September 21, 2001 - by

Chris Hope Diary: Takes Us Through A Road Trip

Sept. 21, 2001

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    Chris Hope and his Florida State teammates leave Friday to play at North Carolina. Hope is in his fourth season with the team and took seminoles.com through a road trip in his Weekly Drill prior to leaving with the team for Chapel Hill and Saturday’s Noon kickoff against the Tar Heels.


    Take Us Through A Road Trip


    “We have to come to the Moore Athletic Center approximately one hour before the bus leaves to pick up our travel sweats from the equipment staff. We have to be clean shaven and dressed appropriately before getting on the bus to go to the airport. We board the charter airplane as a team, fly to our destination and go to our opponents’ field for a walk-through. We then go to the hotel and spend the remainder of the day meeting with our position coaches, watching film and eating meals.”


    How Does The Team Get To The Airport?


    “We go as a team to the airport on charter buses. There are four buses in the convoy that travels to and from the airport. The first three buses carry the members of the team and the fourth is for the staff members who are traveling to the game. The offense rides on bus one, the defense on bus two and the freshman are on bus three.”


    What Is It Like Riding On The Team Charter?


    “We have a lot of fun on the charter plane as we are traveling to the game. There are usually a lot of jokes being told with a lot of people making each other laugh. It is a time where we can relax before having to buckle down and refocus in the game.”


    Take Us Through the Walk Through At Keenan Stadium


    “When we get into the city of our opponent on the day before a game, we go to the stadium for a walk through. We get to the stadium, change into our practice warm-ups and run around a little bit to get used to the grass and the field and take a look around the stadium for the position of the game and play clocks.”


    What Does The Team Do Friday Night At The Hotel?


    “Our nights at the hotel before a game are actually very busy. We meet with our defensive position coaches, the defense as a whole then team meets with coach Bowden. We then break up into offense/defense and go over any details. Following our meetings, we have a snack and an 11 p.m. curfew. After our last meeting on Friday night, we are off until we have to be at morning breakfast.”


    Is It Easy To Sleep On Friday Night?


    “It’s not always easy to sleep on the night before a game. Since we don’t usually practice on Friday we don’t really have a reason to be tired. We watch television and have to force ourselves to sleep because a good night’s sleep before a game is important. It’s harder for me to sleep when we are playing a big game because I am anxious to go out and play.”


    What Kind Of Feelings Do You Have When You Wake Up On Saturday Morning?


    “I don’t usually begin to focus on the game until after breakfast when we go into our position meetings. We go through the process that we went through the night before and begin to focus on playing the game. Because most of our games our games are at night, we watch a lot of other teams play and are able to relax before getting dressed and ready to play.”


    What Is The Mood During The Team Breakfast?


    “The mood during team practice is one of concentration. Most of the players are quiet as we eat our breakfast. It’s usually just a calm mood because we have all just gotten up.”


    When You Have A Later Game, What Do You Do All Day Long?


    “When we play afternoon or night games, we do our best to stay off of our feet without laying all day and getting lazy. We also eat in order to keep our energy up so that we are awake and concentrating on the game.”


    What Is the Mood On The Bus Ride To The Stadium?


    “Everybody is really focused on the bus ride to the game. Most of the players listen to their CD players and you might hear a couple of players talking, but for the most part, the bus ride to the stadium on game day is very quiet.”


    Take Us Through Pre-Game Warm-Ups


    “Pre-game warm-ups, believe it or not, are the most intense part of the game being with Coach Andrews. He is really fired up and wants all of the players to move as fast as possible, hit hard and get loose in preparation for the game. The pre-game warm-ups are usually the most tiring part of the game for me. The defensive backs have a motto ‘just let me make it through the warm-ups and I’ll be alright for the game.'”


    What Is Your Feeling As Game Time Approaches?


    I am never nervous or scared about playing a particular opponent but I am always nervous and scared in the hopes that we all play well and win the game. I always want to get on defense first because I like making or being in the area of the first tackle of the game. That has happened during both of our games this season, also. When I get a little contact that usually calms me down.


    Who Calls Heads Or Tails?


    I usually do the talking among the captains when we go out for the coin toss. I ask the other captains what they want to call and I call it. Walking onto the field for the coin toss gets me excited and that continues to help me get ready to play.


    Who Makes The Choice Of Whether To Kickoff Or Receive?


    If we win the toss, coach Kines already has it decided that we are going to kick off in the first half and receive the kickoff in the second half.

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