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Chris Kay Must Dig the Bowl Season

It's Bowl season and tomorrow and Friday are special days, stacked to the hilt. In fact, pretty much every day is stacked with Bowl, after Bowl after Bowl.

Bowl season has always been big business, although it looks a little different than the old days.

I remember being a wee lad in the 1970's, and growing up in a small northern place, it was tough to watch Bowl games. We had two channels; one was English and one was French, and I could not speak a word of French, so we had one channel. Interestingly enough, the French channel was the only channel that ever showed NFL games - for years I thought the NFL was "Le LNF". And also rather interesting (to me anyway), they constantly showed Minnesota Vikings games. The Purple People Eaters were less imposing when they were "Violette" things that ate running backs. Anyway, I digress. The only channel showed Bowl games, did it one day only: New Years Day. I could watch the Cotton Bowl and the Rose Bowl, and I think the Orange Bowl. Rose didn't fit, because it was not a commodity, but as a kid I didn't know the difference. They were three great games and a staple of life on New Year's Day.

Fast forwarding to tomorrow and Friday, there are a gazillion bowls. They are stacking grade 3's and making them grade 1's and promoting the heck out of them. I personally am super-stoked for the Taxslayer Bowl, and nothing says Christmas like the AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl. I think last week there was a Popeye's Bowl. We have a couple of those in Toronto of all places. The one I have been to strangely at the top end of Chinatown, at Spadina and College. For those who have not been there, Popeye's is deep friend chicken, shrimp and other things, served with deep fried french fries. I think they deep fry the coke too, in the meal deal. Anyhow, it's gotten so bad that at least twenty Bowls are now named after places of business I have never heard of, or places that serve deep fried food.

I guess it works, but it doesn't make it better. I'll probably watch the big two games, and nothing else. Over the past week, seeing the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl does not make me want to join a bank in California, and I don't even know what the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl is.

One of the more bizarre decisions I thought made in 2014 was the stacking of stakes races. Some might make sense, like trying to make Pennsylvania Derby day a big day to get people to play into 30% rakes with a smile. Even stacking a Travers Day makes some sense to me. Big days are important, but stacking the Belmont Stakes day? They got lucky there was a Triple Crown on the line, because I believe it made a toy company executive who runs a racing jurisdiction (that sounds funny, I know), look pretty good. 

With more grade I, II and III races, and more of them on top of each other (some racing at the same time, even!), racing has its current version of Bowl mania. Some people love it, and more power to them, but I can't get stoked for five horse fields going for big money in place after place, dressed up like the big time, just like I can't get too excited for the Godaddy Bowl, brought to you by, well, Godaddy.You can squeeze more money from an event, but people are too smart to not realize what they're watching is a poor product. Sooner or later that'll bite you in the rear.

Thanks for reading the blog this year everyone. I appreciate it. To you and yours, may you have and enjoy a very Happy New Year.


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