It was another day in San Francisco, I can tell you that all of us are just itching to play this game already. We’ve had about enough of these banquets and bowl festivities and want to get out on that field, hear the roar of the crowd and watch that opening kickoff take place and know that it’s game time!
Until then we all just have to wait in anticipation and go through these bowl events. Today we mixed things up a little bit and had practice in the afternoon, we had our last practice at Laney Junior College which is a nice facility, but I can tell you we’re all excited we don’t have to put our pads on, get on the bus and take the bus trip out there anymore, we’re a little bit closer to game time and the anticipation is building. I feel like I’ve gone through fall camp all over again and I’m waiting for the first game of the season, we’ve practiced, practiced and practiced, and all you want to do is fill up a stadium with people, turn a scoreboard on and hit somebody who isn’t on your team, in a situation where everything matters.
This morning we had our usual schedule of breakfast, followed by meetings, and then we had an hour and a half or so of free time around 10:30, I was lucky enough to get a nap in, when you get to week 20 or so of the football season, I feel like at any time of the day I can take an hour or 2 hour nap without a problem.
At noon today we had our Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Kickoff Luncheon, we met a lot of the sponsors and people who put the bowl together, as well it was our first real experience with being in the same room with Boston College. Us players wore slacks and our game jerseys. So it was very easy to recognize who people were. We could eye out some guys we saw on film, say he’s bigger than I thought, or maybe he’s not quite as big as I thought he would be and get a good long look at the people we will be lining up against come Sunday. Each team had their coach speak and 2 guest speakers, Boston College had Herzlich and Costanzo speak. We had Kap and Vai get up there and talk for a little bit. All speakers did a good job and it was interesting to hear what they had to say. I was surprised to hear Costanzo was a Rhodes Scholar candidate, and that Kap was expecting upwards of 400 people from Turlock making the trip to this bowl game. In typical Kaepernick fashion, he directed all questions away from his pro career and told everyone he is only focused on this game.
After practice was over we got back to the hotel cleaned up, had dinner at 6 and then we had free time until 10. We don’t get a lot of this free time, so it comes as a valuable commodity. It seems like everyones family is here and I am no exception. I went out to fishermans warf tonight with some family members, my mom, aunt, uncle and cousin are all here in town to see my last college game. It almosts seems surreal when we’re doing all these things now, I can tell in my family members eyes, they’re sad it’s ending and they’ve enjoyed the experience I think as much as I have. I can tell you there are an awful lot of Wolf Pack fans up north of the border in Canada. I think literally every game this year except for Louisiana Tech (it’s a little far from Canada I suppose) I signed tickets for people to come watch me play. At the Idaho game I signed 26 tickets, I also had 16 at the Boise St game. As players we each get an allotment of tickets for each game, and every game I was always asking around for tickets, and all the guys would say “Bender who do you know that wants to come to that game?” Theres a lot of Wolf Pack fans in Canada, so I guess Wolf Pack Nation has gone international to a certain extent.
Just now when I was walking up to the hotel I was bombarded at the door by Wolf Pack fans in the street all very excited about the game and very excited to see me. A few of the fans even stopped me and called me “the blogger.” haha. But its been great to see the pack fans take over San Francisco and I hope to see more in the next few days!
Hope you enjoyed the blog today.
John W. Bender