There’s much more to a bowl game than just the game itself. There are festivities and functions the entire week leading up to the main event (the Vandals have been in Boise since Christmas Day). Many of the events go well beyond the realm of football.
Earlier this week, Idaho and Bowling Green went head-to-head in a bowling competition called “Bowling for Beef.” For each pin the two teams knocked down, two pounds of beef was donated to food banks in Boise, Moscow, and Ohio (where Bowling Green is from). The Vandals lost to the Falcons that night, but the food banks were the real winners in the end.
That’s not all. Earlier today, the Vandals made a trip to St. Luke’s Hospital in Boise. They spent an hour with kids, handing out autographed footballs, hats, and shirts. One of the kids, Emily Talbot (she's the one sipping from the cup in this picture), a nine-year-old who suffers from a rare brain disease which causes her to have constant headaches, quickly became a Vandals fans. Her parents said the visit from the football team made her day. She desperately needed something to lift her spirits. Talbot just had her tenth brain surgery on Monday and she has another surgery scheduled later this week.
The players took something away from the hospital as well. Defensive tackle Oga Faumui told me that meeting with the kids gave him energy and he wants to go out and play even harder tomorrow. Robb Akey also came up to me in the hallway and said that it really made him look inside and be thankful for everything he has.
We have an entire story on the hospital visit that will run tonight on KREM 2 News at 5pm. You can also click here for one more picture from the hospital.
For those of you heartless souls out there…don’t worry…the Vandals are still very focused on tomorrow’s big game. They have a final practice and walk through at Bronco Stadium at 4pm MT. It was originally scheduled to be closed to the media, but Robb Akey was nice enough to grant us access, so watch for pictures on Twitter (follow me @TLKREM2). I’ll also have the latest in another blog later tonight.
We’ll also be spending time at a pep rally tonight at 5pm MT. The team won’t be around for that, but thousands of fans will be. Watch for video and sound from that event on KREM 2 News at 6pm (I have a story on Mike Iupati that will run in the sports block as well).
The night isn’t over after that. The Idaho men’s basketball team plays Lewis-Clark State College at 7pm MT. They moved the game over here to accommodate Idaho fans. It was originally scheduled to be an exhibition game, but now it counts because the NCAA doesn’t allow exhibitions at neutral sites.
I know that I’ve mentioned this already, but I am constantly giving updates from Boise on Twitter. You can find pictures, inside information, and so much more.
I’ll also have a preview of the Humanitarian Bowl later tonight, so stay tuned to KREM.com.