Bowled Over

January02/ 2014

For well over a decade I have stood upon this cyber street corner and beseeched you all to come to your senses before it is too late.  I have warned that our great nation will one day simply sink under the weight of (1) too many bowl games….. (2) too many Progressive Insurance commercials…. and (3) waaay too much concern for “what color best attracts semi-literate 17 y/os”.

After all that beseechment, The NYTimes has an article this week predicting that Uncle Julius may soon emerge from “his cone of silence” – Uh oh!  Ya think Dickie might have to give back all those Atta Boy plaques?

Will Uncle Julius Speak?  LINK !!!

Do I think Julius is gonna squeal?  Absolutely…. and the resultant fall-out will be “epic”.  Was there “a master puppeter”?  No, the quite incompetent naive hard-core Kool-Aiders are not nearly “clever” enough to be “master” anythings.

I can see it now….. Galactic archeologists in 3014 will be digging along what used to be the Eastern Seaboard of something called North America and will find a shard of the 2013 Beef O’Brady Bowl Championship trophy and, after shouting “Eureka”, will ponder like we do about those statues on Easter Island.    …… Was Beef O-Brady one of those cute children in those interminable AT&T kindergarten commercials?

“The Bowl Season” has become the Golden Corral Buffet of sports spectatoring.  Just because it says “all you can eat” doesn’t mean you have to gorge yourself.   For me “all” was maybe three of’em where I actually sat down and got engaged in the game.

I wandered in/out of various others enough to ponder about those afore-mentioned “semi-literate 17 y/os”.   Since at least 50% of “bowl eligible teams” wore some version of a black uniform, how will those kids ever decide upon their college of choice?

Coach Fedora says “the color black” attracts athletically inclined semi-literate 17 y/os” like deer urine attracts Bambi’s daddy.   I yield to Larry’s research on the subject.   Charles Kuralt said “it’s not the well or the bell or the wall…..” but who knew it was “the color black”?   So much for Thomas Wolfe and the Morehead Planetarium’s Zeiss Instrument.

I wonder if Blake Anderson ever visited the Planetarium and saw “the Zeiss”?   Do they have a Zeiss Instrument at Arkansas State?  I bet not.

When every team is wearing black, will the determining factor in recruiting shift to “choose Whatzamatta U and you will….. get a new set of Beats headphones every December”.

I did attend The Belk Bowl.  We did WCHL’s Good Sports “on location” outside BOA just about a lob wedge from Blake Shelton’s concert.   We learned “how Battle Wall got his name” and that the banana pudding in the BOA Press Box is exceptional….. and, of course, saw Ryan Switzer run back another punt.   Seeing Ryan Switzer run back a punt is pretty much a given at any Tar Heel game these days.

Maybe Bubba oughta offer a “watch Ryan run back a punt” guarantee next season?  Buy two tickets for UNC v San Diego State.  If Ryan runs back a punt, you can trade in your stubs for two tickets for UNC v Liberty.   Creative marketing will be the name of the game in college sports in the years to come.

Certainly “The Game” so far was Duke v Johnny Manzeil.   Yeeee Haaaa!  Lordy Lordy THAT one was a humdinger.  I was pulling for Good Neighbor Dave’s Devils because…… “Everybody loves Coach Cut”.   Really, they do.   In those Muslim terrorists training schools, they teach young terrorists that when they swarm over America in 5-6 years to spare David Cutcliffe because……

Critics might question a few Duke play calls in the second half that mighta won it for the Wally Warriors.  That a different play or two coulda had Duke beating Texas A&M in a bowl game woulda won A LOT of bar bets back in August.

When Wuffs lose a tough game it’s always due to “the refs”…… John Swofford….. or all those alumni from the UNC J-School.   I haven’t heard who “the Wallys” are blaming for their loss.

Bowl games have replaced Dirty Harry and Chuck Norris Marathons as “what you can watch 24/7 on TV during the holidays”.   They have NOT replaced Bond-athons or Duck Dynasty marathons however.

Bowl games began as an incentive to lure snow birds to Southern climes in late December.   Now they are simply TV programming fodder.

If I was Bowl Czar I would have triple-headers in climate-controlled venues in “places people might actually want to visit”.   Imagine an all day triple-headers in the SuperDome or GeorgiaDome.   For a $50 ticket you could see three games PLUS get knee-walking drunk afterwards.   I have all the logistics already worked out.

If you heard the term “sold-out” it meant the bowl guys either forced the participating schools to buy 10,000 waaaay over-priced seats they couldn’t give away… or the bowl guys did give’em away.  Or the bowl guys simply don’t count the 1,000s of empty seats in the upper level.

We interviewed the Belk Bowl guys.  The “bowl system” is going to be radically revised starting next year.   There will still be twice as many bowl games as there should be.  Mediocrity will still be rewarded….. and coaches will “earn” bonuses for going 6-6 and being “bowl eligible”. But bowl selection will be on a regional basis so, other than the 6-8 “big bowls” (sorry “Beef O’” and “Fight Hunger” but you ain’t “big bowls”) teams will be selected with “how far fans might travel” as a factor.  “Not very far” is the answer to that question.

There were MAYBE 35,000 at BOA….. I’m not sure how much more convenient a site can be to attract fans.

If “your team” played in a bowl this year, your school probably lost $$$ doing so but you don’t much care because it wasn’t your money.  Like “football being a dangerous sport”.   Other than if your family or close friends are directly affected; does it really matter?

Here’s an idea!  Rather than lose $100,000 going to a whozit bowl “to impress those 17 y/os”…. why not put $50,000 “in a bowl” and let those semi-literate 17 y/os grab for all they can hold?  I betcha “green Benjamins” are more of an inducement than “black uniforms”.

Football as a spectator sports has never been more popular, both college and pro….. “The Game” itself is Fine.  But enough American sports fans have already decided that “being there” is over-rated when compared to TV convenience.   Every school will have its core fan base that will dutifully show up regardless of inclement weather, whozit opponent, interminable time outs and game delays, and way over-priced concessions.

The school’s loyal core will fill 75% of their stadium.   Filling that additional 25% except for Big Games will be an ever-challenging chore.

Green Bay has not sold-out its playoff game this coming weekend.  THAT is a canary dying in a coal mine.

Pay $500 for a ticket in Lambeau in -15 degree chill factor ???  Or watch it on TV ????

Every school will, of course, still claim it’s fans are more loyal (aka “better human beings”) than it’s hated rivals are because hated rivals will still be hated rivals.   Bitter rivalries and Progressive Insurance commercials will never change.  And the lousy refs will still “be out to get” your team.

As the sun sets on this season of Big Time College Football never forget:

The teams that get to play in “Big Bowl games” will always be the teams with the better 3rd team offensive lines.


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