Orange Bowl week underway as Athletes Balance Work and Play

Written by Derek Robbie
Miami Gardens, FL – ​The 2017 Capital One Orange Bowl takes place at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens Florida on Saturday, December 30 at 8:00 P.M. EST. The contest sees the 6th ranked Wisconsin Badgers facing off the 11th ranked Miami Hurricanes.

The week of the Orange Bowl is full of activities that showcase some of the many activities to be done in the South Florida area.

The first activity of the week for both teams was a Student-Athlete Charity and Dinner Outing at Dave and Busters for the Boys and Girls Club of Miami on Tuesday, December 26. Both sets of players got to compete against their teammates in all sorts of games such as, Air Hockey, Skee Ball, and Pop-A-Shot. It was great to see both Canes and Badgers players showing their competitive nature against their teammates.

On Wednesday the 27th, both teams had a beach day with the student-athletes and their families. Wisconsin’s beach outing was at the Miami Beach Resort beachfront, and Miami’s took place at the Diplomat Beachfront. Canes and Badgers players had the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful south Florida weather. They could enjoy a fun ride on a jet ski. While other players just hung out on the beach with their families or fans that had showed up.

Considering that the weather has been below zero in recent days in Madison, Wisconsin, the Badgers must have thoroughly enjoyed the day at the beach.

Wisconsin Defensive Coordinator Jim Leonhard was asked whether he missed the below zero weather back in Madison and he said flatly, “No, no.”

Though Miami is playing in their home stadium, it is not the run-of-the-mill home game due to all the activities and having to practice in Broward County at Nova Southeastern University.

“It sounds crazy, but you can be from South Florida. But going and staying at the hotel on the beach,” Manny Diaz said touching base on the difference of this game compared to the normal home game. “We don’t grow up on the beach. So, it feels like a great trip to us. It doesn’t feel like we are doing the same old, same old. So, we are just excited to be here and play well. And I think that we do get to perform in front of a large group of our fans is something that our guys are excited about.”

Wisconsin cornerback, Derrick Tindal, grew up in the Fort Lauderdale area and went to high school at Boyd Anderson High School. Tindal became the unofficial host of the Badgers in south Florida due to his connection to the area.

“Yeah, I’m the host. I just took them around little places I know,” said Tindal on showing his teammates around south Florida. “I took them home with me for Christmas, let them enjoy a little southern meal, gave them a little collard greens, which they ain’t had before. But just took them to spots, just showed them little fun spots. Safe fun spots, though, you know.”

With all being said, it seems like both Wisconsin and Miami have been enjoying their time in south Florida by the beaches. Hopefully both teams are rested and ready to give the fans a great 2017 Capital One Orange Bowl game.

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