When we boarded the plane, there was a bottle of Gatorade and a snack bag hanging from the seat-back pocket. I had just eaten, so I stuck those items in my backpack for later.
In my last post I mentioned Dinner. We all followed Coach Saban into the huge dining room and the tables were clearly labeled, the staff up front and the players closest to the three huge buffet lines.
A terse announcement was made regarding the next evolution, and Coach Saban called on one of my former students, Denzel D. to pray. After his prayer, the players headed for the food.
The silence was eerie. There was one announcement of the next event, with no commentary. Everyone grabbed a plate and headed for the three big identical buffets. At the end of the buffet was a big table with 2 of the biggest containers of vanilla ice cream I have ever seen.
Everyone ate with very low and very little conversation. I snapped a picture of Dr. Jimmy Robinson, an old friend and was quickly advised to turn off my flash and be very discreet. I had asked about photos before the trip and was told that there were no restrictions. Well, that wasn't quite correct, as I had just learned. Noteworthy though, this was the ONLY mistake or miscommunication for the entire trip.
I asked about the silence, and my guide, Jon D., advised me that the morning before the game it would be even quieter. That would be impossible, I thought, and so it was. The silence was pretty close to absolute, so that would be hard to intensify.
After the team meetings that night there was a "snack". The next morning there as a continental breakfast at 0830 then the pre-game meal at 1030. That meal was impressive. Lean steak, great scrambled eggs, baked potato, fruit, jello, chicken cutlets, OJ, water, Gatorade.
Our last meal was a nice boxed lunch with extra chips and Dasani water.
There was no shortage of food, and the only place it was readily available was during the game. In fact, at the two meals we had, there was enough left over to feed the same group about twice more. Even ice cream was left.
It was all delicious and purposeful. The idea was to maximize the salt intake to maximize hydration and minimize cramping.
It worked for me.