Bowl games. With the exception of the big ones, they don't really make sense. Now that we are entering the world of college football playoffs, they make even less sense. They're fun to watch, but they are a bit of an odd event in sports. You don't see Tostitos paying large sums of money for baseball teams to compete in a glorified exhibition. No, the bowl game is unique to college football, a remnant of a bygone age, before people realized that there were more logical ways to pick a national champion than just guessing.
Yes, bowl games are silly and nonsensical, and because of them, as fans, we have to plan trips to places like Boise and Detroit in the winter. That being said, if we're going to keep having them, then I want Columbus to get in on the action. Like an annoying child who throws a temper tantrum because he feels left out, I demand that we get a bowl game.
Let's start with numbers. According to Wikipedia, my one-stop shop for all sports information, the 2014 season will feature 38 bowl games: the 6 games in the playoff and 32 others that will still be played (for the lolz and the cash, I assume). There are also 7 proposed bowl games for future seasons, including games that would be played in such places like Ireland, the United Arab Emirates, and *shudders* Canada. CANADA.
That'll bring the total number of games up to 45. Now, if you wanted to be fair and democratic about this, that's enough games for one bowl game in each state that people care about. (Sorry, Rhode Island, Wyoming, Alaska, South Dakota, and Montana. Maybe we'll add more games later.) That would make sense, right?
Let's look at where those 45 games are/will be played, though. In addition to the three international games I mentioned above, there also will be a bowl game this season in the Bahamas. That's four games being shipped overseas (thanks, Obama). Sorry, international world, but if the rest of you are going to insist on calling it "American football," then we're going to have to insist that you keep your commie hands off of it.
The outrage doesn't end there, though. Did you know that Florida has eight bowl games? Eight! And Texas has six! California has four, Louisiana and Alabama each have three, and Arizona and Tennessee have two apiece. Our Founding Fathers did not risk everything so that football power could be held in the hands of a few. No, they fought to make a football market of the people, by the people, and for the people, where every state would be treated equally. Or at least Ohio.
And just look at some of the cities that host games. The Independence Bowl is played in Shreveport, LA. Quick, what can you tell me off the top of your head about Shreveport? That's right, you can't tell me anything, besides "it is probably warmer than Boise". The Las Vegas Bowl is played in
Las Vegas Whitney, NV. You read that correctly. The Las Vegas Bowl, named after the famous city of Las Vegas, is played in an unincorporated town ten miles from Vegas. Guess how many people live in Whitney. Did you guess "more people than there are in Newark, OH"? If so, than you are wrong.
And then there's Detroit. I won't make fun of Detroit, because those jokes aren't even funny anymore. They have a bowl, though. Now, if Detroit can be trusted with a bowl game, how could you possibly argue that Columbus is not worthy?
Let's look at why this would actually make sense:
- We've got the stadium for it. The Horseshoe is the third largest stadium in Division I football. We can seat almost 105,000 people in it. Bring in two good teams, and you'd sell a lot of tickets, since football is a little popular in the 614. Afraid that the teams that are invited can't fill that many seats? No problem. We close off the south stands. With its new lights, we can host a game any time of day, too.
- Columbus is a cool city. Aside from having great food like Thurman's and Schmidt's (as well as many, many more), there are awesome areas like the Short North, Arena District, and Clintonville. COSI has been named one of the best science centers for families in the country. And with over 44,000 undergraduate students attending the
mainColumbus campus, I'm pretty sure that the area can handle a visiting student section that's looking to celebrate a big win or forget an ugly loss.
- The Big Ten has no bowl games. Yes, there's the aforementioned Little Casears Pizza Bowl in Detroit, and the Pinstripe Bowl in New York City, but those aren't Big Ten bowl game. Let's look at some of the conferences who have bowl games played in their stadiums. The Mountain West has a bowl. The Pac-12 has a bowl. The Big 12 has a bowl. Starting this season, Conference USA will have a bowl game. Let that sink in for a moment. Conference USA, a conference that has existed since 1995 and is not yet old enough to legally drink, has a bowl game, and we do not. Hello, United Nations? I'd like to report a crime against humanity. Their stadium doesn't even seat 30,000 people.