MEMPHIS, Tenn. – After spending five days with family and friends for the Christmas holiday, the Mississippi State football team reconvened in Memphis on Thursday afternoon to kick off its AutoZone Liberty Bowl week.
The Hotel ...
The team hotel for this week’s bowl trip is The Peabody Memphis, located in the heart of the city. The hotel was built by Colonel Robert C. Brinkley in 1869 and named for his good friend, philanthropist George Peabody.
The Peabody has been inducted into the prestigious Preferred Hotel Group and has received four stars from Forbes and four diamonds from AAA.
Among the highlights of the hotel are the Peabody Ducks. For 80 years, the marble fountain in the hotel lobby has been occupied by the ducks, which march into the fountain at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily.
What started out as a joke by the general manager of The Peabody and his good friend in the 1930s, involving placing duck decoys in the fountain, has become a must-see tradition in Memphis. Among those who have visited the duck march are Michael Jordan, Nicholas Cage, Ethan Hawke, Don King, President Jimmy Carter, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Justin Timberlake and Oprah Winfrey. For more on the tradition of the Peabody Ducks, click here.
First Practice ...
After eating a lunch buffet of chicken sandwiches and cheeseburgers upon arrival at The Peabody, the players went through a one-hour team meeting and then departed for practice around 4 p.m.
This week’s bowl workouts are taking place at Rhodes College in Memphis. The team spent the first 45 minutes of the practice outside before moving indoors for the final 45 minutes. Each position group used the time on the field to go through a series of drills before the inside session focused more on team-on-team work.
Looking Ahead ...
Friday morning, members of the team will visit St. Jude Children’s Hospital. In the afternoon, the team will conduct its second practice in Memphis before wrapping up the day with the AutoZone Liberty Bowl Welcome Party at AutoZone Park, home of the Memphis Redbirds, the AAA affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals.