Hoppy’s Commentary for Monday

Notes and comments from the 2012 Discover Orange Bowl

–The Orange Bowl makes sure the players eat well.  Sunday, the Mountaineers were taken to Fogo de Chao, a Brazilian Steakhouse here in Miami.  The restaurant served 15 different cuts of steak, grilled the traditional Brazilian way.  Since it was all-they-could eat, you can imagine how many steaks the Mountaineers consumed last night.

–About 15 Mountaineer players were stuck on a hotel elevator for ten minutes Sunday night in the team hotel.  Geno Smith, Tyler Urban and Will Clarke were among the players that were trapped while headed toward the buses for the trip to the steakhouse.  Finally, to the relief of the sweating players, security managed to open the elevator doors.

–Coach Dana Holgosen sounds like he’s getting antsy for the game.  At his press conference before practice on Sunday, Holgorsen pronounced his team "ready to play."  He said with practices in Morgantown and now in Miami, there’s not much more the team can do to get ready for the Clemson Tigers. 

–Holgorsen has named Shawne Alston as the starter at running back Wednesday night for the injured Dustin Garrison. But Holgorsen says Andrew Buie will also get carries. The coach says Buie is as healthy as he has been all season. 

–Coach Holgorsen says what happened to Connor Arlia Saturday was just an accident.  "It happened to a kid that has been riding jet skis all his life," the coach said.  Arlia suffered a broken leg when the jet ski he was riding collided with another player’s jet ski during a team beach party.

–Several of the Mountaineers attended the Fellowship of Christian Athletes breakfast Saturday morning. The featured speaker was John Offerdahl. The former Miami Dolphin All-Pro linebacker retired in 1993 and now owns and operates a chain of restaurants in the Miami area.

–The team hotel, the Fountainebleau, features what is billed as one of the top nightclubs in the world.  It’s called Liv and it’s a place for the elegant and the wealthy. The cover charge on a regular night is $30, but on a special night it can run as high as $100, and that’s just to get in the door.

–As we have talked about since arriving, the Fountainebleau has a rich history.  Luminaries such as Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Jackie Gleason, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis performed here and stayed here in the fifties and sixties.   In fact, the hotel still has a bellman on the job who helped take Marilyn Monroe’s bags to her room.   After the $1 billion remodeling, the hotel is now a destination for many A-list celebrities.  Their suites can run anywhere from $700 to $5000 a night.

–Orange Bowl committee members staff a large hospitality suite for the WVU traveling party at the hotel every night.  They are friendly and helpful.   Often, they will give you a deadpan, "sorry about the weather," knowing that Mountaineer fans are soaking up the daily sunshine and temperatures in the upper 70’s.

–WVU is still selling tickets to the bowl.  As of yesterday, WVU had sold 7,700, but with tickets going to the band, WVU staff and their families and to a program that allows members of the military to go to the game, total sales are around 11,000.  That’s still well short of the WVU allotment of 17,500.

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