A new year, try solving the wacky bowl season

Happy New Year.

Hopefully this finds you just back from the gym, or enjoying a slow start to your last day off before heading back to work after a long weekend or little-longer-than-a-week off for the Holidays.


Hopefully the forecast changes between now (when I'm writing this) and then (when you're reading), but for those who plan to get the new year off on the right foot this (Monday) morning — staying true to your New Year's resolution, at least on Day 2 — running outdoors when it's (forecasted to be) rainy and in the mid-40s sounds like a recipe for getting sick, which would be a real set-back to your New Year.

So, if you are reading this post-run, I hope it's also post long, hot shower, and that you're doing it (reading that is) in sweats and warm socks or slippers.

Hopefully this is your last stop before turning your attention to your crockpot or your slow-cooked (or roasted) meat or game-day meal or munchie of choice; before settling in to your couch or chair-of-choice to watch the Outback, Cotton, Rose and/or Sugar bowls.

(If you hurry and throw your ribs in now, they should be ready for the evening games. Oh, and Google, and go get the ingredients for a, buffalo chicken dip. You'll thank me — maybe not tomorrow, but you'll thank me.)

Call me crazy, and maybe it's just a byproduct of getting older, and certainly of starting my days earlier, but, if you can play four Bowl games on New Year's Eve, kicking off the nightcap game at 7, why not play the second stanza of games on New Year's Day? Why kick off the Sugar Bowl at 8:30 on a school night, particularly after opting not to play a single game the day before?

I've learned lately that my memory is starting to slip. But, from what I can remember from my own New Year's Day-related childhood — that was the big Bowl day back then.

It was Dick Clark "Rocking in the New Year" the night before (including a never quite explained to me tradition of banging pots and pans at midnight), then the last of the triple crown of sorts of parade season — the Rose Bowl Parade. (Thanksgiving and Christmas days being the first and second legs of the traditional Holiday season parade trifecta.)

Then again, this was also before the Bowls bore the name of sponsoring brands.


Also a bit confusing to me is why the Rose Bowl, which is played in California, has a 5 p.m. kick-off, while the Sugar Bowl, played in New Orleans, gets the 8:30 start. Maybe, because it's "the Granddaddy of them all" it has an earlier bed time.

But, shouldn't the patriarchal of all the Bowl games be played last (or at least latest)?

Though, it also seems a bit counter-intuitive and anti-climactic that the more meaningful — at least from a College Football Playoff Championship determining and ramifications perspective — Peach and Fiesta bowls are to be played two-days before these (more tradition-owning) but "lesser" Bowl games.

Again, maybe another sign of my getting older, and priorities (and/or schedules) changing, but I haven't watched one minute of one Bowl game yet this year (err, this Bowl season). As of this (Saturday) morning, 32 have already been played. And, with plans for Saturday night that don't include a flat screen tuned in to football, as of this morning, I doubt that I'll have seen much other than highlights or more likely, Twitter updates.

Bowl season, with its 41 bowls, seems to have become a lot like little league baseball (and AAU Basketball) — made more for participation and made more about monetizing the sports than (about) being selective and being limited to being played between the best of the best.

Now you can tune in any time after Dec. 17 and watch the (best of the) rest. (It's sort of like how traveling to ESPN's Wide World of Sports for AAU "Nationals" has become almost like a guaranteed right of passage for any kid hoopster between the ages of 8 and 18 (or 24 depending on your math and how many times a kid has been held back just for sports' sake), regardless of ability, or, you know, (lack of any sort of) national ranking.)


Maybe 2000 Flushes should just go ahead and sponsor the first Bowl of the season, even going so far as to hold it on Boise State's blue turf. (Yep, that was a Toilet Bowl joke.) Two stinky teams, likely both with losing records, being given the "experience" of playing in Bowl game.

With fewer than a thousand fans in attendance, at least at most of the pre-New Year's Eve Bowl games, it has been acknowledged (and begrudgingly admitted by those that like to make empty arguments against college football being a business) that many of these Bowls are not held, you know, for fans to actually attend, in-person. They're designed for consumption via TV — or at least to add the idea of (false) value to the TV packages purchased by sports networks, and/or to the volume of content owned and produced by Conference-specific channels and "Network."

Maybe I'll tune in to the title game next Monday. But, then again, not getting home 'til after 9 p.m., and getting back on the road 'round 5 a.m., and with that game being played on a school night — I doubt I'll catch much more than the Twitter updates about its outcome either.

Happy New Year. Good luck sticking to your resolutions. Enjoy the games — or at least the ribs (or pulled pork) and buffalo chicken dip.