I am a sports fan. Maybe not a junkie, but an avid fan. All sports. From my early days, I grabbed the sports page before the funnies and still do. In school years, I tried all of the ball sports and even won a few letters using my mediocre skills. And I was a whiz in the sports trivia games — names and statistics. Eventually I became hooked on baseball, football and golf. They are still my favorites.
Fall is my favorite time of the year — the World Series of baseball, big golf events and the football bowl games. The bowl games were special to me since the best teams were invited to the prestige Bowl games – Rose, Orange, Sugar, Cotton, Gator, Fiesta , etc —based on the best records. Top Flight teams and quality games. Now all of that has changed and bowl games are sort of dime a dozen. This year there are about 40 games bearing peculiar titles and played by very average teams. How about Little Ceasars pizza bowl, Beef O’Brady bowl, MAACO Bowl, and other commercial titles. To use a time tested double entendre, four quarters make a dollar. All a team has to do to qualify for bowl selection is win 6 games out of 12. A bowl sponsorship is simply a new way to get broad based product publicity whether there are any people in the stands or not. When it comes to prestige, can you imagine a trophy case featuring a pizza bowl triumph?? Or maybe a muffler repair?? The whole notion of a big win over a strong foe has been diluted and sacrificed to commercial advertising. If my home team is in a bowl, I might watch on TV. Maybe. Maybe not.