With the Congressional Bowl and St. Petersburg Bowl both being given the green light by the NCAA, the inevitable whining about how there are too many bowl games is in full swing. The topic pops up twice a year; when new bowl games are approved (like now), and again during the bowl season itself. We have yet another piece here that presents all the usual arguments, this time courtesy of Paul Finebaum.
Usual argument #1: Nobody watches!
Does anyone care? Will anyone watch another meaningless bowl game featuring 6-6 teams that don’t want to be there and did nothing to earn an invitation?
Of course, ESPN is not only in the broadcasting business but now owns multiple bowls, including several of the newer ones. ESPN owning bowl games is a major conflict of interest.
I guess nobody else sees the irony in asking this question year after year as more bowl games are added. Do you know why they’re added? Because people watch! And why is ESPN owning bowl games a conflict of interest? That doesn’t make sense.
Most people have better things to do at noon on the Saturday before Christmas than watch Cincinnati and Southern Miss or Houston-TCU or New Mexico-Nevada. Even when the games are good, they are bad.
Well, that’s ESPN’s problem then. Why would anyone else care? Are people being forced to watch? And if some people can’t appreciate a good football game if it doesn’t involve the SEC, that’s too bad. Those of us who enjoy the game more than the hype don’t need neon lights to tell us what makes for a good matchup.
Usual argument #2: You’re rewarding mediocrity!
The argument is age-old that these bowl games give football players an opportunity to experience a new city (wow, five December nights seeing all the tourist attractions of Birmingham) and be fussed over. It’s an educational experience, part of the learning process, some claim.
No, it’s not.
It is a reward for mediocrity. It teaches young people that if you do a crummy job, you can still get by in the world. Nice example for young people, huh?
Really? You’re against bowl games because of the example it sets for “young people?” Really? As if players and fans don’t see a difference between the Motor City Bowl and the Rose Bowl. 6-6 teams don’t get the same reward as 11-1 teams. Bowl games are not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Everyone but grumpy sports columnists can see that.
Bowl games are fun. It’s college football. I like watching college football. If you do not like watching college football, then by all means do those “better” things you need to do on the Saturday before Christmas. Leave the football watching to the people who enjoy it.