Panthers arrive in St. Petersburg, begin final bowl game prep

By Joel Delgado ’12, MS ’17

The Panthers have invaded St. Petersburg and are making their presence felt as the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl on Thursday, Dec. 21, draws near.

The team left for St. Petersburg early Sunday morning, and, within hours of arrival, several of the student-athletes, coaches and staff from FIU and Temple went to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital to spend time with the patients. They handed out free shirts and gear and shared stories and laughs.

The Panthers and Owls then teamed up with the Boys & Girls Club and Feeding Tampa Bay to pack 100,000 meals in just 35 minutes (that’s an average of 47.6 meals per second) for those who can use the help this holiday season.


“We love to give back and these bowl games are a great way to give back to the community and help people in need,” said senior quarterback Alex McGough, who grew up in the area.

On Monday morning, the Panthers hit the practice field to begin their game week preparations. After practice, they took their talents to Busch Gardens for an afternoon of rollercoasters, safaris and the inaugural Bad Boy Mowers race, where FIU and Temple drafted a team of drivers to compete in a lawn mower race.

This could be the next big thing in sports:

“The energy is high and everyone is coming together and bonding more and loving the experience so far,” McGough added.

Tickets for the Gasparilla Bowl are still available for fans who want to cheer on their team. The game kicks off at 8 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN. For more information, visit Bowl Central.