UW Health Sports Medicine 

Giving back

This morning one of the most important bowl events is planned. Though the players all enjoy going to Universal Studios and definitely prefer the 60- and 70-degree weather to the snow back in Madison, today's Day for Kids event is something they all feel is special.

According the Champs Sports Bowl manual, "More than 200 physically, emotionally and financially challenged children are treated to an afternoon of food, fun and festivities at the Day for Kids Festival. Each child is paired with two players, who serve as escorts and friends for the afternoon." The teams also bring gifts for each of the children, team souvenir items such as stuffed mascots, t-shirts, hats, and pennants.

The event is held at Disney Quest, which has been described to me as three floors of video games. And as you can imagine with anything Disney, it's not just Mrs. Pac Man and Donkey Kong. Among the more advanced games supposedly is a roller coaster simulator that allows you to design your own ride by picking the peaks and valleys, curves and speed.

Our team, like Miami and every other school around the country, takes part in a number of community service projects throughout the year. I am always proud to work with the team when I see how our players handle these events, especially when kids are involved. We will have coverage of the Day for Kids event later in the day, including video.

After that event, the team will head back to the hotel to get sized for their commemorative bowl watch. In addition to the Best Buy shopping spree, the bowl watch is the second half of the bowl gift for players.

Special teams and position meetings run from 1:30-3 p.m. with the busses leaving for practice at 3:15 p.m. A 12-period Thursday practice (even though it is Sunday) commences at 4:15 p.m. (watch yesterday's video from practice here). The ESPN announcers for Sunday's game, Brad Nessler and Todd Blackledge, are scheduled to be on hand. Head coach Bret Bielema will also meet with the media following practice. We will have coverage of practice and Coach Bielema's comments following practice.

Back at the hotel, the team will have its normal Thursday team meeting at 6 p.m. then dinner on their own. Curfew is midnight with a 9:45 a.m. wake up tomorrow.