By Michael Turton
Here’s my thought: the “Super Bowl” is the stupidest name in all of sport – although there many other contenders in the arena of bad football game names. If we use just a little imagination we could improve the name game considerably. But first some important history.
The downward spiral in football nomenclature began in 1967 when the old AFL melded into the NFL. To celebrate, the wise men of football decided to name the annual festival of halftime and advertising excess “The Super Bowl- I mean c’mon – – is that not the lamest name in the history of sport? When was the last time someone asked you how a movie was and you responded “Super!”? Probably 1967.
I suppose we should be grateful. Had the leagues merged in 1966, in order to be hip, the NFL would have undoubtedly borrowed from “The 59th Street Bridge Song,” a hit for Simon and Garfunkel that year, and named its championship game “The Groovy Bowl.” I can imagine the defense singing in unison, “Slow down, you move too fast!” And if it were named today, how could the biggest of all the biggest games be anything other than “The Awesome Bowl?”
If the NFL is to be criticized for a lack of creativity in naming its ultimate contest, the world of college football has surpassed even the pros. It used to be that college “bowl games” not only gave the best teams in the country a chance to show their stuff – – they had names that were short and kind of cozy. You could even argue they were organic. The Rose Bowl. The Cotton Bowl. The Sugar Bowl. The Orange Bowl. Not only do college bowl games now feature teams that have lost as many games as they won – – some have lost MORE games than they’ve won and the names are really not super at all.
Here are my picks for this year’s worst bowl game names. Are they not enough to make Knute Rockne scream “Rename one for the Gipper” from his grave? The names are all real. Decide for yourself about the notes.
Chick-fil-A Bowl (Anyone knowing how to spell fillet or filet gets in free)
Beef-O-Brady’s Bowl (The Brady Bunch to perform at half time)
Maaco Bowl (All cars in the parking lot are painted lime green during the game)
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl (Formerly known as the I’s Not Actually a Toxic Plant Bowl)
Little Caesar’s Bowl (Teams select 3 toppings to decorate their end zone, no anchovies)
New Era Pinstripe Bowl (Players must wear pinstripe suits in this classic)
Godaddy.com Bowl (Kids require all fathers to leave the game at half time)
Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl (In an amazing coincidence all fans come from towns named Bridgepoint)
Progressive Gator Bowl (Backward, conservative gators are denied stadium entry)
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl (canceled due to foreclosure)
The need for action is obvious if football is to be saved. The following are five suggestions for new game names that will reinvigorate the bowl concept.
The Viagra Bowl (If this game lasts more than 4 hours fans get a full refund)
The ExLax Bowl (The running game will likely dominate)
The FOX TV News Bowl (All coverage is fair and balanced, Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly host along with Keith Olbermann and Bill Maher. John Stewart moderates)
The Maddoff Bowl (Upon arrival fans are disappointed to learn there actually is no game)
The Kohler Toilet Bowl (Two winless teams play to a 0-0 tie)
Please submit your vote for your favorite bad bowl game name. You can find the complete list at: http://espn.go.com/college-football/bowls .Groovy Bowl XLV will be played on Feb. 6, 2011 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington Texas. It should be awesome.