Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Bowled Over

Stewart Mandel breaks down the 35 scheduled bowl games, which kick off December 18 with the New Mexico Bowl and conclude, three weeks later, with the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game, on January 10.
Sure, your eyes may glaze over as you read the following 35 nuggets on the varying levels of prestige, quality of teams and awkwardness of sponsor names for each bowl. But on Dec. 18, you'll find yourself strangely invested in the Fresno State-Northern Illinois game, shouting at the TV when a receiver drops a pass. If UCF and Georgia played on regular-season Saturday, you'd never watch, but on the afternoon of Dec. 31, you'll be loving the fact that there's football on in the middle of the day.
All told, the 35 games adds up to 2,100 minutes of football, basically a day-and-a-half fans will never get back.

Rivaling the overwhelming number of games, as Mandel points out, is the ridiculousness of their names. Curiously named bowls include the uDrove Humanitarian Bowl, which pits, in a fight to the death, Northern Illinois against Fresno State, and the Louisville/Southern Mississippi slop in the Beef "O" Brady's St. Petersburg Bowl. There's also the Kraft Fight Hunger (Boston College v. Nevada), a good cause, if not a particularly good game, and the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowls, an arrhythmic mouthful to which either North Carolina and Tennessee, two proud institutions of higher education, will, unfortunately, have to attach its name. Even the Rose Bowl, the "Granddaddy of Them All," my favorite bowl game, has attached an corporate addendum to its illustrious tradition--"Presented by Vizio"-- an ugly and unnecessary appendage, a third limb.

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