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Dispatch from Orlando

The steady hand of yours truly.

Greetings from sunny and gorgeous Orlando, where yours truly is only one of many currently wearing Green.  The city is teeming with Spartan fans, and I have no reason to doubt Mark Hollis's prediction that the MSU contingent will be 22,000-25,000 strong.

Owing to the munificence of my fantastic in-laws, we're staying at the official MSU hotel, the Peabody, which I'm happy to report is very beautiful and equally boring.  A large percentage of the team was on hand this afternoon for the daily parade of ducks, entertainment about as edgy as Hannah Montana.  (This is my first time in Orlando; it seems a little like Las Vegas for 10 year-olds.)  But 90% of the people I see in the building are wearing MSU swag; the vibe is a bit like the Kellogg Center before a home game, with the added bonus of celebrity sightings--Mark Hollis walking out of the hotel bar!--and frequent elevator rides with MSU players.  My early impressions of the bowl trip are strongly positive; it's a lot of fun being around several thousand people whose collective fandom seems to be just as obsessive as my own, and even the few Alabama fans I've encountered have been good people.

The major event of this past evening was the pep rally.  It was short but fun and very well-attended--hence my less-than-ideal filming location--and was emceed by WLNS's own Lisa Byington.  The event produced one bulletin board-worthy moment, supplied by Aaron Bates, of all people:

I think we need to run at least six variations on Little Giants in order to give Bates ample opportunity to back up his prediction.  Also, Kirk Cousins' preaching experience shows; he's an excellent public speaker.

For his part, Mark Dantonio (in the video at the top of the page) made no similar guarantees, but was eager to recognize his assistant coaches and celebrate the achievements of this year's remarkable senior class.  The musical entertainment, as always, was provided by the Spartan Marching Band.

This was the last public event for the team and players before the game, which is less than 40 hours away (!).  The longer I hang around here, the more optimistic I'm becoming about this game.  For now, how are you feeling about about MSU's chances on Saturday?