It's Dec. 7, and the bowl game matchups are flowing like water now. Teams are being selected to play in bowls that the selection committees feel most deserve to play in their bowl game. It's apparent—the better your record, the better your bowl, the better the city, the better the weather.
Bowl games for the casual fans are simple: Turn on TV and watch your team play another team from another part of the country while feasting on holiday treats. For the fans lucky enough to travel to the game, it is a chance to experience a new city, a little winter vacation. For the players of these bowls games, the bowl sponsors and the city treat them like rock stars for a week.
Just think of some of the great locales your team could go to: Hawaii, Orlando, Miami, New Orleans, San Antonio, Las Vegas, or San Diego, just to name a few. The time has come, your team is being announced, congratulations are in order...you're going to Boise, Idaho!
Boise, Idaho, home to the Humanitarian Bowl, which is sponsored by a truck stop company and played on the blue turf of Boise State University. Boise, Idaho (metro), population 643,650 people. Boise, Idaho, with an average temperature in December boasting an impressive 37.2 degrees. Sounds like Boise, Idaho is the place to be.
For the players, the bells and whistles of the bowl game experience are what make the trips so fun. Your team makes it to the Rose Bowl, you're going to Disney Land. Your team makes it to the Capital One Bowl, you're going to Disney World. Your team makes it to the Alamo Bowl, you're going to the Riverwalk. Your team makes it to the New Orleans Bowl, you're going to Bourbon Street.
Your team makes it to the Humanitarian Bowl, you're going to play in the snow.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not bashing Boise, but the Humanitarian Bowl needs a sponsor capable of producing an exciting bowl experience for the players and fans alike. Roady's Truck Stops, the sponsors for the 2008 Humanitarian Bowl, put forth an effort that can only be described as awful.
Watching the game, you could have sworn that you were watching Boise State play—their logo still standing at midfield, their name still stretched across the end zones. Roady's did a better job of promoting Boise State then they did of promoting their product. The Humanitarian Bowl "Championship" Trophy looked as if it had been built at a do-it-yourself hobby shop.
How are you going to become excited about a bowl game when these little details couldn't even been handled by the sponsor?
Because of a lack of payout, the fact that the bowl requires participating schools to provide their own sponsorship, and teams are required to stay in designated hotels for a set amount of time, the ACC has withdrawn its tie-in with the bowl. In 2001 a 7-4 UCLA squad even turned down the bowl and ended up staying home that year, feeling that was a better option then going to Boise.
A word to the wise for the powers that be over at the Humanitarian Bowl: EFFORT. Put forth the effort to make your bowl game an enjoyable experience for everyone. Find a sponsor that will take care of the game, the city, and teams. Put forth the effort to make teams want to play in Boise in December, or suffer the same fate as the Dixie Bowl, Bluebonnet Bowl, or the Silicon Valley Football Classic.