Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A early New Year's wish as we prepare for the Outback Bowl.

Team Photo at Raymond James

Players, coaches and staff members assemble for the team photo at Raymond James Stadium

Shonn Greene (center) gets seated for the team photo.

Move In Day

It is the day before Iowa's Outback Bowl game with South Carolina and the Iowa Football staff was busy moving into Raymond James Stadium.

The final preparations are made to the field.

Hospitality Rooms

At many of the bowl games, the bowl committee sets up an area for players and staffs to relax. The players have their hospitality room set up with video games, pool tables, television, and refreshments.

Above is the suite set up for staff members in town for the game. This suite consists of many different beverages and snack items.

Brad Banks

Among the ex-Hawkeye greats in for Thursday's Outback Bowl, Brad Banks entered town Tuesday night. Banks, who finished the season in the CFL, was the runner-up to Carson Palmer in the 2002 Heisman race.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Outback Bowl - Hawkeye Huddle

Hawkeye fans invaded the Tampa Convention Center for the Hawkeye Huddle. Countless black and gold fans streamed through the doors to listen to Gary Dolphin, voice of the Hawkeyes lead the crowd at this pep rally. Fans were treated to the band, spirit squads, Herky as well as other dignitaries.

U of I President Sally Mason, Athletic Director Gary Barta take a moment to speak with Jon Miller of KXNO.

Former Hawkeye great Ed Podolak signs autogrpahs and poses for picture for all of his adoring fans.

Final Day of Practice

The Iowa Football team had their last day of full practice before Thursday's Outback Bowl with South Carolina. It is a busy day for the team as it started out with the FCA Breakfast, followed by practice and then Beach Day at Clearwater.
Here Head Coach Kirk Ferentz overlooks preparations.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Gary Dolphin Live at Stumps

Gary Dolphin took the Hawkeye Radio Network Live from Stumps Supper Club in Tampa's Channelside. Along with Dolph is Ace Engineer, Kevin Dolan.

Gary takes time for a picture with the video staff. (L-R, Bob Rahfeldt, Kyle Yoder, Morgan Hawk, Gary Dolphin, Matthew Engelbert, Nick Ehret, Jordan O'Brion.

Closer to Game Time

Practice Continued today at the University of Tampa. This late afternoon practice is the second to last practice before Thursday's Outback Bowl.

ESPN's Chris Spieleman attends the day's practice.

One Buccaneer Place

Monday had the Hawkeye Footbal team at a noon luncheon, and the family spending the morning at Busch Gardens, the video staff went to One Buccaneer Place, the home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Dave Levy, the Video Director gave us a tour while we discussed our plans for February meetings. Dave is in charge of the NFL Video Director's Meetings and I plan the Big Ten's Meetings. Each are in conjunction with the 2009 NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

Raymond James Stadium across the street from One Buccaneer Place.

The Atrium

Representation of Coach John Gruden winning the 2002 Super Bowl.

CC's Bagels and Deli

Trying a new place for breakfast, locals told us to go to CC's Bagels and Deli. This turned into a Seinfeld episode. It was a Pakistani couple and their son who managed and worked in the store. Upon ordering a bagel, the owner informed us, due to the sprinklers going off in the middle of the night, they were unable to make bagels. He apologized profusely and insisted we come back again.

Night Out on the Town

At the popular Channelside entertainment district is Splitsville, a bowling alley, pool hall, restaurant bar. It has something for all ages. Sunday night the family joined Hawkeye Staff Member Terry Armstrong for a game of bowling and dinner. It was more important to state that all had fun no matter what our scores were.
However, we were looking forward to dinner, bowling and watching the San Diego - Denver game on the television over our lane. However a group of young individuals ,"tools," began playing on the adjacent lane and asked the staff to switch the game to The Simpsons. I balked, but to no avail since every other television was tuned to the game.

Riding the Trolley

A popular mode of transportation in downtown Tampa is the trolley that connects the Convention Center to Channelside and Ybor City. Colin has enjoyed riding this daily as it passes the many cargo and cruise ships as well as other trolleys on the tracks.
We decided to ride the trolley and save Busch Gardens, the team's day activity, to another day. After editing practice, we weren't sure we could make it there and enjoy it to its fullest.

Final destination is Ybor City. The trolley drops you off at the center of the city shopping district.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sights of Tampa

Driving back from Clearwater I had the opportunity to take a few pictures of the sporting venues in town while my son napped in the back seat.

Raymond James Stadium, home of NFL's Tampa Bay Buccanneers and the Outback Bowl.

The spring training home of the New York Yankees as well as the facility used by Class - A Tampa Yankees.

Retired numbers of the Yankees. Mantle, Babe and DiMaggio.

Back to Practice

After a day off from the practice field, the Hawkeye football team was back at it on Sunday. It is Tuesday of game week.

Today members of the media were able to attend the first 20 minutes and get all the video and pictures they could take.

The Outback Steakhouse Blimp made its first appearance over the University of Tampa practice site.

Hawkeye's Headquarters

While the Hawkeyes are in Tampa, the Hyatt Regency Downtown is their home. All of the offices, meeting rooms and training table reside on the second floor.

The board with all of the information for the team.

Rae Parker and Fred Mims have things under control in the Administration Office.

The assistant to Coach Ferentz, Rita Foley (left) and the secretary to the assistant coaches, Terry Armstrong.

Iowa's Medical Facility. Russ Haynes (left) Paul and Noah Federicci.

Iowa Football players having Sunday breakfast.

And the video room...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Panthers at Lightning

One of the team activities is taking in a Tampa Bay Lightning Hockey Match. Tonight the Lightning took on the Florida Panthers in the "Blue Cross and Blue Shield Florida Blue Cup." Blue Cross and Blue Shield sponsored a Steven Stamkos (Lightning player) figurine to all who attended the night's game. Stamkos scored the first goal en route to a 6 - 4 Lightning win.

Pre Game entertainment outside the St. Pete Times Forum

Not sure we were supposed to be on the loge level, but we made it there and had dinner on comfortable couches.

Having cheerleaders at Hockey matches is a bad idea. If interested, let me know and I'll blog on that at a later time.

Iowa linebacker Pat Angerer being interviewed at the first intermission by Jared Ahrens of KGAN Channel 2 in Cedar Rapids.

Day off from Practice

Saturday brought a day off from practice. After morning meetings and lifting, guys were free to spend their Saturday in the Tampa / St. Pete area. Since Mom had a wives luncheon sponsored by Nieman Marcus at Roys Restaurant, Colin and Dad headed to Clearwater Beach for the afternoon.

Clearwater Beach is the site of Tuesday's Beach Bash. Participating teams will attend this popular Outback Bowl Pep Rally.

Colin, not a fan of the sand, hangs out on the blanket.

Many people enjoying the 80 degree sunny Saturday afternoon.

Colin holds onto the bag while posing for the camera.

Bright blue skies and a busy Clearwater Beach.