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Commercialism has killed the bowl games

January 7, 2011 - Keith Shelton
The bowl was played last night. Yes, the bowl. I'm not making that up. Honestly, I have no clue what actually even does. I've seen their raunchy ads which have featured the likes of Danica Patrick. They buy out large Superbowl spots annually, and now they have a bowl game too. The bowl which featured heavyweights Miami of Ohio University and Middle Tennessee State was a corporate sellout from birth and so it is less offensive than say, the Citrus Bowl, or should I say Capital One bowl. Yes, it disgusts me that a storied bowl such as the Citrus Bowl is dead, replaced with a corporate sponsorship from Capital One. The two teams participating in the Citrus Bowl used to juice oranges before the game, it was part of the bowl's tradition. No more. Now you see the Capital One logo and a bunch of meaningless credit card commercials during the game, as if anyone needs more credit cards these days. How deep does this well of commercialism go? Well we have the Beef 'O' Brady's bowl, the MAACO bowl, the Little Caesars Pizza bowl, the Champs Sports bowl, The Insight bowl, the Meineke bowl, the Chick-fil-A bowl (again, not kidding), and the TicketCity bowl. Those are only the bowls that have completely changed their name to reflect their corporate sponsor. The rest of the bowls all have corporate sponsors attached and have become part of the name. Such as the largest offender of all - The Rose Bowl game presented by Citi. The most hallowed bowl game of all is no longer simply the Rose Bowl. Whenever a radio or TV personality refers to the game they must now refer to it as - The Rose Bowl game presented by Citi. Citi's logo is placed on the field, their commercials are plastered all over the stadium and inbetween plays. The grandaddy of the bowls is now simply a venue for a corporate sponsor. I often hear from the likes of Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany that we must keep the current BCS system in place if for no other reason than to keep the tradition of the bowl system alive. Tradition? what tradition? They killed the bowl tradition this last decade, it's dead. I know Delany is vehemently against a playoff system and clings desperately to the BCS, but at least call it what it is. You want to keep the corporate sponsorship alive because it puts more money into the pockets of college football athletic departments. Enough is enough though. You can't tell me that these sponsorships couldn't translate easily to a playoff system. But I have a feeling we'll be hearing the same old argument for years to come. We can't have a playoff because it will kill the bowl tradition, when of course it's already dead.


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