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Hobbs: Bowl glut cannot be a bad thing

Last Modified: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 10:29 AM

By Scooter Hobbs / American Press

By my count, this marks four straight days that we have gone since the last bowl game was on television.

Sadly, they’re won’t be one today, either.

And that, my friends, is just flat-out not acceptable.

Evidently this is just more glaring proof — as if we needed it — that 35 bowl games for one holiday season is just not enough.

Oh, I know it is popular to decry the alleged “glut” of bowl games as watering down the experience, cheapening the “honor” of bowl participation.

But you need not concern yourself with that. Watered down or not, there’s plenty of swag in it for the players.

It’s football. Enjoy it.

Trust me, ridicule the Belk Bowl all you want, but there will come a day in mid- to late-February — maybe sooner —  when you will verily ache for the opportunity to watch Ball State and Central Florida tangle in the Beef O’Brady Bowl.

Or you can watch 350-pound 20-year-olds from Navy and Arizona State wallow around in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.

Or just try to say “Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl” real, real fast without getting tongue-tied or forgetting that Vanderbilt and North Carolina State are playing in it. It’s a parlor game.

Honestly, the only glitch in this system has been these last four horrendously empty days WITHOUT a bowl game.

There are things in life far worse than San Jose State and Bowling Green in the Military Bowl. Or Iowa State vs. Tulsa in the Autozone Liberty Bowl.

Think of it this way:

Anytime there’s any bowl game on — even Kent State vs. Arkansas State in the GoDaddy.com Bowl — it’s one less chance that you might accidentally switch channels and be pestered to the brink of torture by a December NBA game.

This is what I call serving the common good for the benefit of all mankind.

They just need to work on this current, four-day black hole.

But the bowl system, after 110 years of tinkering, is finally making progress, is finally getting it right.

This year is actually much better than in holiday seasons past.

They are closing the gaps, getting closer and ever closer to wall-to-wall college football.

Once this drought ends with the long-awaited Poinsettia Bowl Thursday night — BYU and San Diego State, I think — the only other gaps until Alabama-Notre Dame are on Sundays (when you have the NFL penaltyfests to tide you over) and on Dec. 25 (when your crazy aunt surely will dip into the Christmas sherry and keep you fully entertained).

Consumer alert: The NBA, seizing an opening, will be playing roughly one-fourth of its season schedule on Christmas Day, so just leave the TV off all day.

Then the fun begins again with the Little Ceasars Bowl, which I believe has Western Kentucky against Central Michigan.

Or, consider LSU at the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Les Miles is the national spokesperson for Raising Cane’s chicken, and yet the Mad Hatter will be surrounded all week by a worthy competitor’s temptations of nuggets and strips.

He will have to swallow hard and smile on that one. Hopefully a parachuting cow won’t land on him.

But, you never know what will happen with the bowls (or Miles, for that matter) as evidenced by the roaring start of this season with Arizona scoring twice in the final minute to win the coveted Gilden New Mexico Bowl trophy.

The only suggestion for the future, even as we fill in these few gaps, would be to avoid having the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl go head-to-head against any possible FCS playoff game held at Eastern Washington University.

Anything with the guts to call itself the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl — my personal favorite, bravely filling the void since Weedeater’s departure — should not have to concern itself with having competition for viewers’ eyeballs.

Viewers’ eye balls, however, certainly should not be subjected to switching back and forth from the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl’s blue smurf turf to the Eastern Washington turf, which is outfitted in a center-of-the-sun hue of bright lipstick red that is likely visible from Venus.

It was a jolting eyesore the likes of which the Oregon Ducks’ seamstresses and tailors could only dream of.

Call it the optometrists’ doubleheader brought to you by Visine.

I never thought that Boise State’s smurf turf could look tastefully understated by comparison to anything, but there you go. Another positive revelation from the bowl season.

Another giant leap for the football fan.

•••

Scooter Hobbs covers LSU sports. Email him at shobbs@americanpress.com

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