Diego Rivera ; courtesy of the DIA: Detroit Industry Murals – North Wall

The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl Christmas Eve luncheon mimicked the antics of a heavy weight prize fight.  There was great bantering between the teams and the turkey dinner was licked clean.  The sweet potatoes got high marks.  It was in a high-tech entertainment venue with all the presentation ‘whistles and bells’.  The players especially enjoyed the tunes at the ‘Sound Board’ in the Motor City Hotel.


Bowl The Bowl luncheon was emceed by Detroit Pistons broadcaster, George Blaha.  He is closely associated with the Michigan State program as he does their football radio-casts.  George Perles reminded the players to soak up the entire atmosphere for future memories.

Because of his over fifty years of football experience, you could see that the college athletes were listening.


Then a video of team highlights was shown with the music of Detroit ‘homeboy’ Eminem.  First the Florida International players started their war chants.  Next, the University of Toledo players followed suit.  It was chilling and entertaining.  Both school Presidents shook hands.  What a great compliment to Dr. Lloyd Jacobs of Toledo and Dr. Mark Rosenberg of FIU to give up their Christmas Eve and ambassador for their institutions.      


Ken Hoffman mentioned that it was the first Bowl Game for any of the players present and the memories made in Detroit will last a lifetime.  


Both coaches were gracious.  Mario Cristobal, FIU’s head coach bragged about his team and mentioned the great hospitality of Detroit and the Little Caesars Corporation.  Toledo head coach Tim Beckman complimented his assistants and thanked their wives for a season full of support.


Christmas Day after a light workout at Ford Field the FIU players got a bit more snow-foolery time with each other.  After team meals both teams watched a movie and had position meetings.  Each group of positions meets with their respective assistant coaches for goals and game responsibility reviews.


Game Day the Bowl Officials and VIP’s got to go to the Detroit Institute of Arts, which is world class.  I went on my own and was mesmerized by the Diego Rivera frescos from 1932.  Edsel Ford who commissioned the work had to fight off his father, Henry Ford, from having the paintings destroyed.  Great history when you find out what happened to the Rivera frescos in New York with the Rockefeller family.


JacekMenu The players talked a lot about enjoying the bowling at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park.  The ‘big uglies’ as they are sometimes referred to (linemen) did justice to the pizza.  The Florida players from both teams mingled and compared notes.  FIU linebacker, Greg Hickman was asked to tone it down.   His powerful rolls were busting-up the pins.  The 270 pound freshman just happens to have the nickname….. “Buster”.


Most of the FIU players were enamored by the light snow and went outside and frolicked.  Yes frolicked in the light flurry and tried to throw snowballs.  It is an acquired skill.  A goodtime had by all.  

I am ready for the Pizza Party at Comerica Park and the game at Ford Field.  I extend a Polish Gratitude to both teams.  May the best team win and Sto-lat.? (May you live to be 100.) 

         P.S. There are no losers in the Bowl System. 

 Jacek Urbanczyk : restaurant menu (Motor City Hotel and Casino)


 (Editor’s Note: Raymond Rolak contributed and translated this story.)