Thursday, December 24, 2015

UConn team getting into the Christmas spirit

Just in case there was a player on the UConn team forgetting what day tomorrow is, Bruce Springsteen's classic "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" began to blast through the sound system at Calvary Christian High School's football field late in the 13th of 16 periods in UConn's Thursday morning practice.

Thanks to a 6-6 regular season, the 101 UConn players will be together on Christmas morning experiencing another bonding experience with their football family.

"We are a family away from our own family and that is what is easier for everybody who is going to be away from their family," UConn junior receiver Noel Thomas said. "A lot of the guys including myself have a lot of family coming up tomorrow or tonight."

There will be gifts for the UConn players thanks to organizers of the St. Petersburg Bowl and the coaches will do what they can to make it feel as much like Christmas as possible.

"We'll feed them breakfast, find of an open walk-in kind of thing, from the bowl they have gift suite which is a nice thing that they do for all teams, kind of a Christmas ...," UConn coach Bob Diaco said.

Will all the players get presents?

"If they have been good and aren't on the naughty list," Diaco said with a laugh.  "They will have time for worship if they should chose to enjoy that ad we will get ramped up in the afternoon (for the final preparation for Saturday's game)."

It will be an interesting dynamics. As Thomas said, family members of the players and coaches have made the trip to the Tampa/St. Petersburg area or currently are en route.

Does Diaco think his children will have plenty of gifts coming their way.

"The ones that aren'tt on the naughty list, I would imagine Santa will show up and hook them up and the ones that aren't, they are going to get coal, Diaco said. "I don't make the list. I only control what I can control.

"It is Christmas. If you can't be happy, the sun is shining, it is absolutely beautiful. The community and specifically the people who represent the St. Petersburg Bowl have been so gracious and accomodating. We are together as a football family, we are going to beach bash in a few minutes, Santa Claus is coming. If you can't be happy right now, you have to check yourself."


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