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.


  1. gonavy97

    I had the exact same thoughts when I read Paul’s article in the Mobile paper on Saturday. Sometimes it seems his only motivation for writing an article is to garner a response.

  2. Dave'69

    The law of Supply and Demand will regulate the number of bowl games – just as it regulates almost everything connected to money. It’s really that simple.

  3. HunkerDawg

    Finebaum is a moron. Growing up in SEC country, I can attest to the fact that he likes to hear himself talk – and will deny about 90% of what he writes/says if it doesn’t materialize as he thought it would.

    Its really humorous how, one day on his show, he will just skewer a coach or team. Then when that coach comes on his show, he can’t get his nose far enough up their ‘you-know-where’…

    Like Phat, I find it quite fun to come home after a holiday party and be able to flip on ESPN at 10PM and watch Utah State v SD State or something. No one is forcing me to do it – but its nice to see other teams you don’t see during the season. And who doesn’t love these bowl games with ESPN’s sixth-string crew of announcers butchering names and screwing up right and left? That can be entertaining – as long as its not a Navy game.

  4. football dad dan

    “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.”

    That about sums it up in a nut shell with me as well!!! –> GO NAVY!!!

  5. EightyFiver

    It’s economics. If the folks in Akron want to have a “Tire Bowl” and are willing to put up enough cash to attract a pair of 6-6 teams, let them do it. If they don’t sell the tickets & broadcast rights, it will be the last Tire Bowl.
    The people who oppose every additional bowl games are typically the laziest sportswriters — those who simply don’t want to learn anything new about a non-Big 10/Pac-10/SEC team.
    They remind me of the baseball writers and broadcasters who carp about any World Series that doesn’t involve the Yankees, Red Sox, or Mets as the World Series that no one cares about. They really don’t want to learn about anything new.

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