Where Have You Gone, Peach Bowl? A Nation Turns Its Weary Eyes to You
In the heat of one of the greatest rivalries in college football history, the "Ole Ball Coach" took a direct shot at his rivals from Rocky Top.
The Vols regularly found themselves finishing second to Spurrier's Gator machine of the '90s, and Vols fans having to settle for the SEC East's bowl consolation prize were told by their nemesis:
"You can't spell 'Capital One Bowl' without UT."
Oh, never mind.
The Citrus Bowl is gone now, so is the Hall of Fame Bowl, and the Peach Bowl is as well.
As a college football fan there was always something special about the Bowl Season, and as a fan there just seems to be something bastardized about the whole process now.
Forget for a moment the fact that there are, what, 50 bowl games and any team that can manage to even a .500 record is guaranteed a bowl game. That is another story for another day.
The problem is that like everything else in our society, the tradition of bowl season has been traded in for corporate marketing rights.
Think I'm wrong? Even the "Granddaddy of them all" is no longer the Rose Bowl, but rather, "The Rose Bowl game presented by Citi."
There was a time period when Bowls were simply known by their names: the Sugar, Rose, Orange, Fiesta, Cotton, Citrus, Peach, Holiday, and Liberty Bowls.
In the early '90s when the folks in Shreveport sold naming rights to their bowl to a corporation who made motorized weed removal devices, everybody laughed at how cut rate the whole "Poulan Weed Eater Independence Bowl" was.
Quick, what do the following have in common?
A trucking company, a county credit union, a chain of muffler repair shops, a nut company, an online pizza delivery service, a corporation that markets deodorant and aftershave that nobody under the age of 60 wears anymore, the South's largest auto parts chain, and a fast food chain whose claim to fame is that they are the inventors of the chicken sandwich.
Yes, all of these companies sponsor bowl games—and that's not mentioning whatever the hell "magicJack" and "Roady's" are, because they sponsor games as well.
Mind you, this isn't the ranting of some old fart who thinks that progress is a bad thing; rather, I'm in my early 30s and a realist that corporate money does indeed make the sports world go around.
I'm not a traditionalist living in the past as much as I'm somebody who at some crude and low level views aesthetics as a good thing.
If wanting a Sugar Bowl without a corporate insurance logo and 35 commercials featuring the guy who played Drew (he of the "O-face") in Office Space is wrong...
...then I don't want to be right.
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