No Surprise: This Doesn’t Feel Like Bowl Week

Posted by on December 27, 2011

In between your celebration of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, or the winter solstice, and preparations for New Year’s Day, you may have forgotten Penn State’s football team is playing in a bowl game next Monday.  It’s actually what would be a New Year’s Day Bowl, as all those games have moved to Jan. 2 so the NFL can conclude its regular season on Sunday, Jan. 1.

In case you really have forgotten, the Lions are playing in the Ticket City Bowl in the Cotton Bowl Stadium outside Dallas.  They are playing the high powered, 12-1 Houston Cougars. 

PSU is playing in that bowl because three other games passed them over, due to the Jerry Sandusky mess.

With the sex abuse allegations still hanging over everything, Joe Paterno gone, Tom Bradley likely coaching his fourth and final game, and being relegated to a game most of can’t watch at home (it’s on ESPNU), it just doesn’t feel at all like bowl week. 

The tired cliche is that bowls are a reward for a good season.  Maybe once, but now they are just an excuse for the bowl committees, the TV networks, the universities’ athletics departments, the conferences, the hotels and restaurants around the stadiums, and the apparel marketers to make more money.

I haven’t watched one bowl game this year, and probably won’t, until at least Jan. 2.  I’ll likely catch at least part of some of the traditional games that day–Orange, Sugar, Rose–not sure they are all even on that day this year.  I’m not even sure I’ll venture out to the local sports bar where the Penn State Alumni Association is gathering to watch the Lions.

I sure want Penn State to win this game.  It would be one last win for Joe’s last team–it won’t go on his record, but this is still his team.  And I absolutely would like these players to have a positive end to this horrible year, the problems of which they had nothing to do with but for which they have paid a high price.

Speaking of making money, the Harrisburg Patriot-News today announced it has put out a book on the Jerry Sandusky case.  It’s on Amazon for $2.99.  The Patriot says all the proceeds after the retailer’s 30% cut are going to be donated to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape.  That’s the Amazon that doesn’t pay sales tax to support services such as law enforcement and investigations into child or sexual abuse here in Pennsylvania, or any other state, by the way.

Too bad they didn’t get it out for Christmas.   Would have made a wonderful stocking stuffer for the kids.

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