On New Year’s Day in 1956, my cousin, Vernon Hallbeck, a fullback for the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs, scored two touchdowns against Rice in the prestigious Cotton Bowl. The other three bowl games — the Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl and Orange Bowl — were also played that day.
All in all, eight great teams played and four were crowned bowl champions. That was the extent of it and it was extra special for football fans.
Fast forward to the current bowl season (still in progress) when 70 teams — most of them mediocre at best — were scheduled to play in 35 bowl games, including the Beef O’ Brady’s Bowl, the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, the Belk Bowl and the ADVO-Care V100 Bowl.
Apt descriptions include boring, inconsequential and ridiculous.
Rumor has it the Brainerd Warriors politely turned down a bid to the Beef O’ Brady’s Bowl because it was beneath them to accept. Ada-Borup initially accepted the bid, but their bus broke down. The Pequot Lakes Patriots were invited to play in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, but backed out when informed sour cream was not included.
Personally, I don’t think there are enough bowl games so I’ve come up with a few plausible matchups for future consideration.
• The Thirst Bowl: the Sahara Sand Dunes and the Arabian Desert Crawlers face off for the coveted Gator-Ade Jug.
• The Smart Bowl: featuring M.I.T. vs. Cambridge in a low-scoring game because it is illegal to hit anyone wearing glasses.
• The Peace Bowl: where nice guys finish last in another low-scoring contest. This year, it’s the Gandhi Stomach Growlers vs. the Assisi Sissies.
• The Death Bowl: the DesMoines Defibrillators vs. the Florida Flat-Liners in a match-up where only one team survives.
• The Crime Bowl: a high-stakes contest between the Sing-Sing Slammers and the Stillwater Schemers featuring Heist-man Trophy winner Bernie Madoff and Ponzi Plaque recipient Carl Petters. To the victor goes the O.J. Simpson Snug Glove Award.
• The Concussion Bowl: a migraine waiting to happen between the Bayer Bears and the Ypsilanti Ibuprofens.
• The Global Warming Bowl: Trinidad Teachers College vs. Calcutta Tech bang heads in Antarctica to see which low-powered juggernaut takes home the Floating Polar Bear trophy.
• The Side Effects Bowl: the Viagra Villains vs. the Cialis Cyclones. Warning: If this game lasts more than four hours, you should call your doctor immediately!
So now, what else ... one bowl meal recipes!