The winner of tomorrow's 2010 Military Bowl will take home this trophy.
Dec. 28, 2010
For the final time this week, I welcome you to Washington, D.C. This will be the last installment of Painting The Capitol Purple as tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. is the kickoff of the 2010 Military Bowl.
During the final day before the game, the Pirates enjoyed the Military Bowl's luncheon and a walk-through at RFK Stadium.
The players also received their final gift from the Military Bowl - a Sony Dash. The Dash, a personal Internet viewer, is Sony's version of the iPad. Using wireless Internet and apps, the Dash, displays information on its touch screen.
Gathering together both teams is a tradition at most bowls on the day before kickoff. The Military Bowl began its event by having East Carolina's senior players enter the ballroom as the school's fight song was played. Maryland's seniors then followed with the pep band and Terrapin mascot leading the way into the room. The Pirates entered first as they are the visiting team for the contest.
Following the entrance, local NBC sports anchor Lindsay Czarniak was introduced as the mistress of ceremonies. Four speakers briefly addressed the crowd, starting with Jeffrey S. Fried, chairman of the Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman. He was followed by President & Chief Executive Officer, Washington Convention & Sports Authority (WCSA) Gregory A. O'Dell. Prior to working for the WCSA, O'Dell played basketball for Wofford College from 1988-92 and was elected to the school's hall of fame in 1997. The District of Columbia's mayor-elect, the Honorable Vincent C. Gray, was next to speak. The presentations were closed by a few words from Washington, D.C., Chairman-elect Kwame Brown.
A great three-course meal was then served to everybody in attendance. During the meal, 13-minute highlight videos of East Carolina's and Maryland's seasons were shown.
Once the meal was finished, two special guests were welcomed to the front of the ballroom. Former Pirate and current Tennessee Titan Chris Johnson and former Terrapin and current Washington Redskin Stephon Heyer were asked about their bowl experiences and what playing for their universities meant to them. Johnson also talked about the 2007 Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl and what that win did for the ECU football program.
To close the luncheon, Czarniak led a question-and-answer session. East Carolina's head coach Ruffin McNeill was joined by senior linebacker Dustin Lineback and Maryland quarterback Danny O'Brien accompanied Terrapin head coach Ralph Friedgen. McNeill and Lineback both said how much they enjoyed their time in Washington, D.C., and what a great challenge Maryland's team would present.
Walk-Through At RFK Stadium
Immediately after the luncheon, the team bused over to RFK Stadium for a final walk-through. The players moved around inside the stadium, saw their locker room and got used to the field conditions. Major League Soccer's D.C. United currently uses RFK Stadium and the Pirates will be stationed in the United's locker room tomorrow.
Tonight, the players will enjoy a movie and conduct their final meetings and preparations for tomorrow's 2:30 p.m. kickoff.
Thanks to all of you for following along with the Pirates during their week in Washington, D.C. Please feel free to leave comments or thoughts about this week's blog by e-mailing me here.