Hey Wolf Pack fans, This is John Bender, I am a 5th year senior offensive linemen for the Wolf Pack. You’ve probably seen me at games, I’m #62. I’ve been asked to blog about my experience at the Kraft Fight Hunger bowl, I am somewhat experienced blogger and I hope you enjoy my daily entries.
January 5, 2011.
Our team landed in San Francisco last night, we were welcomed by the bowl committee and checked in at the Westin St. Francis Hotel. I knew this was going to be much different than other bowl games when there was a camera crew waiting for us at the airport and another one waiting for us as soon as we got off the bus at the hotel in San Francisco. I can tell you during my last 4 bowl trips, neither of those things happened. The committee went over rules and regulations with us, told us what areas to check out around downtown San Francisco and which areas to steer clear of, they also introduced us to a lot of the people who work behind the scenes on the bowl game, it was nice for us as players to see everyone who makes this bowl game happen.
After dinner we were given free time for several hours and a lot of us had the opportunity to explore a bit of the city, personally I went out with a couple of the other olineman and checked out a few of the shops around downtown for clothes, and myself and others also made sure to find time to have a clam chowder bread bowl here as well. We then checked back into our hotel were given our bed time snacks to pick up and headed to bed.
The Westin St. Francis is a very old yet very nice hotel, the first thing I thought about when I walked into this hotel was it was like out of a movie or something, with big ball rooms everywhere and huge stair cases, chandeliers…etc.
Today we had practice at one of the local Junior colleges. The time off in between games for us has been awfully long, and as players this whole process gets monotonous. Hitting each other all day every day gets old pretty quick. We’re definitely ready to hit somebody else, who’s not our teammate. We all want to turn that scoreboard on and play a real game as quickly as possible. Only a few more days until we get that opportunity, and we’re all very excited for it.
This evening we went to Pier 39 as a team and went to Players, there we had a big meal, of course, and we were given free tokens to play as many of the arcade games there as we wanted for an hour or so. Colin Kaepernick broke the record in the qb challenge football toss and amassed a whopping 700 points, when I heard about this, I had to challenge him and our game was Colin 680 points, me 260 points. It wasn’t very close, but I figured I had a good chance to beat him, haha. I did however beat Chad Hartley our Media Services expert for the Wolf Pack.
I got my revenge with Kap later, we played the hoops fever basketball challenge, where you have to score as many points as you can in 40 seconds, I got my revenge there beating him 55-25 or something, it wasn’t close, haha. We all had a lot of fun though, it really brings out our competitive side and you could definitely see the guys were enjoying themselves. We’re back now and currently a lot of the guys are enjoying free time and checking in with their family and friends as well.
Today was also our Tight Ends/ OL assistant coach James Spady’s birthday. We made sure to mention it as many times as possible to him today, and a bunch of the olinemen even got a surprise birthday sundae sent his way at dinner where we all joined in for probably one of his favorite renditions of happy birthday he’s ever heard.
Tomorrow is more practice, and then as a team we’re going to alcatraz!
So all in all it’s been a great first 2 days for us at the bowl game and we all know that we need to practice hard and the only way to make this bowl trip truly memorable is to finish it the right way, with a W on Sunday.
Hope you enjoyed the blog entry today.
John W. Bender