When we think of a bowl game, most people think of the football game. The truth is that there is way more involved than just football. There are charities and community organizations involved. At the Chick-fil-a Peach Bowl, both Auburn and UCF players went to multiple places in the community to bring in the good spirits and to just have fun.
One thing the Peach Bowl does is have a series of competitions between the two schools for a championship belt. There are four events with a fifth if needed as a tiebreaker. These events include go-kart racing, basketball, and game shows.
The first event was go-kart racing at Andretti Indoor Karting. UCF won this one as McKenzie Milton had the fastest lap time out of anyone, so UCF got the belt first. The second was a basketball competition at the team hotels. This time, Auburn took the win to even up the competition. The rest of the competition would be settled later.
On Thursday, both teams went on a visit to the Martin Luther King Jr. Historical Site. The site is under the auspice of the National Park Service and was established in October of 1980. The site highlights the struggle of the civil rights movement and allows players to learn about the history that was made. Afterwards, they made their way to the Historic Ebenezer First Baptist Church and received first-hand accounts from civil rights leaders Dr. C.T. Vivian, Ambassador Andrew Young, and Congressman John Lewis.
On Friday, each team went to visit children at area hospitals. UCF traveled first, going to the Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital, a part of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. The Scottish Rite hospital opened in 1915 as the Scottish Rite Convalescent Home for Crippled Children. In 1965, they became a full-fledged medical center. Later in the day, Auburn traveled to the Egleston Children’s Hospital, also a part of the same healthcare system. In 1998, both of these hospitals merged into the current health system.
Later on, both teams had a special dinner at the College Football Hall of Fame. While there, the two teams competed in the remaining competitive games for the championship belt. The third game was Drop it Like it’s Hot, a group game where four players on each team competed in trivia as pairs. It was an interesting game in which the audience picked the topics. Auburn took this round to take a lead in the series. The fourth game was Football(Family) Feud. UCF won this round and tied it up to force a fifth and final game. The fifth and deciding game was FaceOff where players from both teams would be left or right for a series of questions. If you’re right, you stay in. If you’re wrong, you’re out. Auburn edged UCF to win the belt outright 3-2. The Tigers players went bananas.
When asked about the loss, UCF LB Pat Jasinski said, “The belt? Oh man, that’s a sore subject. I thought we were going to get them, but last night we had the last two events and I’ll take the blame. I kinda blew the trivia challenge”…”Oh man, you don’t even know. I was studying up on my trivia at night and I don’t know. I guess I wasn’t studying the right material.”
Auburn RB Kerryon Johnson enjoyed the experience. “This is probably been the most fun bowl I’ve been to since I’ve been here just in terms of the extracurricular stuff. The game night we did last night was really fun. I thought that was a neat idea for them to come up with. I think all of us as players really enjoyed that. Atlanta is a great city and obviously, it’s a great bowl game. You get Chick-fil-a every day basically. I don’t know what more you can ask for than that.”
After the competition, the players all got to tour the hall of fame, which is a definite must for any college football fans when they come to Atlanta.
The 50th annual Chick-fil-a Peach Bowl will be played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on January 1, 2018. The game is at 12:30 pm and will be broadcast on ESPN. Stay tuned to NGSC Sports for more Peach Bowl coverage.
I've been writing off and on since 2003, where I first wrote for Southern College Sports. After a hiatus, I returned in 2012 with The Sports Chronicles, a predecessor of NGSC Sports. After a brief stint with WBLZ in 2017, I came back to NGSC Sports and currently guest write on the site. Also, from 2015 to 2017, I helped run Off the Cuff, a sports program and blog with STLR Media.
I have done radio and podcasts dating back to 2006 with The Student of the Game, an NFL podcast. In 2012, I cohosted TSC Saturday Night on the Sports Chronicles and The OT With Andrew G on WTMY in Sarasota, FL. I later moved the OT to NGSC Sports until 2014 where I started The College Cram, also on NGSC Sports. After a brief hiatus, I returned to radio in 2015 with both Off the Cuff on STLR and The Mad Scientist Sports Lab on The Inscriber.