Bowls full of jelly


It's been established by every sports writer and his armchair quarterback brother that corporate sponsors' names on bowl games are about as natural as wearing shorts in January. Instead of practicing to say players' names before games, announcers have to roll Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl off their tongues 10 times to prepare for the game. But I'm here to tell you the silly names of the bowls aren't the enemy, it's the vast number of them. Because now, in addition to missing their husbands during hunting season, wives of sportsmen have another season with which to contend -- college bowl season.

Right now some of you might be at half time of the Rose or Sugar Bowl and a long day of putting on the popcorn-, pretzel- or pilsner-induced pounds is coming to an end. Yet there are still two bowl games remaining in the season. In the good ol' bowl days, New Year's Day was sacred. On one day we could watch the college football season unfold before our eyes and as we waddled to bed, the champion had been declared. The first day of the year was designated as "get the year started off right" day and we made reservations for the couch and vegged the whole day. Now, instead of one great day, we sit through bowl games from Dec. 22 through Jan. 3. During that span, there are 11 days of football.

Do you know how many more hours of sitting on the couch eating and drinking junk the extended season equates to? Me neither, but I would guess it's a lot more hours creasing the recliner than during the previously mentioned golden days of gridiron glutton.

If the big wigs at Slim Fast were smart, next year's national championship would be called the Slim Fast Breakfast Shake Bowl. By the time we get around to the national championship game, we've lost all hope of fitting into the new Christmas clothes that already have been outgrown. Needless to say, the shedding of weight from just one day of slacking is much easier than eleven days.

So some might argue they get more days to celebrate the season. But seriously, who is going to watch the Humanitarium Bowl at 10 a.m. on a Tuesday? Maybe the 300 Boise State fans and 500 Iowa State fans who can get work off that day, but I'm going to guess that doesn't bring a lot of hits to the Web site. I would at least flip to the game if it were on during New Year's during a commercial break of a more exciting contest.

Eventually, I think the bowls will succumb to survival of the fittest and be narrowed down again. Until then we'll give way to the battle of the "bowlge" and our stomachs will grow and shake like bowls full of jelly.

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