It was inevitable.
I had been sitting in the cabin living room with my father-in-law, himself laid up with a sprained ankle [side note: super fun to enter that period of life where in-laws approaching 70 like to get up on ladders in the middle of winter to clean snow off the roof like it’s normal, nothing at all annoying as hell about that]. As he had been sleeping and the wife and MIL were doing puzzles in the other room, I had control of the remote.
It was Birmingham Bowl time.
Finally, with a groan and a stir, he awoke. After a couple groggy paws at his phone and adjustments in the chair, it was time for him to survey the room and check the TV.
“What’s this game? Who’s playing?”
“Birmingham Bowl. Cincinnati and Boston College,” I respond, as the Boston College quarterback attempts a wobbly pass that falls harmlessly to the ground. Third and 10.
“There are too many bowl games.”
There are two true bowl games left in the most wonderful time of the year. During bowl season, it is completely normal for two teams from tertiary state schools to play a football game sponsored by an incorporated Illinois industrial park in a track and soccer stadium on a set of islands known for playing cricket. It is completely normal for a grown man to fulfill his dream of wearing the Outback Bloomin’ Onion and unintentionally spark a South Carolina rally. It is completely normal for a team from Miami to travel to northwest Louisiana in the name of “vacation”, then get shut out by a team supposedly beneath its stature.
But, most importantly, it is now completely normal to watch bowl games innovate on the standard celebratory Gatorade dump. The Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl proved it is completely normal to dump a cooler full of frosted cereal—originally intended to stop patients in the Battle Creek Sanitarium from masturbating—onto Herm Edwards. And, yesterday, the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl took the themed celebration one step closer to its logical conclusion:
My only question: Should we accept french fries instead of actual potatoes? I say nay. I want to see 50 pounds of spuds pummelling a wizened Frank Solich like Golem just used Rock Slide (it’s super effective!), all in the name of beating a Mountain West team that fired its defensive coordinator for, among things, a 54-3 home loss to Hawaii.
As such, I offer you:
What if every bowl had a Themed Dumping Celebration?
Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl: Should just dump out the $300,000 that Elk Grove Village pays to sponsor this stupid game, but Makers’ Mark would be interesting, too. Really, it’s just a damn shame these celebrations started after Popeye’s dropped its sponsorship. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl: The clear winner. Sean Lewis got coated from a drum of tropical smoothie. Bowl season is amazing.
[Sponsor Did Not Exist] New Mexico Bowl: I like the idea of just dumping nothing on a coach, but going through the motions of pretending to do it. It’s like a practice run, or if someone stole all the glitter out of the Harlem Globetrotters’ buckets, or if you were just dumping nothing itself on the coach. Think about that. Let ennui set in. You are ready for life as a New Mexico Bowl champion.
FBC Mortgage Cure Bowl: A flurry of pink ribbons would be nice, but you’d have to watch out for the pins. Those’ll get ya, Hugh Freeze, just like a paper trail on a university cellphone.
Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl: Honestly, how do they not dump a bunch of cherries on the head of the winning coach? Probably the best use for ‘em in the trade war hey-oooooooo hey where are you going come back—
Camellia Bowl: How nice! A gentle cascade of flowers to celebrate beating a Butch Davis-coached team.
Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl: The only disappointment is that this game is no longer the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl, because I’d pay good money to see a college coach slicked in cheap motor oil like a seagull on Mobile Beach.
R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: I got nothing, though if an R+L semi would back onto the field and just bury Appalachian State in a trailer full of King Cakes or something, that’d be a start. Or beads. Just buckets and buckets of beads. SHOW US YOUR TITS, SHAWN CLARK.
Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl: God, I mean, lawn clippings from a BAD BOY MOWER would be excellent, but the many and varied sponsors of this bowl game left us with so many could-haves: BOOM BOOM SHRIMP FROM BEEF’O’BRADY’S. A cooler full of cords which you can CUT thanks to magicJack! Whatever the fuck BitCoin actually is! Mix all those things together, roll it in a cigar, and let Josh Heupel smoke it on the sideline in celebration.
SoFi Hawaii Bowl: Bury Nick Rolovich in the mountains of student debt I owe. Art.
Walk-On’s Bistreaux and Bar Independence Bowl: First, I hate this name. Second, wait a minute. THESE assholes have Boom Boom Shrimp, too?! Listen, South: From a region where we basically just slather vegetables and unseasoned meats in ranch and call it good—get a better schtick, guys.
Quick Lane Bowl: NOW WE’RE FUCKING TALKING; COVER PAT NARDUZZI IN TEN GALLONS OF MOTOR OIL, BREAK OFF HIS WINDSHIELD WIPERS IN THE PROCESS, AND CHARGE HIM $19.95 FOR THE PRIVILEGE. YOU’RE WELCOME, BOWL SEASON.
