Bowl games in baseball parks
Another sign of the decline of Western Civilization is the proliferation of meaningless college football bowl games, often featuring teams that barely reached the .500 mark for the season. It's unfortunate that baseball stadiums (or former ones) have to be part of this embarrassment. Last Saturday there were two such games: the first-ever Eagle Bank Bowl was held at RFK Stadium, as the Wake Forest Demon Deacons beat the U.S. Naval Academy Midshipmen, 29-19. (That game was originally going to be called the "Congressional Bowl," to be played in Nationals Park.) It's the first time a college bowl game has been played in Our Nation's Capital, and the first time football has been played at RFK since the Redskins left in 1996.
Meanwhile, the inaugural (MagicJack) St. Petersburg Bowl was held at Tropicana Field, as the University of South Florida Bulls stampeded over the Memphis Tigers, 41-14. There is a great photo of the football gridiron layout at tampabay.com, which indicates that the seating capacity for football games is 33,000. "MagicJack" (a new kind of voice-over-Internet-protocol telephone service) became the sponsor on November 25. ESPN "owns" this and several other bowl games, and deserves much of the blame for this situation.
Coming up: The Emerald Bowl this coming Saturday, pitting the University of California Golden Bears (8-4) against the University of Miami Hurricanes (7-5), at AT&T Park in beautiful downtown San Francisco.
Finally, in case anyone cares, the Insight Bowl is no longer played at Chase Field in Phoenix, as it was from 2001-2005, but is instead now played at Sun Devil Stadium, which used to be the home of the (Tostitos) Fiesta Bowl, a 100% bona fide bowl game which is now held at University of Phoenix Stadium, which is the home of the Phoenix Cardinals but not the University of Phoenix, which has no football team. Got that?
UPDATE: Steve Chapman has a lot more to say on the subject of "College Football's Unbridled Excess" at Real Clear Politics. As for Barack Obama's ideas about how to fix the Bowl Championship System, I think it's all a farce, and should be junked.
The Angels have pulled out of the bidding war for Mark Teixera, boosting the Washington Nationals' chances of signing a superstar. A few days ago, it seemed that the Red Sox were likewise giving up on him, but the latest rumor says they are still in the running. The Orioles and Yankees are the likely alternatives. See MLB.com.