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UCF officials finalize plans for opening game in Dublin


REPORTING IN SEMINOLE COUNTY, DAVE MCDANIEL, WESH 2 NEWS. THE UCF KNIGHTS FOOTBALL TEAM IS TWO DAYS INTO THEIR JAUNT ACROSS THE POND. THEY PLAY PENN STATE ON SATURDAY IN IRELAND. BUT IT’S QUITE AN UNDERTAKING TO MOVE A HOME GAME FROM UCF’S CAMPUS 4,000 MILES TO ANOTHER COUNTRY. WESH 2’S PAT CLARKE MADE THE TRIP AND TELLS US HOW THE SCHOOL MADE IT HAPPEN. A BEAUTIFUL SUN SPLASHED IRISH MORNING AWAITED THE UCF FOOTBALL TEAM THURSDAY. THE GAME PLANNED FOR PENN STATE LONG SINCE IN PLACE. JUST LIKE ANY FOOTBALL PLAYBOOK THERE ARE MANY MOVING PARTS TO A COLLEGE GAME DAY PRODUCTION. AND WHEN YOU ARE THE HOME TEAM, WHICH UCF IS, AND YOUR HOME GAME IS BEING PLAYED NOT IN ORLANDO BUT IRELAND, THOSE MOVING PARTS NEED A LOT MORE GREASE. THERE’S A LOT OF MOVING PARTS AS YOU SAID AS FAR AS GAME OPERATIONS. THE CLOCKS. THE MANAGEMENT OF THE GAME AND EVERYTHING FROM CHAIN MARKERS TO EVERYTHING OELS ELSE WE HAD TO BRING WITH US. UCF HAD TO BRING PEOPLE TO OPERATE EVERYTHING AS WELL. THE CHAINS AND P.A. SYSTEM AND GAME CLOCK WHICH MEANT FLYING IN COUNTLESS WORKERS FOR TWO HALVES OF FOOTBALL I AM NOT GOING TO COMPLAIN ABOUT IT. FREE TRIP TO IRELAND. THAT’S AWESOME. A LITTLE DIFFERENCE IN TERMS OF A VENUE. BUT WE HAVE EVERYBODY IN MEETINGS AND GETTING EVERYTHING GOING AND VERY EXCITED TO BE HERE. CROKE PARK HAS NO LOCKER ROOMS BIG ENOUGH FOR A COLLEGE FOOTBALL TEAM SO UCF AND PENN STATE WILL UTILIZE TWO SMALLER AREAS. THESE LOCKERS WERE BUILT SPECIFICALLY FOR THIS GAME. ROBERT JONES IS THE KNIGHT’S EQUIPMENT MANAGER. AWAKE 42 STRAIGHT HOURS THIS WEEK DEALING WITH LOGISTICAL NIGHTMARES HERE AND BACK HOME. DEALING WITH IRISH CUSTOMS. DEALING WITH AMERICAN CUSTOMS. EVERY PIECE THAT GOES INTO A TRUNK WHETHER A T NUT OR SCREW IF THERE’S 100 WE HAVE TO COUNT THEM. THEY’VE GOT TO BE THE SAME AMOUNT GOING BACK. IMPOSSIBLE TO ARTICULATE SAYS ROBERT JUST WHAT HAS GONE INTO THIS CHANGE OF VENUE GAME AND ALMOST WRONGLY SO SUCCESS MEANS NO ONE WILL HAVE NOTICED. PERHAPS BETWEEN NOW AND GAME TIME HE MIGHT GET SOME REST. BEEN TRYING TO SLEEP AS MUCH AS I CAN. AND THAT’S NOT WORKING. IT’S NOT WORKING.

David Frank

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