There was once a time in this great nation of ours where a fan knew what to expect from his or her sports. You knew the World Series would be in October and you knew the Super Bowl would be held somewhere around the third or fourth week in January, but not anymore. The World Series calls itself the Fall Classic, but more closely resembles a mid-winter classic ending darn near in November. The Super Bowl is now a given to be played in February right around the time the groundhog pops out of his hole. Another constant, or so we thought, was New Year’s Day college bowl games. You know, the Orange Bowl, the Sugar Bowl, the Fiesta Bowl and the Granddaddy of them all, the Rose Bowl. All these games played on one day. It was a football lovers dream!
That dream has now died faster than a Kim Kardashian marriage and with it has come the financially-backed and corporate sponsored bowl-a-rama we now have in 2011. These bowl games in their quests to remain relevant have become nothing more than hookers on the streets of corporate greed. Gone are once proud, simple names that made a player and his respective fan base proud to say and be part of. In their place are games like the Pinstripe Bowl and the Beef O’ Brady Bowl. What pride Marshall University and Florida International players must have in wearing their Beef O’ Brady Bowl swag around campus.
In honor of traditional bowl games everywhere, I am presenting to you my favorite bowl names of 2011.
First up, the R & L Carriers Bowl in New Orleans. So now Ralph Lauren is in the shipping business? Shouldn’t this game be played in the Carrier Dome? Is this a shipping company or a place that sells central air conditioners?
Next, the Belk Bowl. I have to admit I am looking this up…. Belk? Are you serious? Is this the name of a bounty hunter from Star Wars? Apparently Belk is a department store of some kind so maybe it isn’t as bad as it initially sounds but either way, yikes.
The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl is intriguing. So one particular potato is the famous one? Is it baked? Fried? All I know is guess what you’re having for breakfast lunch and dinner as you prepare for the game? That’s right, potatoes. Famous potatoes that is. Is Spud Webb the Grand Marshal?
How perfect is the S.D. County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl? Perfect you ask? Yes, for every holiday season there isn’t a bank or credit union that DOESN’T have a ton of poinsettias all over the place when you walk in. Personally I think it’s to scare off cats.
What an absolute joke the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl is. Seriously? The only education that will be going on for the players is learning where the mall and best places to eat are while they are in town.
I also like the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl. Let’s kick back and enjoy the game from the comfort of our new trailer since the bank recently foreclosed on our home. Plus, try fitting that onto a t-shirt.
I’ve always enjoyed the Chick-fil-A Bowl simply because they have creative commercials but I am still trying to figure out just what in the hell does Chick-fil-A really mean? Is it in reference to a chicken filet? Then just tell us for crying out loud.
My final favorite bowl name for this year is the Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl. Nothing quite like taking two vicious beings in a ‘slayer’ and a ‘gator’ and putting them together. Oh the drama!! So what does the gator get should he come out victorious? Probably a ring with “Congratulations to the (insert school name here) on winning the taxslayer.com Gator Bowl and finishing with a 7-6 record.”
Corporate sponsorship of bowl games isn’t going away so get used to it. There are a couple of newcomers I would like to see however, but I’ll save that for another time. Enjoy the bowl season everyone. You might want a wristband attached so you know what games are going on. God forbid you should miss the Hyundai Sun Bowl…From Texas.
This post was contributed by Jeff Herbst. Jeff has had a passion for sports ever since he could first walk. He works with Phoenix Bats, a company that creates wood baseball bats such as their world-class fungo training bats for amateur and professional ball players.