Where have we been on the weekends? Well, we've been doing some undercover work which I'll start relating to you this afternoon. Many schools have been using this time of the offseason to bring in less fortunate children for learning, exercise, inspiration, or illegal touching (ND and BC). We've been fortunate enough to attend some of these with Maryland, Pitt, VT, Penn State, and (proving we can make fun of ourselves) WVU already in the books. I'm starting with the Maryland trip just because I can and because Mickey wants more UM humor on this site. We will provide a detailed look into the itinerary each school provided for the children and our experiences at the camps.
7 a.m. arrived at the athletic complex early hoping for interview with Friedgen. Found him passed out and covered in some sort of glaze. Trainers came in and gave him a "daily" adrenaline shot straight to the heart. Apparently Coach enjoys a doughnut and fried chicken prebreakfast that routinely gets out of hand.
7-8 a.m. sat around as Coach had to "drop some wolf bait."
8 a.m kids arrive and Coach takes them to a buffet provided by Shoneys. Coach explains the "fancier" places get mad after 5 or 6 trips. Shoneys will also deep fry anything you ask them too. Coach deep fries a whistle and an Under Armor shirt (eats them both).
9 a.m the kids leave the Coach at the breakfast holocaust, he'll catch up later. We head to the football complex and watch an hour long video on "Protecting our house."
10 a.m. Choice of Early morning snack with Coach (peanut butter pancakes and bananas) or morning exercise. Go to the exercise with Shawne Merriman. Despite an impressive weight room Shawne claims the kids don't need to lift if they just take three "flu" shots a day like him. Instead spends an hour teaching the Lights-Out dance. Gets kinda repetitive.
11 a.m. Coach takes us to a study room for an inspirational talk with Sam Hollenbach on his way to "Honk out a dirt snake." Sam's talk quickly becomes a Stuart Smally sketch complete with talking to a mirror. He continually repeats that "He is good enough, smart enough, and gosh darn it people like him." When asked by one kid why he throws so many interceptions Sam breaks down crying. He sobs for the last 45 minutes and the kids are visibly disturbed.
12 p.m. Coach takes us to the meal hall for a light lunch of subs. It is light because there was one 30 foot long sub and Coach got 27 feet of it. We did have juice though. Coach only drinks diet soda as he is watching his weight.
12:30 p.m. Keon Lattimore takes us on a tour of the campus. Spends most of the tour reminding us he is related to Ray Lewis. "Hey kids here is the cafeteria, my brother Ray stabbed a guy with a plastic knife once."
2:00 p.m. Arts and crafts. Kids were really excited for this one. Unfortunately, the workers, Kris Jenkins and Bruce Perry, hurt themselves setting up the crafts table and are out for 4 months. Instead, we sort Under Armor shirts for an hour.
3 p.m. Midafternoon snack with Coach (blubber sandwiches) or football with Neil O'Donnell. Neil is all time quarterback. He throws to the wrong team most of the time and the kids get upset. Neil tells them when they can grow a beard like him they can play qb.
4 p.m. Reading time. Coach is unable to participate because he had to "launch a butt shuttle." Instead E.J. Henderson comes in. E.J. struggles with the book so he switches it to coloring time with E.J. There is only one book though. E.J. stays within the lines pretty well. Most of the kids nap as does E.J. when he tires.
5 p.m. Afternoon exercise. To end the day we go back to the weight room. Vernon Davis is there. We spend the next half hour chanting "We must protect this house" while Vernon flexes in front of the mirror. He strains too hard and reinjures his leg at the end.
5:30 p.m. Bus comes to pick up the kids. Coach is in a food induced coma Nick Novak helps load the kids up. Nick attempts to load the kids onto the bus but he keeps missing short or right. Eventually they all make it and each one receives a $5 Under Armor gift certificate and a dinner box for the ride home. The kids are disappointed when they open the boxes to find empty candy wrappers and the sandwiches eaten, but they do all still have their apples. Keon is standing at the gates with a sign saying, "I am Ray Lewis's brother, dammit."
6 p.m We go to say goodbye to Coach, but he is back in the bathroom. The assistants tell us he spends most of the evening in there and that is why the playbook is so long.