"And on the the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: 12 turkey drumsticks, 11 bags of pork rinds, 10 jelly donuts, nine chocolate eclairs, eight cans of Spam, seven pumpkin pies, six Tootsie Rolls … five chicken wings! Four Cornish hens, three French pastries, two turtle bars and a pound cake made by Sara Lee!"
Don't forget, you can click on OrlandoSentinel.com and read the wildly popular Open Mike blog and interactive extravaganza to get my freshest takes on what's happening in the world of sports. Here's a blog item on how the Capital One Bowl wanted to take Texas A&M and Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel but was essentially forced to take Georgia by the SEC:
It's never a bad thing to have the runners-up from the Southeastern Conference and the Big Ten — Georgia vs. Nebraska — in your bowl game, but that's certainly not the game Orlando's Capital One Bowl most desired.
At least according to two members of the bowl search committee — who say Cap One Bowl reps wanted Texas A&M quarterback and Heisman winner Johnny Manziel to play in the Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1 — the Southeastern Conference essentially forced them to take Georgia, the loser of the SEC Championship Game. Not only that, but Cap One Bowl reps wanted to match up Texas A&M with Northwestern. Yet the Big Ten forced them to take Nebraska, which was in the Cap One Bowl last year and was clobbered by Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game.
Steve Hogan, CEO of the Cap One Bowl, said Friday that his bowl made the decision on its own without any coercion from the conference offices.
While Georgia and Nebraska were probably the most deserving teams to be in the Cap One Bowl, Texas A&M would have been more exciting for fans and more lucrative for the local economy. Johnny Football is currently college football's greatest show on turf and it's been more than half-a-century since Texas A&M played a bowl game in Florida. Aggie fans would have flocked to Orlando for the bowl game and many local residents would have bought tickets just for the chance to see Johnny Heisman work his magic.
But with the SEC and Big Ten wielding so much power in college football, there's no doubt the Cap One Bowl bent over backward to accommodate those super conferences in hopes of keeping its primo spot in the bowl pecking order for years to come.
Hogan says his bowl has a contracted right to take whatever teams it wants and it voluntarily took "the two most deserving teams" without any strong-arming from either the SEC or Big Ten offices. However, Hogan doesn't deny that Orlando has to look at the big picture and not just this year's game.
"Without conference partnerships, you don't have the inventory to play your game," Hogan said. "We don't have the groceries, but we have to cook the dinner. ... We are a host destination that wants to continue to be important.
"You have to understant that we've had a 20-year relationship with the SEC and Big Ten where we've had the top [non-BCS] selection from those conferences. That's an important place to be and we'd like to continue that relationship."
Most interesting reader retorts, radio rabble, tangy tweets and message-board mockery of the week:
On new Dwight Howard acronym: "HOWL (Howard Out West Loveless)."
On Rob Parker being suspended by ESPN: "He shouldn't be suspended for being a racist; he should be suspended for being an idiot."
On new USF coach Willie Taggart saying the Bulls aim to own recruiting on the I-4 corridor: "The Gators and Seminoles own recruiting in this state — whether it's the I-4, I-10 or I-95 corridors."
Three of my favorite quotes from late-night comedians this week:
Conan O'Brien: "Mitt Romney met Manny Pacquiao just before Pacquiao lost his boxing match to Juan Manuel Marquez. Afterward, Romney told Pacquiao, 'You lost for the same reason I did — young Hispanics.' "
Jay Leno: "The Lakers are so bad, when Mitt Romney talks about the 47 percent, he means Dwight Howard's free throw shooting."
Jimmy Fallon: "Last night on Twitter, Donald Trump mistakenly called New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, 'Bob Belichick.' Then he said, 'I apologize to the entire Patriots organization, and their quarterback, Jan Brady.' "
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