December 22, 2007
During our free time yesterday, practically everyone went to the beach and enjoyed the beautiful Pacific Ocean. Some guys snorkeled, others swam and played catch, and a few guys hopped on some surf boards and gave that a try. It was great to be able to relax for a short while in the sun. We had a team meeting after that where coach was praising our GPA's and how commending those who have improved so much. He really was excited that we are becoming great student-athletes.
We had our formal banquet last night, and it was put on here at the hotel. The food, once again, was great! There were huge steaks and mashed potatoes with a football cake for dessert to top it all off. I cannot compliment our meals and those who have prepared them nearly enough, truly great at what they do. The program at the banquet was honoring four key people that helped in the bowl game preparation this year. They were awarded the "Steersman" paddle, as a symbol for the most important crew member in the boat. The banquet was short and sweet holding to Hawaiian custom and we had a bit of free time last night.
There were several guys who shopped along the main strip last night and watched the street performers. One guy made this absolutely gorgeous painting in 10 minutes out of strictly spray paint and tape (he would stick the wet paint and remove to layer the colors). Another was painted all silver and if you put money in his jar, would begin to break dance, etc. As I was walking back towards the hotel last night, I noticed a large crowd gathered on the main corner. I was lucky enough to catch the grand finale of this man's show. I saw six people bent at the waist arching their backs, shoulder to shoulder, and then the show host riling everyone up and taking a spot next to them. All of a sudden a blur comes and jumps, does a front flip over all seven people! We need to sign him up, ha-ha.
We were able to sleep in until about 10:30 this morning, and it was incredible considering we had bed check at 11 last night. We hopped on our busses and headed to Outback for a catered lunch, very good, as usual. After that, we had a bit of free time and most of the guys lazed around and watched TV or took a nap. We then headed to our final walk-through before the game at the stadium. After we went through all of our last minute on the field preparations, the coaches played the second annual touch football bowl game. Surprisingly Coach Holtz' team, the defense, won for the second year in a row.
We left the stadium and headed back to our hotel, had enough time to run up to our rooms for a second before heading back downstairs to dinner. After dinner we had position meetings and this really is where everyone's focus has turned off of all the distractions and onto playing/winning a great football game.
This will be my last written blog, as the conclusion to this miniseries will be played tomorrow at 8 p.m. local time. It has been a joy to try to convey what's been going on here, to all of our fans elsewhere, but its time to prepare my mind on the imminent task at hand. Thanks for reading the post about me and my teammates.