The 2011-12 bowl bash for college football has brought us something like 35 bowl games, not to mention a handful of all-star games. So far, I’ve watched a grand total of one, and didn’t even get riled when Georgia blew a commanding lead and several chances to win before falling to Michigan State in triple overtime. It was an exciting game, and I’d hoped the Dogs would win, but I was actually more interested in the book I was reading.

Do you remember when bowls were a big deal? There were the four majors: the Rose, Cotton, Sugar, and Orange Bowls, and they all were played on New Year’s Day. There were a few lesser bowls like the Gator Bowl, Tangerine Bowl, and Sun Bowl, all played earlier, and in warmer climes.

That was before money became the real game, before corporate sponsors got involved, before cable TV, before ESPN (plus ESPN2, ESPNU, etc.), before every attention-seeking city with a dome decided to join the bowl bandwagon. Any team with a 6-6 record can qualify to go bowling, and it’s not so special any more, though coaches still get bonuses and sportscasters try mightily to make the participation of local teams a major deal.

I don’t write this to grouse — the plethora of bowls gives more teams, fans, schools, and cities a chance for self-promotion with a little excitement thrown in. And, many sports fans love the thought of overdosing on game after game after game, even if they have no dog remotely near the fight. For people who clearly don’t have enough to do, I guess some extra rah-rah-sis-boom-bah can be a good thing.

Still, even if Duke should one day make it into the Piggly-Wiggly Jimmy Dean Sausage Nashville Classic Oink Bowl, don’t expect me to slap blue flags on my car or throw a party with coctail weenies and nachos — I suspect another book will be calling my name.

[Image from sevenhopesunited.com]

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