Thursday morning provided both a break from football and from Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl beach activities. The four Cardinals captains were joined by cheerleaders and Charlie Cardinal, along with four UCF Knights and Tampa Bay sports icon Mike Alstott, while visiting All Children's Hospital.
Keith Wenning, Scott Kovanda, Connor Ryan and Travis Freeman took Ball State hats and t-shirts around to the kids. The quartet stopped for pictures and conversations with kids an their families along the way.
The visit was in conjunction with the Mike Alstott Family Foundation. A six-time Pro-Bowler, and Purdue grad, Mike Alstott became a legend in the Bay Area during his career with the Buccaneers. The Foundation, created in 2007, exists to "uplift the minds, hearts and spirits of kids and families." Alstott serves as the Bowl Ambassador for The Beef 'O' Brady's role, a position he's held for five years.
Visiting All Children's Hospital was just the beginning of a packed day. From there the Cardinals traveled to a luncheon with 1996 Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel, practice, beach time at the "Battle of the Bands," the Block Party at Fergs, dinner and meetings.
Friday's fifth Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl is being played at Tropicana Field at 7:30. The game is one of 10 nationally that pitts two nine-win teams and one of only three played in a baseball stadium. The Cardinals are also the first MAC school to participate in the game, the sixth bowl in Ball State's modern era.