Shall we just stop there?
Northrop Grumman Military Bowl: I woulda paid money if an NG bomber would’ve just taken Mack Brown out right then and there.
New Era Pinstripe Bowl: I think most Michigan State fans would not complain to see Mark Dantonio doused in a cooler of $16 Miller Lite and middle fingers.
Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl: I have played in this game as a member of the Northwestern University Marching Band. There is nothing interesting about it and no one should be allowed to celebrate winning it. Houston is terrible.
San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl: A vat full of bank pens broken off the chains. Kirk Ferentz would stuff as many as he could in his socks; the supply on his desk is surely getting a little low.
Cheez-It Bowl: WE DID IT, GUYS:
Photo of the night courtesy of @VarsityXtra photographer Pablo Robles. Air Force HC Troy Calhoun gets a Gatorade and Cheez-It shower following the Falcons’ win over Washington State in the #CheezItBowl pic.twitter.com/i7vylcKDCL— Zach Alvira (@ZachAlvira) December 28, 2019
God bless America.
Camping World Bowl: 10 gallons of Blockbuster stock, just dumped on Brian Kelly’s head. Be like burying him with Weimar dollars near the end.
Cotton Bowl: Self-evident. Luxurious. Infested with weevils.
Peach Bowl: Self-evident. Less luxurious. Sticky.
Fiesta Bowl: Self-evident. Pointy. And thus the Lord spake, and tortilla chips did rain upon Dabo like manna from heaven.
Servpro First Responder Bowl: Spray the winning coach with a firehose. I want to see the backup long-snapper and third-string defensive tackle trying to manage that thing as it sprays everywhere. HONOR THE FIREFIGHTERS, FIRST RESPONDER BOWL. LET ‘EM SHINE.
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: Nah.
Redbox Bowl: POPCORN! God, Lovie, why couldn’t you have won this one so we could’ve showered you with a Gatorade cooler full of popcorn? YOU TOOK THIS AWAY FROM ME, LOVIE. I’ll never forgive you.
Orange Bowl: A whole vat of orange juice dumped on Dan Mullen’s head. Don’t deny it’d be satisfying as hell.
Belk Bowl: Fifty pounds of whatever a Belk is, cascading down onto Mark Stoops. I hope a belk is blunt and concussive.
Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl: Did it. Awesome.
AutoZone Liberty Bowl: A smarter man than I would’ve grouped these by themes and put all the “cheap auto parts” bowl games together. I am not a smarter man.
Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl: GODDAMNIT.
Valero Energy Bowl: Douse Tom Herman in 10 gallons of gasoline and encourage him to make like Thích Quảng Đức.
VRBO Citrus Bowl: 10 gallons of citrus, and then send an actual duck in after Saban and charge him a $50 cleaning fee.
Outback Bowl: You can imagine PJ Fleck covered in a cooler full of coconut shrimp because PJ has already done this, three times, then fought a kangaroo Daniel Faalele provided for motivational purposes.
TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl: Remember when this was the PapaJohns.com Bowl? All that racist garlic butter, just cascading down Luke Fickell’s stern expression, washed away by the Birmingham rain. Makes you proud to be an American.
TaxSlayer Gator Bowl: HEY JEREMY PRUITT WAIT WHERE ARE YOU GOING, COME BACK
There can never be too many bowl games.
Armed Forces Bowl: Southern Miss Golden Eagles vs. Tulane Green Wave
Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, TX
10:30am | ESPN | Tulane -7 | O/U 56.5
I have an immense amount of love for Willie Fritz and the Green Wave, an OTE DWT;WT Team of Choice, but they sure limped to a 6-6 (3-5) finish after a strong start to the season. Turns out neither of those Houston and Army wins was terribly impressive—the Wave have nabbed just one game (Tulsa) of their last six, losing the other five to bowl-bound teams and not helped by nagging injuries to RBs Darius Bradwell and Corey Dauphine.
That’s made it the Justin McMillan show at QB, and when he’s managed to do it with his legs (4.6 ypc, 12 TDs), the Wave thrive. Make him throw, and it’s a delightful bag of “who the fuck knows?”
As for Southern Miss...I didn’t know their coach was Jay Hopson, so what the hell am I gonna tell you that changes your mind about them? Jack Abraham chucks it around a ton and their only grabby win is a 37-2 (yes, 2!) mollywhopping of UAB.
My Pick: Tulane (16 pts)
Big Ten Basketball
Previews found here:
11am | FOX | MD -7 | O/U 139.5
#23 Iowa Hawkeyes at #21 Penn State Nittany Lions
1pm | BTN | PSU -2.5 | O/U 154
The Palestra, Philadelphia, PA
There’s other basketball, soccer, and rumor has it NFL playoffs on, too. Here’s your sporting open thread for the day. Behave.