Just days before they strap on the pads to do battle on the gridiron, players from the FIU Panthers and Marshall Thundering Herd vied over who belly-flopped the best or hula-hooped the longest.
The TradeWinds hotel on St. Pete Beach was the sandy backdrop for the pregame good times for college players and their fans.
- Belly Flop: Brandon Bullock, Marshall
- Hula Hoop: Jose Cheeseborough, FIU
- Talent Show: Ceedrick Davis, FIU
- Dance Off: Isaiah “Jazz” King and Troy Evans, Marshall
On Tuesday the two teams will square off at 8 p.m. at Tropicana Field. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN.
The game culminates some highly visible pre-game activities that create excitement among the college fans and put St. Petersburg and the Tampa Bay area in the national spotlight. Here is a rundown of the week:
- Visit to All Children's Hospital. From 9-10:30 a.m., team captains, mascots and cheerleaders will offer gifts to sick children at the hospital.
- Battle of the Bands. Back at the TradeWinds, the marching bands from FIU and Marshall compete. From 2:30-5:30 p.m. there will be a beach cookout, tug-of-war, flag football and even boxing. Event is free and open to the public.
- Bowl Block Party. Head to Ferg's Sports Bar for the Bowl Block Party. The party begins at 5 p.m. and includes live music, displays and interactive games. Admission is free.
- Tailgate Extravaganza: Tropicana Field parking lots will open early for diehard fans to show their team spirit. In Lot 7A, from 2-8 p.m., there will be interactive games and entertainment. The event is free and open to the public.