Paulie: Bowl games are end-all, mean nothing
Mark it down. Five days into the New Year, the last house guest just checked out of Hotel Casa Calvisi. Now, if only the college football bowl season would get the hint and do the same.
Here in 2011, bowl games are no longer the end-all, be-all. Instead, it's more like end-all, mean nothing.
It's like that old Springsteen song - "34 Bowl Games and Nothin' On." (Or was it "57 Channels"?!) Whatever. The point is that we can all keep flipping the remote and ain't nothin' gonna be on. Not until the BCS Title Game.
Why? That's easy and obvious. The Plus-one format has gradually become the Only-one. From the Poinsettia to the Pinstripe, the Humanitarian to the Holiday, not to mention the, uh, Beef ‘O Brady Bowl, GoDaddy.com, and TicketCity (where they sold none), the bowl schedule reads like the menu at The Cheesecake Factory, which is to say that it should come replete with a table of contents and index.
In other words, the bowl season itself reads like the run-on sentence above.
And, like everything else in life, this format comes with a cost. In fact, if you take these games to the register, you'll find that the price tag scans a lot like college hoops. Just flip the seasons. Because the Plus-one format has done to the college football postseason what March Madness has done to the college basketball regular season. Rendered ‘em largely impotent and irrelevant.
And, you know what? Just like that botched Jerome Boger spot in Seattle, it really shouldn't be that tough of a call. In fact, look at that supposedly lackluster SNF match up and let's ask ourselves why did that game just garner the best Sunday night rating in 9 years?! Well, we know why: because it mattered! Forget the teams (Rams-Seahawks), all anyone needed to know was that the winner advanced to the postseason, while the loser exited into its off-season.
By comparison, college football bowl games have become the paper cups stacked at the water cooler. One and done. Utterly disposable. Fans now watch the Rose Bowl just like they watch the Rose Parade - for the pageantry. Nothing more.
Hence, just like the house guests that never get the hint, you know what somebody needs to leave in college football's cubicle? A stick of deodorant. Cuz, yes, it's all starting to smell. From the stands. And from the couch.