The number of college bowl games now being played will make your head swim and certainly make you a couch potato if you watch all of them. I think there is now a total of 34 bowel games. It now takes several days to play them all. They start before Christmas and go until well after New Years Day.
When I was a kid, the main bowl game for me was the Cotton Bowl. The champion of the great Southwest Conference played another winning team. To me. that was the national championship. The Cotton Bowl started back in the mid-thirties. The opening game featured the famous slinging Sammy Baugh who played for TCU. Today’s game will be the last Cotton Bowl game played in the Cotton Bowl stadium. They will be moving to the new Jerry Jones, Cowboy Stadium. As far as I’m concerned, the Cotton Bowl ended when the Southwest Conference ended. The great Sammy Baugh died a couple of weeks ago, which seems fitting to have occurred the same year as the closing of the traditional Cotton Bowl.
The other great bowl games when I was a kid were the, Sugar Bowl, Rose Bowl and Orange Bowl. The Orange and Rose Bowl never meant much to me. They just had some Yankee teams playing and I didn’t much care except for Army and Navy. The four major bowl games were all played on New Years Day right after lunch. The Rose Bowl starting much later because of the time difference. All of the many other bowls are new comers and started in recent years. The Rose Bowl, of course, is the granddaddy of Bowls and started on a regular basis in 1916.
Many of the current Bowls advertise a product like Chick-fil-A, Outback and Papa Johns Pizza. Others identify a region or city like, Motor City or the Alamo Bowl.
When TV came along I was a football addict and I would line up three sets and watch all three networks simultaneously. There used to be only three networks, CBS, NBC and ABC. These networks divided up the Bowl Games.
Now that there are 34 Bowl Games and no Southwest Conference I have just stopped watching. The pro playoffs and Superbowl have also taken the starch out of the college bowl games. I don’t really care to watch games all during the holidays, so I now keep the porch silent and blackout football altogether. I now prefer to sit back in my rocker and reminisce about great Cotton Bowl games of the past, like the one in 1954 between Rice and Alabama. An Alabama player came off the bench and tackled Rice’s Dicky Maegle, preventing a 95 yard touchdown run. The referees gave Rice the score anyway. I know there must be some fantastic plays in the games of today but that one between Rice and Alabama is hard to beat.