BL: The Poulon Weedeater Bowl Story… and other Bowl Stuff

    Weedeater Bowl
    BobLee
    December15/ 2017

    The Poulan Weedeater Bowl Story… and other Bowl Stuff…

    Christmas in Shreveport has been a punch-line around here for going on ten years. It epitomizes one of the multitude of absurdities associated with partisan sports fandom with it’s 24/7 insatiable pursuit for “braggin’ rights”.

    Your team manages to only lose 50% of its games, finishing the regular season at a most unimpressive 6-6. The favorite team of your obnoxious neighbor, or that creep in Accounts Receivable – the one that still wears English Leather – finishes 5-7. What “a loser”!

    “Your team” gets invited to the Poulan Weedeater Independence Bowl in Shreveport to play Rhode Island A&M who also only lost 50% of its games. Obnoxious creeps’ 5-7 team does NOT get a bowl bid. Further undeniable proof that you are obviously a better human being than obnoxious creep. Ain’t Life grand.

    You are not actually going to celebrate “Christmas In Shreveport” nor are you going to be inclined toBowl games purchase a Poulan Weedeater. But your team’s coaches all get bonuses for only losing half of its games.

    • The players get a coupla hundred bucks worth of “bowl swag” (i.e. a gift card to Best Buy).
    • The coaches get 2-3 weeks of extra practices for next year’s players to get “reps” and
    • Your school’s sports promotion dept launches a campaign declaring what a Juggernaut program your school now is… for only losing half its games and playing Rhode Island A&M in Shreveport…. Oh and…
    • ESPN gets 3 hours of “Live” sports programming over the Christmas holidays.

    Ever wonder how The Poulan Weedeater Independence Bowl in Shreveport came to epitomize the absurdity of “The Bowls”?. ….

    Here’s the Poulan Weedeater Bowl story … LINK.

    The give/take 40 bowl games involve 80 college FB teams / fan bases.. 40 coaches get to finish the season “on a high note” with a W.  40 others do not. But all 80 earned bonuses for “going to a bowl”.

    Bowl games began as a travel incentive to get football-loving snowbirds to come to Florida and/or Pasadena over the holidays.. They would spend tourism $$$ in your resort community… and maybe Amazon would move its World HQ to “Shreveport”.

    That was 60+ years and 35 more bowl games ago…

    Now its 2017.. Other than a handful 6-8 Real Bowl Games, bowl games are simply programming fodder for ESPN.

    LINK…. The Economics of The Bowl Games … LINK

    ESPN now owns over half of the games. They don’t care who the participating teams are, or whether ANY of their fans travel “to Shreveport” or not.. They would be fine playing the games in a airplane hangar. All they want is live sports programming fodder.

    ESPN doesn’t care how ridiculous the sponsor is. Bowl name rights are found money for ESPN.. They know about how many football watching addicts there are out there. Even if the games are meaningless exhibition games.

    90% of college bowl games are the equivalent of NFL pre-season games.. Totally meaningless. Hell, give the tickets away and hope to make $$$ off concessions.

    Unlike 10-15 years ago… schools are no longer forced to force their fans to purchase really awful seats for the game… saving the better seat locations for sponsors. The sponsors don’t care about tickets either… all anyone cares about is how many eyes will tune in to watch.

    Even the local Boys/Girls Clubs don’t want the free tickets.

    The cameramen for bowl games are instructed to NEVER do wide pans of the half empty stadiums… Keep their cameras focused down on the playing field.

    The latest trend in bowl games is for top NFL prospects to opt-out to avoid any sort of injury that could affect their draft status. Good idea?. Absolutely. Top NFL prospects are stoopid to play in meaningless exhibition games.

    The outcome of the game means absolutely nothing except to the head coaches record.

    Another trend in recent years is for 3-5 thug-aletes on each team to be suspended during December for assorted thug-stuff.  Apparently thug-aletes are thuggier in early December.  Who knew?

    Another 3-4 get dropped for academic reasons. Most schools end their Fall semester in mid-December. Players with no more eligibility have no incentive to keep attending “stay-eligible” classes… so they don’t.

