BOWL-ed Over

At this time of the year, there are not enough hours in the day to do all your Christmas shopping, baking, decorating, partying, etc. And that’s before you factor in all the college bowl games you’ll want to watch. What would the Christmas season be like without them? Nothing says “Peace On Earth” like two teams physically assaulting each other repeatedly over the course of four quarters.

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE college football. Of course, I’ll be glued to the boob tube during a great number of the bowl games, especially the Sugar Bowl. Yes, my alma mater, UGA (GO DAWGS!), will be playing in that bowl on the evening of January 1st. While it is exciting to be invited to participate in such a famous bowl game, UGA fans are disappointed that our team will not be a part of the College Football Playoffs (CFP). Excuse me while I make moose ears and stick my tongue out at the selection committee. Oh, well. You can’t spell “sugar” without UGA, so I guess we’ll make the most of the crumbs we’ve been offered.

But I’ll be watching bowl games long before New Year’s Day. Yes, sir. It’s off to the races starting this Saturday when a total of six bowl games will kick off. Better get all your Christmas activities completed by noon ET when the Celebration Bowl commences in Atlanta.Not available to watch that bowl? Not to worry. Approximately 40 bowl games will be played, so certainly you will be available to view at least some of them.

It used to be prestigious to go to a bowl game. There were only a few, and it was a really big deal to get invited to one. Now there are a plethora of bowl games and a zillion (OK, I might be exaggerating a tad) of teams that are bowl eligible. Currently a team must win six games to be bowl eligible. Despite the scads of bowl games to be played, some eligible teams will sit out bowl playing. 1, 2, 3. All together now: Awwwww!

Should I want to see a bowl game in person, I reside in a good location to do so. Florida leads the states with the number of bowl games played within its borders. Eight are held in this state–Boca Raton; Camping World; Citrus; Cure; Gasparilla; Gator; Orange; and Outback. What? No Lemon Bowl or Grapefruit Bowl to be played in the Sunshine State?

If you enjoy traveling abroad during the holidays, you can combine travel with football. Head to Nassau for the Bahamas Bowl on December 21st. Celebrate the great American tradition of a bowl game by leaving the country.

Some bowl names make us snicker. I was amused to learn that the precursor to the Fiesta Bowl was the Salad Bowl. Guess dressing for that event could get messy. The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl sounds silly, but, hey, it’s really appropriate. Who wouldn’t want to sit down to view a bowl game with a big bowl of potato chips to munch on? (Preferably with my favorite bacon onion dip.) And then there’s the Cheez-It Bowl in Phoenix on December 26th. Wonder if they sell the delicious salty and cheesy snack in the stadium during the event.

The name of a bowl is not always the winner of a truth in advertising award. I was disappointed to find out that tickets to the Dollar General Bowl in Mobile, AL are way more than a dollar. Reserved tickets are $45, but you can get a deal with $15 general admission tickets.

Those glued to their TV’s for bowl games are likely to be ACC and SEC fans. Why? Well, these two conferences lead the (large) pack of teams participating in bowls with eleven conference teams each represented.

And patriotism has not been forgotten in the frenzy of bowl games. The Armed Forces Bowl will be played in Fort Worth on December 21st. Army’s Black Knights will do battle with Houston. (GO ARMY!) Thoughtfully, Lockheed Martin sponsors this bowl. And why not? The company’s made tons of money off defense contracts, so why not give a shout out to those defending our country?

This year’s Orange Bowl will provide a match-up of the Heisman Trophy winner, Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray (no relation to me), and the Heisman Trophy winner runner up, Alabama’s Tua T. Who can pronounce Tua’s last name much less spell it? Although I am not an Alabama fan, I will be rooting for the Crimson Tide in this game for two reasons. First, I’m an SEC gal; I’ll root for a family member–even one I don’t like–when the family member is pitted against a non-family member. Second, I want Alabama (you know, the #1 team that didn’t look so invincible against by beloved Bulldogs in the SEC Championship), to cream the Sooners just to show the CFP selection committtee what an idiotic selection it made for the #4 slot. Pfft!.

The final game in the marathon of bowl games is the national championship to be played on the night of January 7th. Speaking of idiotic decisions, who schedules such a monumental game on a Monday night? Hello! Everyone has to get up and go to work the next day! We’ll be up late watching the game and will probably have a stomach ache from devouring that bowl of potato chips during the game. The team that wins will be happy, but the rest of us will be tired and grumpy.

My advice for getting through the bowl season? Be selective. You can’t watch all the games, so don’t try. Everything in moderation–even watching bowl games. Choose the best match ups or at least watch the teams you usually root for–or against. And while you are practicing moderation, don’t eat the whole bowl of chips during the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl or the whole box of Cheez-Its during the Cheez-It Bowl.

Just WONDER-ing: Did you realize the huge number of bowl games to be played? What bowl games do you plan to watch? What will be in your bowl to eat as you watch them?


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