Media Day in Nassau is what dreams are made of. The Bahamas is such a beautiful place that I am not wanting to go back home to 40 degrees or below weather. We had a chance to hear from people who put this bowl game together and also heard from both head coaches from the teams playing. Both teams are wanting a historic win for their program. UAB lost it’s last bowl game appearance over a decade ago and Ohio University won their last bowl game in 2012. According to Chris Pike, Director of Communications for the Bahamas Bowl, neither side is focused on the past, and each experienced a wealth of success this year en route to 8-4 records. UAB is seeking its first nine-win season since 1993, while Ohio last accomplished the feat in 2012.
You can watch part of the press conference in the video I shared above from the Bahamas Bowl staff. Two major takeaways from this press conference were:
- This is for the Fans too: Tevin Crews talked about how he remembers fans marched with them in protest of the program being shut down back in 2014. “A lot of people have fought for this university, for this football team to come back. It has been a tremendous driving force for this team. The days you do not feel like working that hard, you think of how somebody has made a sacrifice for us and it is time for us to do the same for them. It has never gone unnoticed. We will never forget the people that did tremendous things to bring this program back. We are very appreciative of the Birmingham community, we have a great fan base and we love them to death.”
- Changing the Narrative: Rachel Baribeau is one of my favorite people in the sports industry. Just google her and see why. She created this hashtag #ChangingTheNarrative and while watching the players Tevin & Shaq reply to questions I noticed they were wearing their wristbands. It speaks volumes that these young men really understood why she created this hashtag and why she takes the time out to speak to student-athletes about life beyond the field. You can see Shaq’s response to my question about the wristbands in the video.
— Rachel JOY Baribeau (@RachelBaribeau) December 21, 2017
Ohio University’s fans have been pretty amazing to see here in the Bahamas. The support that both teams have from their fan bases is great to see and for fans to rearrange their schedules to travel during the holiday season I know these teams are grateful for them. Ohio University’s Head Coach says,“I really like our football team. It’s been a team that prepared all year long,” Solich said. “They’ve shown great leadership during the offseason as well as during the season…We’ve played really, really well in stretches. Coming into the last couple ballgames of the year we positioned ourselves very well in terms of conference play. We did not get it done in the last couple ballgames, and I know we don’t feel good about that, so we hope to have a great game against UAB, who we know is an excellent, well-coached football team with a lot of really good athletes.”
It’s almost time for GAME DAY here in NASSAU, BAHAMAS!!!!