Dec. 28, 2012
SHREVEPORT, La. – As Ohio’s trip to the 2012 Advocare V100 Independence Bowl winds down, senior tight end Jordan Thompson (Rockford, Ohio) continues to provide a detailed account of Ohio Football’s fourth straight bowl trip. To experience a bowl trip through the perspective of an Ohio student-athlete, read Jordan’s fourth entry below.
Day Four: Thursday, December 27
Hi Bobcat fans,
Today was another early day as we departed the hotel at 7:30 for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes breakfast, held across the river in the Bossier Civic Center. This breakfast is always one of my favorite events during bowl week. Not only is the food good, but the part I like best is hearing the speakers share their faith stories about how God is working in their lives. Several players from each team were invited up on stage and each gave a short testimony. Hearing others stories is very powerful, and knowing that the Lord has played such a large role in these men’s lives is truly amazing! After the breakfast it was back on the bus for the short trip back to the hotel.
Meetings took place shortly after we arrived back at the hotel. One thing many fans may not know is the amount of time we spend in meetings. Whether it be individual position meetings, the offense/defense gathering for a meeting, or individual special teams meetings, meetings are where a lot of our time is spent preparing for a game. You may find yourself wondering what we do in meetings. We watch film, and a lot of it! Not only do we study our opponent, but we also study ourselves. Every practice is filmed at three different angles. During meetings every play from practice is watched, rewound, played, rewound again, then usually paused, discussed, watched again, and then maybe played all the way through. You get the idea. Many wonder why we spend so much time on this aspect of the game, but the film room is where the majority of the learning is done. On the field is where everything is perfected. Film does not lie, so seeing yourself do things the correct way, and also the wrong way allows us to paint mental pictures in our heads. This way the next time we are back on the field, we can improve our technique based off of what we saw on film, allowing us to perfect the play.
After meetings we jumped on the bus and headed across town to the stadium. With a police escort consisting of ten motorcycle police and one cruiser, we are able to get to the stadium in no time. Upon our arrival, each guy put on his jersey, which was the first time we saw the bowl patch sewn on. Everyone then headed out to the field to get a team photo taken. At every bowl game team photos are taken to record the event. This picture will be hung up back in Athens on the second floor of Peden Stadium alongside all prior bowl team photos. After the picture, we all jumped back on the bus and headed back to the hotel for some time to relax.
Each game over the course of the season has the exact same routine each week. The day before the game, and on game day, we always do the same activities at the same time. Last night, we were finally able to get to the point of the trip where we get into the routine we’re accustomed to. Everyone met for dinner at 5:45 which consisted of the familiar fare of salad, green beans, lasagna, sweet potatoes, baked potatoes, chicken fingers, and steak. After dinner we departed the hotel and headed to the movie theater at the boardwalk. After taking in a good movie titled “Jack Reacher,” it was back to the hotel. After returning from the movie, as always, campus Athletes in Action director Mark Heflin lead a short chapel service for our team. After the service, it was time for a little snack consisting of the usual deli meat sandwiches, stadium pretzels, and fruit.
Bobcat fans, tomorrow is the day we’ve been waiting for. Game day, the best day of the week! Our guys are well prepared, focused, and very excited to come out tomorrow and play with great passion as we set out to win the Independence Bowl. We are determined to bring the trophy back to Athens. If you aren’t in Shreveport, tune into ESPN at 2 p.m. Eastern Time to catch the Bobcats in action one more time this season!