My favorite piece of Super Bowl trivia

Our resources can’t support a full Super Bowl preview this year. Instead I give you, by way of sports trivia maestro and fellow Pizza Cave Podcast guest Eastside Paulie, my favorite piece of Super Bowl trivia, which I learned from my dad on a trip to Houston.

Get your vote in before six o’clock today, and enjoy the game on Sunday.

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2013 college football bowl schedule

Before getting to the 2013-14 college football bowl schedule and associated predictions and operations, a note on sponsored discourse. In this post-Musburger-for-all-the-Tostitos world, it is an unremarkable fact that the bowl games are not merely sponsored football contests but business entities in and of themselves, the sponsorship-style nomenclature– e.g., “the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl”– a mere reflection of the game’s less overtly monied past. Even the ostensible bastion of postseason intercollegiate purity now is known as “the Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio.”

When a bowl game is a business, and not merely a happening, there is an associated shift in the commercial advertising language referential to that business. The NFL’s decision to prohibit the use of “Super Bowl” by non-league advertisers, who now must offer you late-January deals on new televisions for watching “the big game,” provides a rough analogy.

I understand and accept the logic behind a business’ desire to control its portrayal in other business’ advertisements and insist on inclusion of a game’s full, sponsored title in that portrayal. What I do not understand is why the news media plays along. This week, I heard a local sports talk show talk about talking about Georgia’s appearance in “the Taxslayer dot com Gator Bowl,” and that’s far from the only example. I understand that some of the sponsors have integrated their names into the bowl games’ names in such a way that it’s difficult– or, where the sponsor’s name and the bowl’s name are one and the same, impossible– to say the bowl’s name without saying the sponsor’s name as well (e.g., the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl and the Capital One Bowl, respectively). “Taxslayer dot com” is a mouthful, though, and everybody already knows the Gator Bowl. “The Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio” is ridiculous to say, and things like “the Allstate Sugar Bowl,” “FedEx Orange Bowl,” and “Tostitos Fiesta Bowl” simply are superfluous. Why the sports news media feels obligated to append these sponsor names when discussing the bowls is beyond me, and you won’t find us doing it here, unless it’s something humorous like the Beef O’Brady Bowl or the RealOakFurniture.com Bowl.

Onto the bowl schedule, which begins this Saturday.   Continue reading

Navy and Notre Dame, featuring Jungle Bird

I didn’t want to have to write anything about the Notre Dame/Navy game in Dublin– it’s 40-10 in disfavor of the Midshipmen right now– but then Jungle Bird showed up, and the environment demanded a digital response. Here’s the video:

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The Carrier Classic: College basketball takes flight

The college basketball season tips off in earnest tonight off the coast of San Diego, where Michigan State will take on North Carolina on a court built on the deck of the USS Carl Vinson:

ALDLAND ADDS VALUE: Carl Vinson was a member of Georgia’s congressional delegation for more than fifty years. A 1902 graduate of Mercer University Law School, Vinson served as a county prosecutor and judge, as well as a state legislator in Georgia. He died in 1981 at the age of ninety-seven. All of which reminds me of the last high-profile meeting between UNC and MSU, which did not go too well for Sparty. Tom Izzo’s squad suffered a setback before the season even began, and even the homers aren’t overly optimistic about tonight’s high-seas clash. UNC looks good, but I expect the Spartans to put up a fight.