    If I was College Bowl Czar, I would…

    1. Play all the games in either domed stadiums or “guaranteed good weather” locations… in attractive cities that fans might actually want to travel to… No more Shreveports.
    2. Play double-headers with back-to-back games in the same stadium on the same day. Your ticket is good for both games. Yes, it is logistically possible to do this. I have it all worked out.
    3. Make up goofy special bowl game rules to insure LOTS of scoring.
    4. I would require a minimum of a 7-5 record but that won’t happen. Hell, none of my great ideas will happen… sigh.

    I used to rail against so many ridiculous bowl games involving so many undeserving mediocre teams.. That is still the same. 50% of the bowls are glorified Little League participation trophies.. “Rewards” for only losing half of your games.. A star on your forehead for getting a “C” on your term paper.

    But that is consistent with higher education in general these days. Reward mediocrity.

    Read those two LINKS above. Its Good Stuff you can dazzle your buddies with…

    ###

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    NCNV

    BobLee
    • TarSpartan Reply
      12 months ago

      The Poulan Weed Eater Independence Bowl was the Duck Commander Independence Bowl a few years ago. Say what you want, those Robertson boys are pretty business-savvy. The fact they dropped the sponsorship after a couple years speaks volumes about the ROI on bowl sponsorship.

      • BobLee Reply
        12 months ago

        While I share their politics, I could never get “into” The Robertson Family.

    • Myowngrandpaw Reply
      12 months ago

      Can’t wait for your take on Skippy.
      Take your time…what advice will you give ESPN?

      • BobLee Reply
        12 months ago

        “Oral surgery” this AM … out of pocket until this evening. “Skippy” and Jerry Richardson…

      • 70sTarheel Reply
        12 months ago

        Have Gilligan take his place.

        • Banks Randolph Reply
          12 months ago

          Ditto! First thought when I saw the headline about Skippy stepping down was “Oh boy! More BobLee fodder! “ Can’t wait.

          • BobLee Reply
            12 months ago

            When it rains, it pours… Skippy AND Jerry.

            • Radio_Smuggles
              12 months ago

              One is a lecherous old coot. The other excuse is suspicious.

            • Former96Heel
              12 months ago

              I’m beginning to yearn for the days of old, say 6 months ago, when we all knew that 99% of public figures were thoroughly human, warts and faults and sin and all, but we either accepted them or dismissed them based on your own evaluation of their talent. This world is going to be a whole lot less talented if we purge every business leader, athlete, and entertainer who has at some moment in their life, been a complete jerk. This pendulum is swinging way too rapidly the other direction, into self-righteous zone.
              .
              Skippy has substance issues? I hate to hear it, that is not something I wish upon anyone. I hope he gets healthy. ESPN’s descent would probably drive me into the ground as well. A very wealthy, Southern white male being perhaps, mildly racist, and maybe attracted to much younger women? No way!

            • BobLee
              12 months ago

              My thoughts on both Jerry and Skippy will be shared later today…

    • ENC1 Reply
      1 year ago

      BobLee if a kid is a “stud/great” athlete money can be found or fees are paid by team. Some of the local organizations in various sports charge fees in excess of needed funds to help the “stud/great” athlete.
      .
      Probably one of main reasons we still have high school athletics is if we went strictly club many would not get to play unless they had “stud/great” athlete abilities because they could not pay.

    • ENC#1 Reply
      1 year ago

      It is all about money BobLee and we start them young. Johnny/JoAnn plays (your choice) travel soccer, baseball, volleyball, basketball, softball…..you name it and there probably a travel team of some kind that starts when kids are 5 or 6 years old. Then mommy and daddy pay a sport specific trainer to put the kid thru “individual” workouts because Bobby/Betty are into “individual” workouts and so on and so on.
      .
      What these parents don’t get are the following facts:
      1- Somebody somewhere on the travel team food chain is making big bucks off of these parents…. might be local coach, state director or national director but believe you me money is being made.
      2- An “ individual workout person/trainer” is going to tell you how GOOD your Johnny or JoAnn is because they want your money! They will even tell you your kid, who is 8 years old, will get a DI scholarship one day!!!
      3- Travel coaches and individual workout trainer tell you Bobby and Betty should play and trainer in their sport as much as possible (some, well maybe 1 or 2) will let the words “year round” slip out in conversation.
      .
      What you may ask does the youth travel teams and individual workouts have to do with the College Bowl Game system…..money and people not playing the games making money off our youth playing sports from ages 5/6 until they graduate college.
      .
      Will it ever change……I doubt it because a FEW people will lose too much money!!!!!

