BOWLING GREEN - The Bowling Green State University football team has been practicing, game planning and making adjustments to their lineup.
Yes, the Falcons take their bowling seriously.
BGSU will participate in two bowl games during its trip to Mobile, Ala. - Sunday's GMAC Bowl and tomorrow's bowling challenge. The latter, history shows, might influence the former.
Only once has the bowling challenge victor not gone on to win the GMAC Bowl. The Falcons, 2-0 at this bowl site after winning the bowling event, have been putting in work on the field and at local lanes in hopes of rolling over Tulsa twice.
"We're going to try to win that bowling match and then see what we can do with the game," said senior Sean O'Drobinak, one of the team's top bowlers.
BGSU, which will arrive in Mobile today, hopes the trip will be as successful and as enjoyable as in 2004 when the Falcons defeated Memphis 52-35. BG's seniors and fourth-year juniors were around then and have begun mapping out plans for their down time.
"It's just like being back here at school," senior Pete Winovich said. "You get to practice. You eat together as a team. It was just an awesome experience."
Yep, Mobile is very similar to Bowling Green, except for the Cajun food, the warm weather, the Mardi Gras parade and all of those activities leading up to the game.
A southern-style shrimp boil is scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. On Thursday the teams will eat lunch and visit the Battleship USS Alabama. San Diego Padres pitcher Jake Peavy will speak at Friday's breakfast, and former NFL star Joe Theisman will do the same at Friday evening's Mayor's Banquet.
"I want some seafood," O'Drobinak said. "I haven't had good seafood in a long time."
Others' taste buds might be craving something a little less healthy. In 2004 the Falcons were greeted to an arcade filled with ice cream, popcorn, candy, you name it. They were also given gifts including watches, suit cases, shoes and clothing.
"I'm just pulling stuff out of the bag and wondering when it's going to end," Winovich said.
Winovich missed the Mardi Gras parade in 2004 but this time around he plans on experiencing the celebration, which originated in Mobile. Bands and cheerleaders from both teams will partake in the Saturday evening festivities.
O' Drobinak, a captain, doesn't think he will need to lecture his teammates about the potential trouble that can stem from staying out too late and partaking in questionable activities. The Falcons had a curfew of midnight in 2004 and Winovich said several Memphis players were out until 4 a.m.
"Bowling Green takes bowl games seriously," O'Drobinak said. "You have to distinguish what's too much fun. It won't be an issue whatsoever."
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