Discover the true meaning of bowl season

Rest easy. Our long, national nightmare will soon be over.

Like, tomorrow. Saturday, I think it is.

But after almost seven full days without college football — it only seems longer since Army-Navy — it returns in all its Camellia/Cheribundi glory with five games to kick things off.

Yes, it’s that most wonderful time of the year.

From now until New Year’s night, bowl games will fill in every calendar date that isn’t assigned to the NFL, which is kind of like football, or at least enough to tide you over until the Redbox Bowl.

Except Christmas Day. It has long since been hijacked by pro basketball. Nobody saw it coming. It just sort of happened and one Christmas you looked up, and it was too late.

That’s a blight on our holiday season that has never been fully explained. The NBA is the Grinch that stole Christmas Day, with its wall-to-wall foolishness.

I’ve long held that the bowls’ biggest value to decent society is that every four hours of, say, the Dollar General Bowl, is four hours you don’t have to worry about the NBA intruding on your life.

It’s been pointed out to me that that’s not all bad. Christmas morning with LeBron just insures that families gathered together can leave the flat screen off for a day and get down to meaningful fellowship, sometimes even honest dialogue, if they can just keep the kids off their cellphones.

I guess it depends on your particular family and the relative number of skeletons in the closet.

And whatever happened to the old Blue-Gray game anyway?

But the point is well taken. And, not to worry. It’s a minor setback. The Cheez-It Bowl will kick off the day after Christmas.

So let us rejoice.

The Bowl season is here.

We’ve got Blue Devils (Duke) in the Walk-Ons Independence Bowl and Sun Devils in the Las Vegas Bowl.

We’ve got Demon Deacons and Cowboys and a few Native-American tribes that the p.c. police didn’t run off.

There’s all kinds of Bulldogs and Cats and various wild fowl. Even a Gopher and the color Cardinal.

It’s a wonderful month to be alive and an American.

And, by the way, just ignore the sanctimonious fools who bellow that there are just too dad-gum many bowls.

Some people are never happy.

The Bad Boys Mowers Gasparillo Bowl would beg to differ. It apparently is an experiment into putting souped-up power-lawn equipment into the hands of Tampa’s pirate population.

It sort of makes the old Weedeater Bowl sound tame.

But the more the merrier.

How else would we learn that Cheribundi (Boca Raton Bowl, featuring UAB and Northern Illinois) is a “tart cherry juice?”

That’s just a bonus. Mainly, we need our college football fix, and the bowl season delivers.

OK, many of them have trouble selling tickets.

Who cares?

There’s Memphis-Wake Forest in the (He went to) Jared Birmingham Bowl, but not many people will actually go.

Doesn’t matter. It’ll be on TV. These are made-for-your-flat-screen events.

Not many of us care to go to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl — it’s in Idaho, one presumes — but we’ll sure be tuned in come Dec. 21 for BYU and Western Michigan because it’s football and it’s on TV, serving the common good.

You’ll hear dissenting voices.

The high-brows will tell you that these games are … wait for it … meaningless.

Some forward-thinking city or sponsor could do us all a favor by hosting the Meaningless Bowl, then we could counter that there’s only one.

But define “meaningless.”

It’s become particularly trendy as an excuse for players to skip bowl games with a cautious eye on the NFL draft.

The playoff centrists, I presume, will tell you they’re all meaningless except the two semifinals that get us to a national championship.

By that standard, a lot of teams were playing nothing but meaningless games since the middle of September.

But they played them.

LSU, which has the thankless task of silencing Central Florida in the Fiesta Bowl, hasn’t really played a meaningful game since Nov. 3 when reality set in against Alabama.

But the Tigers played out the schedule in good faith.

They thought enough of the Texas A&M game to hang around doggedly for seven gutsy overtimes.

It turned out that LSU was going to the Fiesta, win or lose.

But it sure didn’t seem meaningless when all those late calls were going against the Tigers and social media was exploding.

No reason to think they’ll look at the Fiesta as meaningless even though there’s no way to the national championship from Glendale, Arizona.

Yeah, LSU is at the high end of the meaningless bowl food chain.

But the other teams that are going bowling feel the same way, especially Toledo in the Bahamas Bowl.

Too many bowls?

No way.

Just look at it as a great time to be an American … couch potato.

l

Scooter Hobbs covers LSU

athletics. Email him at

shobbs@americanpress.com””College Bowl Season

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