One of the unique things about college football bowls is the fact that players usually get a gift suite of sorts that includes specific things like clothes, watches, video game systems, etc. What makes the Belk Bowl unique is while all players do get a special commemorative watch, they also get a gift card to Belk that they get to use one evening in the lead up to the Belk Bowl, giving them more freedom to choose what they want compared to other games.
Most players end up buying things like clothes and other recreational gear while some players sometimes get the full experience and make purchasing choices that surprise their teammates as some of Tech's players told us at Belk Bowl Media Day.
"Somebody might have bought a vacuum, that's probably the craziest thing I saw otherwise it was just clothes, basic stuff, but I think somebody did buy a vacuum, and an air fryer," James Mitchell said.
Dalton Keene and Hendon Hooker also confirmed that a teammates of theirs purchased an air fryer with Hooker providing some background on the reason behind the anonymous player's purchase of an air fryer.
"I saw one of my teammates purchase a fryer for their mom so that was really special to me because I'm really close with my mom and to see that kind of gave me the idea that I should get my mom something too even though I was there shopping for myself. That and I saw one of my teammates buy some perfume for my mom," Hooker said.
Rayshard Ashby added specifically that it was an air fryer from NuWave with Belk having those air fryers available from $90-$150 online. Given the Belk Bowl gift card was estimated around $440, that means that player spent at least 20% of their card on the air fryer purchase for their mom.
For those who don't know, an air fryer is similar to a regular fryer except instead of oil, it uses fast moving hot air to cook food as a regular fryer would. This air fryer is made to be a healthy alternative to a traditional fryer that would use some sort of cooking oil.
The player who did purchase their mom an air fryer was not one of the five players at today's media day. However, some of those players did share with us what they did buy on their trip to Belk.
"I just had to go get me some t-shirts, that's it, a couple hoodies and I was good," Reggie Floyd said.
"I was trying to get a lot of things for my family, little Christmas gifts here and there. I got a lot of stuff for my grandparents, my brother, and my mom," Rayshard Ashby said.
"Nothing really too crazy, I really just bought shirts, and sweatshirts, and shorts," James Mitchell said.
"I didn't get anything too surprising. I just got a couple jackets, couple hoodies, some shirts, a pair of shoes. Nothing too surprising, it was a good trip," Dalton Keene said.
Overall, Reggie Floyd summed it up well about the fun experience it is to get to go on the type of fairly high budget shopping spree that most players can't afford while in college.
"I appreciate the money that was on the card. That was a lot of money. You don't get that often so I appreciate Belk for that."