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Brisk on St. Pete Beach? To Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl fans, it's balmy

University of Louisville cornerback Titus Teague jumps out from his teammates during a dance contest at the Beach Bash for the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl at the Tradewinds Island Resorts on Sunday. Lots of jackets there, but no parkas.

KATHLEEN FLYNN | Times

University of Louisville cornerback Titus Teague jumps out from his teammates during a dance contest at the Beach Bash for the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl at the Tradewinds Island Resorts on Sunday. Lots of jackets there, but no parkas.

ST. PETE BEACH — Where most of the Louisville Cardinals football fans roaming the sand here came from, the roads are iced over and the week ahead is forecast to get a drenching from a dreadful-sounding thing called a "wintry mix."

So it may not sound so odd that the hundreds of University of Louisville fans who drove or flew here from Kentucky for the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl at Tropicana Field on Tuesday were relishing Sunday's dreary skies and low 50s temperatures.

"Our excitement got a little bigger at each rest stop as it got warm," said Cardinals fan Jessica Holman, 34, who drove to St. Pete Beach with her family.

Along with fans and players of their bowl opponent, Southern Miss, Cardinals fans drank cool libations and played on the beach at a prebowl celebration at the Tradewinds Island Resorts.

Some, like Cardinals drum line member Andrew Edel, couldn't resist a dip into the gulf.

"I came to Florida. You got to go to the beach, to the ocean," Edel said as he stood shirtless with friends behind the resort. "But I did go back to the hot tub."

"Yeah, this is pretty good," said band member Peter Anderson, in shorts, his toes in the sand.

For the people not here on vacation, our version of winter grew colder Sunday night and will stay cooler until Tuesday, said Bay News 9 meteorologist Brian McClure.

"Today was nasty. Everybody else hated it," McClure said of Sunday evening's weather.

Overnight lows were forecast to hit the freezing mark in Hernando and Pasco counties.

Pinellas County and the western portion of Hillsborough County were expected to be slightly warmer, dipping into the upper 40s.

The cooler weather will likely stick around through Tuesday morning. Temperatures may be back into the 70s later this week.

And even though for the time being St. Pete Beach doesn't feel like its typically balmy self, the football revelers are glad they're here, and not at the Motor City Bowl — at 16 degrees, with snowfall expected in Detroit.

Brisk on St. Pete Beach? To Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl fans, it's balmy 12/19/10 [Last modified: Sunday, December 19, 2010 10:48pm]
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