As the sun was setting, Eastern Michigan and Old Dominion took to the sand for the annual Beach Bash celebration at the Atlantis Resort ahead of Friday’s Popeyes Bahamas Bowl.
New for 2016, Popeyes Chief Marketing Officer Hector Munoz and his staff unveiled a chicken eating contest to create some friendly and fun completion ahead of the game. With four players from each team competing, it was a sight to see.
“This is our third year as the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl sponsor and we wanted to something different,” Munoz said. “We have learned the last couple of years that the football players love our chicken and we thought this would be a great way to celebrate, create some competition and see who could be the best.”
As the contest began, the two teams enjoyed some friendly bantering before cheering on their teammates. The competition was close but Eastern Michigan finished a few chicken strips ahead of the Monarchs.
Senior punter Austin Barnes and his teammates were amped up after the win, raising their Popeyes belts in the air to a roaring Eagles crowd.
“It was a fun competition,” Barnes said. “We came out singing, dancing and trying to taunt the competition a little bit and we were able to come out on top.”
“It was so much fun,” graduate assistant strength coach J.C. Hull added. “We came here on a mission and we accomplished that mission. We wanted to win and have a good time.”
Thought they didn’t earn the win today, Old Dominion still show a competitive spirit and had a great time taking down some chicken strips.
“We did the best we can,” Old Dominion graduate assistant coach Craig Wilkins said. “I knew my teammates would do their part and I did the best I could. My appetite is not what it used to be. I finished about six or seven, not bad.”
The balancing of practice and off-the-field activities will continue Wednesday. Some players and staff from both Eastern Michigan and Old Dominion will visit the Ranfurly Homes for Children and will join USA Football staff members to put on a football clinic for local youth.