      • BobLee Reply
        1 year ago

        No personal experience with that “racket” but have heard many horror stories. How does the $$$ flow when the kids are from low-income family situations?

    • wolfdon Reply
      1 year ago

      You woke up an old memory not about bowl games but about two games on the same day. When Carter opened a few years later the “Big 4” played a 2fer ….State played Duke and UNC played Wake….Only happened once as I recall, about 50 years ago.

      • BobLee Reply
        1 year ago

        I vaguely recall that. I also recall a post-season “All-Star game” between seniors at Big Four schools played at Carter Stadium in the late 60s-early 70s.

        • wolfdon Reply
          1 year ago

          I don’t remember the all-star game……

          • BobLee Reply
            1 year ago

            It was short-lived…maybe just one year.

      • PTH Reply
        1 year ago

        Big Four Day was in 1967. State vs UNCCH. Duke vs Wake. Only time it was ever played. State beat the Heels but I don,t remember who won the Wake, Duke game.

        The all star game BL mentioned was also in 1967 and I am pretty sure one time event. NC State & UNCCH paired Duke & Wake paired other schools in state divided up don’t remember rhyme or reason.

        • wolfdon Reply
          12 months ago

          Thanks for the clarification , I attended the game but was a little rusty on the details.

    • Tin foil tar heel Reply
      1 year ago

      I see Dollar General has a bowl game. Next will be Jim Bob’s Mattress Emporium & Bait Shop

      • BobLee Reply
        1 year ago

        If Jim Bob can come up with a modest sackful of “Benjamins” he can indeed have his very own Bowl Game.

        • Tin foil tar heel Reply
          1 year ago

          I guess Jim Bobs swag bag will consist of a mattress protector, a memory foam pillow and a can of Red Wiggler’s “the Cadillac of worms”

    • Doug Reply
      1 year ago

      We could have been gazillionaires by betting in pre-season that FSU would go 6-6 and wind up in Shreveport. Sigh.
      .
      A slow day in college football news but there was one breaking story. Jim from Tuscaloosa was banned by Pawl Finebaum….again. No word if the Fed’s have finally decided to revoke Jim’s witness protection deal.

      • BobLee Reply
        1 year ago

        I haven’t watched that Freak Show in months. I bet it hasn’t changed a bit… other tan Jim of course.

    • NCSU68Grad Reply
      1 year ago

      My last “Whats It” bowl was in 2008. Papa John’s Bowl in Birmingham. ESPN Bowl Head Honcho PERSONALLY, on the phone, promised security for we motor home folks spending the night AFTER the bowl game. RIGHT. Pittsburgh fans came through and kicked in the radiators of several MH’s. I started to get out personal security item….but the cops finally showed up.
      Cops told us….GET OUT OF HERE….you ain’t safe tonight. One of the owners said…”I have had a drink or two…”. Officer said….take your chances….getting a DUI will be cheaper and safer than staying here. All of us packed up and left. FORTUNATELY, there was a Flying J up the road.
      Until NCUS gets an invite to a REAL bowl, it will be “Christmas in Raleigh” for me. I attended the FIRST Liberty Bowl in 1963 and several over the years. The Orlando Citrus bowl was a hoot. Stayed at the Team Hotel. Rode down in the WPC charter. The hookers were out plying the crowd in the stadium parking lot. The bus driver was in his 80’s and was “bumping” the Toyotas that would not pull over.
      I KNOW that folks think that I embellish events just for impact (a CNN trait?). BUT, my DW of 52 years still tells the tails and laughs….and the above events happened as depicted..
      I want a Husquvarna Chain Saw Massacre bowl….that would be fun…

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