As College Bowl season carries on (and on, and on), it should serve as a very clear reminder of how everyone associated with college football is getting paid, except the athletes.
It’s not about teams trying to finish with the highest ranking, it’s about companies paying tens of millions of dollars to teams that need only six wins to qualify for a “bowl berth.”
There are more than 40 bowl games if you lost track, featuring more than 80 teams, and only a small handful will have any hopes of playing a game of much importance.
So Many Bowl Games, What’s a Few More?
I mean, aside from the Orange, Rose, Sugar, Cotton, Fiesta or National Championship game can anyone name six others?
Allow me to share a few real ones and then make some suggestions for a few others.
The SERVPRO First Responders Bowl features Boise State and Boston College, but, let’s face it, these teams are playing for pride and once the game is over the result will, just like the motto of the corporate sponsor, be “like it never even happened.”
The Cheez-It Bowl will be played in Phoenix, where the cheese would melt, and features TCU and Cal. Again, just another “processed” game to cash in on athletes who don’t get paid.
Then there’s the Walk-Ons Independence Bowl. This game features perennial powerhouses… Oh, wait… I mean Temple and Duke. If you didn’t realize these schools had football teams, it’s probably because, like most walk-ons, they’re not memorable.
But since we’re talking about crazy bowl game names, perhaps we should add a few more.
The Donald Trump Bowl. This is perfect. He loves to see his name in the news, good or bad. This game could be played in “The Swamp.” It would be ironic since he promised to drain it, but instead added a new species of shady creatures. Former Playboy Playmates and porn stars can be the cheerleaders.
The Planned Parenthood Bowl. This game could feature the two best defensive teams ranked outside the top 25. But that doesn’t mean it will be a low scoring affair. As too many people know, even the best defense doesn’t guarantee one doesn’t get through and not everything goes as “Planned.”
And finally, there’s the Nintendo Video Game Bowl. For this one, players can wander out of the locker room at their leisure with snacks in hand. There will also be munchies on each sideline for the players, who are only required to play for 15 minutes before going back to the locker room, to play more video games.
I realize many schools have football programs that generate enough money to help for other sports at their university, but one game is likely not going to make or break these programs. In fact, the schools must pay for the teams to travel to these sites, along with, in many cases, the team marching band.
In the end, most bowl games are not about college football or the athletes who make it such a profitable enterprise for schools and the companies that sponsor them.
Maybe if players were allowed to have a stake in the game, they would be more motivated to stay in school and help get their teams to a more high profile game, rather than the “Speedstick Something Smells Bowl.”
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