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The Suburbanite
  • Gary Brown: When New Year’s Day was reserved for the big bowls

  • I’m going to sound like the president of the Fogies of Football Club when I say this, but New Year’s used to be the big day for bowl games. In the old days, the best bowl games — the Sugar, Cotton, Gator, Rose, and Orange — were on New Year’s Day.

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  • Wisconsin plays Stanford in the Rose Bowl — I’m sorry, it’s the Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio — and Northern Illinois plays Florida State in the Discover Orange Bowl Game.
    As far as big bowl games on New Year’s Day, that’s pretty much all that’s left, other than the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl Game between Mississippi State and Northwestern.
    That one probably won’t delay New Year’s dinner any more than its television broadcast competition — the Heart of Dallas Bowl Game between Purdue and Oklahoma State.
    THE OLD DAYS
    I’m going to sound like the president of the Fogies of Football Club when I say this, but New Year’s used to be the big day for bowl games. In the old days, the best bowl games — the Sugar, Cotton, Gator, Rose, and Orange — were on New Year’s Day.
    A man who was a true fan might not move his fanny off of the couch for hours on New Year’s Day. The powerhouses of college football played on the holiday.
    I checked the TV schedule for New Year’s Day games this year and learned that South Carolina will play Michigan in the Outback Bowl and Georgia will play Nebraska in the Capital One Citrus Bowl.
    I guess that’s good.
    Once there were just a handful of games played on days other than the actual holiday. Counting the six New Year’s Day games, there now are 35 bowl games, including the first two on Dec. 15: The Gildan New Mexico Bowl in which Arizona beat Nevada 49-48 in a thrilling contest and the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in which Utah State beat Toledo 41-15 in a game that was not nearly as exciting.
    Since then, there has been a steady stream of almost daily bowl games, including the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, the Beef ’O’ Brady’s St. Petersburg Bowl, the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, the Maaco Las Vegas Bowl, the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, the Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Gumman Bowl, the Belk Bowl, the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl — which wasn’t on a holiday, by the way — and the AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl.
    Those were followed by the Russell Athletic Bowl, the Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl, the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, the Valero Alamo Bowl, the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, the Hyundai Sun Bowl, and the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.
    Those last three were scheduled for the afternoon on New Year’s Eve. I don’t think they probably interfered much with last-minute preparation for parties.
    Page 2 of 2 - TOO MANY BOWLS?
    Things change. I understand that. And almost three dozen games seems to give nearly every colleges the chance to play in something after the season ends.
    But, fewer important games on New Year’s Day gives guys very little reason to head into the family room and avoid washing dishes after dinner.
    The Allstate Sugar Bowl isn’t until the next day, for heaven’s sake. And the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl is not until Jan. 3. The AT&T Cotton Bowl is delayed now until Jan. 4 and then you’ve got the BBVA Compass Bowl and the GoDaddy.com Bowl before we even get to the Discover BCS National Championship Bowl game on Jan. 7.
    A week into a year, is the New Year still new?