Outback Bowl officials extended a special welcome to the Wisconsin Badgers and the Tennessee Volunteers during the first official bowl event of the week at the Outback Steakhouse Team Welcome Dinner at the Tampa Convention Center. Teams were treated to a feast from Outback Steakhouse while bowl representatives welcomed the players and presented gifts to the Head Coaches, Athletic Directors and their wives.
And a feast it was as the teams devoured more than 5,000 pounds of food including 750 pounds of steak, 750 pounds of chicken, 900 pounds of ribs, 950 pounds of Bloomin Onions, 700 pounds of caesar salad, 200 lbs of green beans, 1,300 lbs of chocolate cake and 95 gallons of BBQ sauce.
Both coaches and Athletic Directors spoke briefly at the event. "We are thrilled to be a participant in the Outback Bowl," noted Wisconsin A.D. Barry Alvarez. "We want to thank Outback for their tremendous sponsorship and the bowl they've put together. We are also thrilled to play a tradition-rich program like Tennessee. Our fans are excited to be a part of this great bowl game and great match-up."
"We'd like to thank Outback. I think our guys are excited to be somewhere where it's not 30 degrees and a lot of snow," said Badger Head Coach Bret Bielema. "You throw in a couple steaks and a piece of chicken and they'll be here a long, long time. We're looking forward to playing a great team in Tennessee."
"On behalf of the University of Tennessee and our football program we appreciate the opportunity to be back in Tampa. We thank you for your unbelievable hospitality. To Chris (Sullivan) and Jeff (Smith) we thank you for Outback's support of college football and the bowl system."
"Thanks to Outback and the city of Tampa for hosting a wonderful bowl," added Volunteer Head Coach Phillip Fulmer. "We congratulate the University of Wisconsin for your success and wish you continued success, except for one there. A special thanks for all the players, the coaches and especially the coaches families that allow us to do what we do. We are looking forward to a great game on January 1st."
Story Courtesy: UT Sports Information