Region’s Team Luncheon

Region’s Team Luncheon

“Now, I know a lot of you think the Magic City Classic is about partying and tailgating, but the real reason we’re here is these two teams,” said Deno Posey.

The annual Regions Bank Team Luncheon is  held on Oct. 26 at the Sheraton Hotel, welcoming both Alabama State University and Alabama A&M University’s football teams.

“As you know, our Magic City Classic is the granddaddy of all classics in the country. This is the largest HBCU classic in the country,” said Posey showing gratitude to McDonald’s, Coca Cola, and Regions Bank for their sponsorship toward the Magic City Classic.

Leroy Abraham, executive vice president of community affairs for Regions Bank, greets the crowd and welcomes everyone to the event. He shares a brief story about Abraham Lincoln and how he spends his last on a wagon at 23 years-old not knowing it would lead him to his presidency. This reference ties into to the college students present, who are on their way to achieving their life goals. He congratulates each student in the room on their willingness and commitment to further their education.

“If you’re not thinking about your destiny, you probably should be thinking about your destiny because your destiny is going to go well beyond tomorrow’s game,” said Abraham. “You don’t know today what that destiny is going to be, but you never know when you might be making a decision that will impact that destiny for many years to come.”

The mayor of Birmingham, Ala., Randall Woodfin, gives a special greeting to both university presidents and coaches, complimenting their hard work and dedication to not only their institution but the players: “Off the field, we know the importance of teaching our young people, but on the field, this saturday, these two coaches have put into their plays not only the x’s and o’s, but what character and teamwork means, and what sportsmanship is all about.”

When asked by a reporter asks Mayor Woodfin what he likes about Magic City Classic, he emphasizes that not too long ago in the same state of Alabama, black students were seldom allowed to attend colleges or universities. He stresses that the each player enjoy playing in the Magic City Classic for their college careers before making their mark on the world and commends them for their leadership on and off the field.

Posey introduces Dee Jackson, Alabama A&M graduate, who begins by announcing his love for the hornets although he is a bulldog. He explains that due to his familiarity with both sides, he has seen the true magic in Magic City Classic, and refers to himself as “a bulldog with hornet wings”.

“I’ve learned as a student, as an alum, as a parent, and as a professional broadcaster that there’s so many things going on in this game. The special thing about Magic City Classic is that it’s so inclusive. Anybody can go and everyone is welcomed,” said Jackson.

Both head coaches, Donald Hill-Eley of the Alabama State hornets and Connell Maynor of the Alabama A&M bulldogs, are introduced. They thank their individual team of coaches as well as their football teams. Coach Eley makes a point to refer to his team as the “2018 football SWAC champs”, bragging on the hornets previous victory at last year’s Magic City Classic. While Coach Maynor jokes about how the classic is the only game that he has to win, calling out to his Bulldogs, letting the Hornets know they are in for a fight.

Coach Eley and Coach Maynor conclude the luncheon by saying goodbye to their senior players and cheerleaders, taking pictures and giving them gifts.