On Saturday, the day before the 14thAnnual GoDaddy.com Bowl, Kent State players and coaches enjoyed the spoils of a fun day of tourist activities. Without any practice left to worry about, the Flashes arrived at Mobile’s Battleship Memorial Park in a bus caravan with a police escort around 11 am CST.
The group was first ushered over to a catered buffet lunch inside the cavernous Aircraft Pavilion that houses a variety of historical aircraft, including one of the famous Tuskegee Airmen Red Tail squadron planes.
After listening to a speaker and enjoying lunch, the Flashes boarded the USS Alabama and spent an hour exploring the many levels of the historic World War II ship that earned nine Battle Stars and shot down 22 enemy airplanes during the war. The ship, which weighs 35,000 tons, housed a crew of some 2,500 soldiers during her battle days.
While many of the players and some coaches had never been aboard a military vessel, some were tourist ship veterans. Kent State defensive coordinator Jon Heacock said that despite the USS Alabama’s sheer size, it was small compared to the aircraft carriers he’d seen while visiting West Point.
Kent State’s back up quarterback David Fisher stopped to talk about his time as a freshman at Nevada when the Wolfpack toured Pearl Harbor before playing in the Hawaii Bowl.
Later on in the evening, the Flashes were scheduled to join the Arkansas State players at a downtown Mardi Gras parade and pep rally to be followed by fireworks.
Come Sunday, it’s finally game time.