Top 10 Best Retired Bowl Names

Brian HoodAnalyst IDecember 17, 2008

With the rise of title sponsors, many current college bowl names lack imagination and are much less interesting.  Here are the best bowl names of yesteryear:

10. Aviation Bowl: Dayton, Ohio

Played only in 1961 because of financial shortcomings, this bowl recognized the birthplace of aerospace and the Wright Brothers.  New Mexico topped Western Michigan 28-12, and the entire 1961 Lobo team was inducted into the University of New Mexico's Hall of Fame in 1990 as a result of this bowl win. 

9. Salad Bowl: Phoenix, Arizona

This bowl was played at Montgomery Stadium from 1948-1952 and was a precursor to the Fiesta Bowl.  Vegetarians unite. 

8. Glass Bowl: Toledo, Ohio

Held from 1946-1949, this bowl game was played in frosty Toledo.  The stadium is made up of many glass elements, a major concentration of the city's industry at the time. 

7. Bluebonnet Bowl: Houston, Texas

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Named after the state flower of Texas, this bowl game took place between 1959 and 1987.  Nineteen of the 29 games featured teams from Texas. 

6. Bacardi Bowl: Havana, Cuba

Sometimes referred to as the "Cigar Bowl," this bowl was named for the Bacardi Rum company founded there.  I'm guessing alcohol was allowed inside the stadium. 

5. Haka Bowl: Auckland, New Zealand

The bowl, named for the traditional Maori Haka dance, was planned to be the first bowl game played outside the U.S. since the Bacardi Bowl.  The game was to match up the third-place teams from the Pac-10 and WAC conferences, but was never played due to lack of financial guarantees. 

4. Mercy Bowl: Los Angeles, California

The first Mercy Bowl was played between Fresno St. and Bowling Green St. at Memorial Coliseum in 1961 as a special fundraiser in memory of 16 Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo football players killed in a plane crash following a game against Bowling Green a year earlier.  The game raised $200,000.

3. Refrigerator Bowl: Evansville, Indiana

This bowl game was played between 1948 and 1956 and was named for the city's local refrigerator production.  At the time, Evansville was known as the "Refrigerator capital of the United States."

2. Gotham Bowl: New York, New York

This bowl game was played at the New York Polo Grounds in 1961 and at Yankee Stadium in 1962.  Neither game was financially successful or high in attendance numbers due to the cold weather.  Terrible idea, great name. 

1. Vulcan Bowl: Birmingham, Alabama

Going against the grain, this game matched two Historically Black College teams from 1942 to 1952.  No, the game was not named for the science-fictional humanoid race in Star Trek, but for the blacksmith God of Fire. (The iron and steel industry was paramount in the area at the time.) 

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