MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The following is a timeline of events in the past week concerning the Senior Bowl and the Azalea Trail Maids.
Thursday, Jan. 20
During a conference meeting, Mobile County Commissioners Randall Duiett and Connie Hudson announce they have received complaints about the Azalea Trail Maids not being invited to participate in the Senior Bowl. For decades the Trail Maids have participated in on-field pre-game and/or halftime festivities.
Duiett said Senior Bowl Executive Director Jim Nagy has ignored his phone calls and threatens to vote in the future against County funding for the game. Mobile County contributes $165,000 annually to the Senior Bowl.
Monday, Jan. 24
Duiett calls out Nagy again and blames “the woke NFL cancel culture” for excluding the Trail Maids from the Senior Bowl. In 2020, Nagy abandoned the game’s long standing North vs. South format.
Still no comment from Senior Bowl officials.
Tuesday, Jan. 25
The Senior Bowl released a statement that said the Trail Maids had previously accepted an invitation to participate in the Welcoming Reception on Monday, Jan. 31, and that the game was now extending invitations to participate in the Senior Bowl parade in downtown on Friday Feb. 4, and to greet fans outside Hancock-Whitney Stadium before the game on Saturday, Feb. 5. The Trail Maids still are not invited to any in-stadium festivities
Wednesday, Jan. 26
The Trail Maids confirmed that they will appear in all three events they have been invited to. They will wear their trademark antebellum dresses in the parade, but a number of girls at the Welcoming Reception and outside the stadium on game day will be in jeans and polos.
Senior Bowl officials site “a lack of space at Hancock-Whitney Stadium” for excluding the Maids from in-stadium festivities.
Mobile City Councilman Scott Jones calls a press conference and says the city “should cancel the Senior Bowl before canceling the Trail Maids.” Jones says he will go to the Senior Bowl offices on Thursday to confront Nagy.
Thursday, Jan. 27
Senior Bowl announced that the Trail Maids, in their traditional dresses, will be in the stadium and will be introduced before the game. The Trail Maids will be allowed to stay in the stadium during the game.
Friday, Jan. 28
Representatives from the Senior Bowl and Azalea Trail Maid finalized the maid’s participation in pregame festivities at Hancock Whitney Stadium. All 50 of the Azalea Trail Maids will wear their dresses while they’re on the field, according to Christina Hickman, Chairman of the Board for the Mobile Azalea Trail Maids.
Jim Nagy, Executive Director of the Senior Bowl released this statement about the inclusion of the Azalea Trail Maids in this year’s Senior Bowl.
“The Azalea Trail Maids play an important role in the tradition of the Senior Bowl and I’m especially thankful for the service that these accomplished young women provide to our city and game. In addition to joining us at the welcome event and annual downtown parade, we’re honored to have the Azalea Trail Maids, Mobile’s Official Ambassadors, join us on the field to welcome players and fans to the game.”Jim Nagy, Executive Director of the Senior Bowl