The Bowl Game is a college football tradition. It is meant as a reward for a winning season in a sport with only a dozen games that is usually filled with parity. This year, there will be more bowls than ever, so many in fact, that it is hard to keep up with all the names and who is going where.
With Sunday’s release of the bowl game pairings, everyone’s focus was on the BCS Bowls, but the most interesting part of the bowl games are the names. It used to be all the bowl games had a sponsor and a name (such as the Tostito’s Fiesta Bowl). Now, several bowls are named solely after their sponsor. Which is okay, so long as you have a an appropriate sponsor. For instance, there is a Champs Sports Bowl. Champs Sports is an athletics retail store. That makes sense. But then you have a case where the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl dropped the Peach part a few years ago and became the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Now, I don’t know about anyone else, but when I hear that name, I don’t think of football. I think of a new product featuring fried chicken (imagine how awesome it would be if there was the KFC Famous Bowl Bowl).
And there are so many more that are forced, awkward, or just bizarre. Take this shining example: the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. Sure, it is raises awareness of a good cause, but you cannot deny that it is going to be odd to see teams battling it out over a midfield logo proclaiming “fight hunger”. Even if its name were Kraft Bowl, images of a new frozen food product would pop in my head. How about the Kraft San Francisco Bowl?
Even one with a nickname is weird — the Pinstripe Bowl (because it is played in the new Yankee Stadium). Yeah, because I know that when I think of Pinstripes and sports, I think of college football. It’s a great idea by the Yankees to further their recognition into another sport, but a bad choice by the bowl to stick with that name. Besides, do the Yankees even need more recognition? It’s like having a Red Wings Bowl or a Showtime Bowl set indoors at the Staples Center.
There are many others this year that we can’t even begin to decide which has the silliest name. So we’re leaving it up to you. Cast your vote in the sidebar. You won’t win anything, but if my sophomore year civic class taught me anything, it ‘s that is what democracy is all about.