WASHINGTON — The Military Bowl officially became real for the Bowling Green State University football team Sunday.
The Falcons made the trip to the nation’s capital on six busses that left Bowling Green at 8 a.m. Sunday and arrived at the team’s official hotel, the Renaissance Washington D.C., shortly after 5:30 p.m.
BG’s traveling party, which included roughly 200 individuals, was welcomed by hotel personnel with orange cowbells, clappers and pom pons as they entered the hotel.
Soon after their arrival the Falcons took part in a welcome reception that included several members of the Military Bowl’s board of directors, including Steve Beck, the bowl’s president and executive director, as well as bowl board members Bill Hall, Bill Davis, Jr., and Herman Bulls.
Six busses were necessary to bring the entire travel party to Washington. The entire team made the trip to D.C., as did the coaching staff and their families; a number of administrators; the training, manager, and video staffs; and the cheerleaders.
Even though there is roughly 500 miles distance between Bowling Green and Washington, there was at least one familiar face at the hotel: Courtney Hanley, a 2010 graduate of BGSU, works at the hotel.
While a 500-mile bus trip may not seem pleasant, it was much more fun than the trip to Washington by the Falcons’ opponents in the Military Bowl, San Jose State.
The start of the Spartans’ 2,800 mile cross-country flight, which was scheduled to last roughly four hours, was delayed due to scheduled aircraft maintenance performed in the morning.
SJSU finally landed at roughly 8:30 p.m. Sunday night.
GOODY BAG: Each of the Falcon players received a gift bag from the Military Bowl that included an iPad, a backpack, a Timely watch, a hat, and a video game.
Half of the players received "Battlefield 3," and the rest received "Medal of Honor Warfighter."
TODAY’S AGENDA: Late this morning the Falcons will take a tour of the U.S. Capitol, then practice in the late afternoon at St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes School in Alexandria, Va.
In the evening both BG and San Jose State will take part in an event with hypnotist Tom DeLuca.
MILITARY BOWL TRIVIA: Of the 30 non-BCS bowl games, only five feature teams with a combined higher winning percentage that the Military Bowl, where San Jose State (10-2) and Bowling Green (8-4) combine for a .750 winning percentage.