It is college bowl season. And to be honest with you, I couldn’t care less. I don’t watch any of the games anymore. For one thing there are just too many of them — over forty in all. None of them are meaningful, either. You can have a mediocre record and still get invited to a "bowl" game. I use that term loosely.
I am also turned off by the ridiculous names of most of them. I will list several of them here: R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl; AutoNation Cure Bowl; Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl; Famous Idaho Potato Bowl; Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl; Camping World Bowl; Nova Home Loans Bowl.
What are they for?
Did a team win a conference and is meeting another conference champion? That is how it used to be.
There were some lesser bowls in the old days like the Holiday Bowl or the Fiesta Bowl to give teams not part of the major conferences a chance to play for pride and position the following season.
The major conferences like the PAC 12, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC and others sent their champions to four major bowls: the Cotton, Sugar, Rose and Orange Bowls.
The Cotton and Sugar Bowls were both played in the morning, followed by the Rose Bowl in the afternoon and the Orange Bowl in the evening.
All four of these games were played on New Year’s Day.
That is what we all did — watch the four major bowl games.
National champions were determined by the voting of the Associated Press and the Coaches’ Polls at the conclusion of these games.
Rarely were there any disputes as to who the national champion ought to be.
It almost always worked itself out but not until the last game — the Orange Bowl — was played. So as a fan, you were interested in all the games played New Year’s Day.
Then the BCS was started and the whole process got messed up.
Bowl games were added but many contributed nothing to who would win the championship.
Corporate sponsors started demanding their names be added to the titles of the games; we have the Goodyear Cotton Bowl, the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, the Capital One Orange Bowl.
The Rose Bowl tried to stay pure by using the moniker The Rose Bowl presented by Northwestern Mutual. But that sounds even sillier.
Then the powers that be didn’t like this set-up after a while and created a very mediocre playoff system. I don’t know about you, but I am sick and tired of Alabama and Ohio State always being given the best shot at the title game.
I preferred the fact that Notre Dame was not in a conference and played an independent schedule. That meant they always played the best teams in the nation. No patsies for them like Alabama regularly schedules. (Mercer; who the heck is Mercer?) If Notre Dame went undefeated it meant something. And they didn’t play in a bowl game. It created a kind of aura around the team.
Yes, I know it is all about money and that is why things are the way they are now.
But I long for the old ways.
You watched a few minor bowl games during late December to get kind of in the mood.
There was an important bowl game December 31st and then the big enchilada on New Year’s Day.
It was fun. Now it’s just tedious and boring.
New Year’s Day now has me bowling or playing disc golf or ball golf.
So maybe they did me a favor.
I now spend more time with friends and family instead of parked in front of the idiot box.