In days of auld, when coaches were bold, players wore leather helmets, and sportswriters were very particular, there were originally four bowl games: The Rose Bowl, the Orange Bowl, the Sugar Bowl, and the Cotton Bowl.
Others were added over time, such as the Gator Bowl, the Liberty Bowl, the Tangerine Bowl, and others. As a matter of fact, the number of postseason games exceeded 40 with no end in sight. Corporate sponsors added their names to certain bowls, and even American football took on a very American trait: commercialization. No surprise: many bowls had, quite frankly, justifications in terms of increasing the economic health of the communities where the bowls were played. Hence, the All State Sugar Bowl, the Capital One Orange Bowl, and others. Originally, these extra bowls were in at least passably warm cities, but this soon changed.
While purists might object to this, no one takes too seriously the notion that it doesn't really add to a team's reputation whether they won the Chick fil-A Peach Bowl or the Music City Bowl or the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, or not. Have you ever driven into a town that proclaims on its outskirts that the local college won one of the minor bowls? But, there's the revenue enhancement for the programs!
I can see this clearly now, the rain is gone: Potash State College: Winner of the Go-Daddy Bowl 2016!
Setting myself as a possible persona non grata in Alabama, can I say that the Iron Bowl is a Faux Bowl in which the same two teams always play? Still, the winner of that game will bask in statewide glory for the next year.
A passably attractive, neat city in Ames, Iowa decided to get into the bowl business, partly to pay for its local stadium and to make money during December, Christmas shopping being insufficient. So they decided, with much fanfare, to have a bowl of their own.
Unfortunately, the major attribute of the community was that it was tidy and neat. So out of that the Tidy Bowl was born! Imagine what joy accompanied the triumphant team and university winning this elite bowl!
Or the Toilet Bowl! Wouldn't any city be proud to host the Toilet Bowl?
Still other bowl games emerged with time. Phoenix, Arizona sponsored the Metamucil Bowl, Trenton, New Jersey hosted the Superfund Site Bowl, Birmingham, Alabama adopted the Smog Bowl, and St. Paul hosted the Lutefisk Bowl. And each one had an accompanying basketball tournament as well. Proud of their states' heritage, the steering committee of the Smog Bowl had the Luv Guv toss the coin before the kickoff. It too them five minutes to find it because of the smog.
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