The Short Game: In Defense of the Little Guy


Cereal Bowl anyone?

Mike Carlson, Spear Contributor

Bowl season is officially over. And With Ohio State finally toppling Oregon to win the first ever College Football Playoff, we must now return to having football only on Sunday’s as opposed to every single day; which, if you ask me, is as depressing as learning your Winter Formal date is a Raiders fan.

However, something about this bowl season in particular made me jollier than Kanye West in a mirror warehouse. It wasn’t the new playoff system. It wasn’t the “Never Happening Again Match-Ups” (It would quite literally take a tectonic shift to see Louisiana Tech and Illinois reprise their Heart of Dallas Bowl battle). Nor, was it even witnessing the historic crowning of the Playoff’s first ever champ. On a side note, good luck topping that coronation England.

Rather, it was the smaller bowl games which made this bowl season so special. So, in a world ruled by the premier bowl games. I’m taking a stand for the little bowls. Life is painfully ironic isn’t it?

Don’t worry I get it. The bigger bowls are more popular. They are the toast of Twitter and the stuff of most every water-cooler exchange. Besides, not a soul has ever uttered “Hey! Did you catch the Beef ‘O Brady’s Bowl last night? Man, what a clash of titans that was!” Like I said, I get it. Bernie Madoff has more friends than the guy who drones on and on about how great the Advocare V100 Texas Bowl was.

With all that said, hear me out… I’m down here, pal!

The inaugural Popeyes Bahamas Bowl wasn’t a barn burner. Actually, it didn’t stop at just the barn. The entire farm was in cinders at the close of this game. After being down by five touchdowns, Central Michigan proceeded to score the next five touchdowns all in the fourth quarter. In other news, I now believe in unicorns, that Jay Cutler is an elite quarterback, and other things which I had previously believed to be implausible. Normally, these kinds of things are investigated by the Vatican and, usually, result in someone vaulting into sainthood. Saint Popeye anyone?

When Southern Alabama went toe-to-toe with Bowling Green in the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl, it was a 78-yard touchdown on a Hail Mary pass with 1:04 to go that was the deciding factor. And you thought the ending to “Interstellar” was perplexing.

Memphis barely beat BYU in double overtime at the Miami Beach Bowl, but that was Brock Osweiler-stuff compared to the fact that the game ended with a sneak peek at the “2015 WWE World Heavyweight Championship.” Instead of John Cena and a body slam, America got BYU defensive back Kai Nacua and a shot cheaper than anything sold at a Dollar Tree.

In the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, Army bested San Diego State 17-16 on a missed SDSU field goal. The field goal was 34-yards long or a little under one half the length of the actual name of the bowl.

Listen, I’m as much a fan of the Jameis Winston phantom fumble as the next crustacean and I will staunchly defend keeping the Rose Bowl a New Year’s Day tradition. All I’m asking for is a little love for the lesser-known bowl games and to maybe (just maybe) consider adding a smaller bowl to the timeslot right next door to a bigger one because, frankly, you never know what you are going to get. You know what? I’ll save you the trouble of naming it. How does The Daddy Long Legs Stilt Company Short Game Bowl sound? Pretty catchy, huh?