“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” Shakespeare wrote those famous words in Romeo and Juliet, too bad he didn’t live long enough to see Roses judged not by their smell but by the dollar amounts a TV manufacturer can pump into The Rose Bowl football game. At least the Rose Bowl tries to preserve part of their heritage and tradition by titling the game “The Rose Bowl brought to you by Vizio,” the same can’t be said of the sellout bowls. The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, the Discover Orange Bowl, the Autozone Liberty Bowl and of course the All-State Sugar Bowl.
Right about now you’re thinking “so what’s the big deal, Mike?” The big deal is the charade that there is actually anything but a professional aspect to college football which is rarely about athletics, sportsmanship and the development of young men’s character. Even team practice and leisure gear now bear ubiquitous Nike “swoosh” logos, wouldn’t a plain old “Mike the Tiger” logo do?
Then there’s the pre-season team “rankings,” created for 1 purpose, to drive TV viewership. The higher the “ranking” of the opponents, the more “important” the game. Again you ask “so what’s the problem?” Well, don’t universities, even if they’re not in the “Top 20”, serve the purpose of educating and sculpting young minds in intellectual pursuits? What then makes a football game, where brain matter is destroyed, more important than that? Ah, that’s because “ranked” teams are playing.
To add further insult, the universities are raking in tens of millions in revenue from their semi-pro football programs and yet their tuitions continue to rise. As you enjoy the Allstate Sugar Bowl tonight consider that “The Sugar Bowl, without Allstate, would still taste as sweet.”
In 2006 the Sugar Bowl payout per team was $14-17 million according to Sports Illustrated