mascot jousting competition, a D.J. and both bands and cheerleaders performing.
I talked with several Virginia Tech fans while they were waiting for the band to appear. They had driven through the night last night to get here. They left Blacksburg at 5 p.m. and got to Tampa at 7 a.m. And they made one member of the group drive the entire time! He had left Luray, Va., a few hours before meeting the other two in Blacksburg. They were having a great time. They traveled to as many games as possible - they had already been to the East Carolina game (in Charlotte) and the Florida State game (in Tallahassee).
While I was waiting for the trolley to get back to the car, I struck up a conversation with a couple from Boston College. They have had season tickets for four years, ever since the Eagles joined the ACC. They were at BC's first ACC game against Florida State and were amazed (and still are) at the passion of ACC football fans. They had never really traveled to a football game before, usually staying within the friendly confines of Alumni Stadium. They decided last Saturday to come down, using frequent flyer miles and hotel points. They got in on Wednesday and have been seeing all of the sites in Tampa.
One interesting note: I polled 10 people - five Boston College fans and five Virginia Tech fans - about the final score tomorrow. The vote strictly followed party lines, with everyone projecting a close game. Every person polled thought the losing team would score 17 points, with the winning team scoring between 20 and 25. It will be interesting to see the score after tomorrow's game.
Other activities at the Toast to the Atlantic Coast featured a jousting tournament between the mascots of the ACC (Boston College and Virginia Tech tied - I don't think that will happen tomorrow). Both bands performed, and when the D.J. started playing, the mascots danced the night away - everything from the Cha-Cha Slide to the YMCA.
A photo gallery from the event will be available shortly!
2:00 p.m. - I was at the ACC Awards Luncheon, and it was a great experience. All of the award winners that have been announced on theACC.com over the past week were there. Brad Nessler was the emcee, and he was joined by the broadcast team for tomorrow's game: Brian Griese, Paul Maguire and Todd Harris.
Lunch featured a salad, chicken, mashed potatos and vegetables. And thanks to Kris Pierce for ordering oreo cheesecake for dessert!
After lunch and the awards presentation, the broadcast crew joined Coach Jagodzinski and Coach Beamer on the stage for a quick, and somewhat humorous question and answer period. Both coaches are looking forward to tomorrow's game.
You can find the links for all of the award winners here:
Noon - The game show "Are You Smarter than an ACC Mascot?" turned out to be a huge success! The mascots split up into their two divisions, The Coastal Division vs. The Atlantic Division. Then several middle school students from Hillsborough County School System joined them to determine whose academic strengths were the best. It was neck in neck, as both teams answered questions correctly. But in the end, the Atlantic Division reigned supreme! Shortly after the game show, the middle schoolers grabbed some lunch and headed for games and entertainment provided by the Official Corporate Partners of the ACC.
You too can enjoy the same fun & games tomorrow for free! Just stop by ACC FanFest anytime between 9:30am - 1pm. You're guaranteed to have a blast!
11:00 a.m. - We had some great questions from the crowd such as, "How much can you bench press?" directed at Virginia's offence lineman Eugene Monroe (#75) who replied, "I guess about 450 lbs, but it's taken me 21 years of practice." One middle schooler asked Georgia Tech senior defenseive tackle Darryl Richard (#95), "Hey #95, can I keep your jersey?" Richard's, who will receive his MBA in May, laughed and said, "I wish! If I gave it to you though, I might not get my degree and that's really important." Not only do these student-athletes excel on the field and in the class room, we found out that they are also talented dancers. Who would have known? Q&A session ended with a big dance party to the Cupid Shuffle...go times!
10:30 a.m. - Our mascots have done a fabulous job entertianing the crowd! They've hammed it up between back flip contests and photo ops with the kids. In just a moment, we're going to have some Q & A time with our Football Award Winners. Area Tampa students will have a chance to ask these ACC student athletes questions about college life, football and what they've done to achieve their dreams.
10:00 a.m. - Excitment is building outside of Raymond James Stadium. I'm across the street at ACC Outreach and we have about 350 students eagerly awaiting the arrival of several special guests, including 12 ACC Mascots and our 2008 ACC Football award winners. Rumor has it that the Atlantic Division Mascots are taking on the Coastal Division Mascots in a gameshow called, "Are You Smarter than an ACC Mascot?" Stay tuned for more updates!