And a fine Monday to all you folks. Hang in there, the games are getting more interesting and you’re bound to have some time off work in the next couple of days. Munch on some candies in the meantime, the magic of the Independence Bowl will be on us before we know it.
Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl | Marshall vs. UCF | Monday 1:30 | ESPN
Let’s run this sucker through the Coolness Spectrum:
- the only bowl game named after an actual pirate
- one of the coaches is named Doc Holliday
- sponsored by a lawnmower company
- played in an NFL Stadium
- in Tampa
- so it’s basically a home game for UCF
- the most insufferable G5 fanbase on the planet
- at 1:30 in the afternoon on a Monday
In short, this game is ideal if you’re stuck in an empty office and yearning for a distraction. Just don’t set aside a whole day for this thing. This game is like having Home Alone on a loop in the background for the twentieth year in a row: you’ll be entertained a few times, but in the end there’s only so many humiliating antics you’re willing to watch someone subject themselves to for the sake of entertainment.
HAWAII BOWL | BYU vs. HAWAII | Tuesday 7PM | ESPN
On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, CFB gave to me
twelve fans in the stands
eleven starters loafing
ten top high school croots
nine pigs a-roasting
eight safeties ejected
seven hundred yard rushers
six pina coladas
FIVE STRAIGHT COUGAR WINS
four time zones away
three bitchin’ ukes
two dudes in short sleeves
Independence Bowl | Louisiana Tech vs. Miami | Thursday 3 p.m. | ESPN
If the Rose Bowl is the Grandaddy of Bowl Games, the Independence Bowl is the Eccentric Uncle. He lives in the country alone, you’re not sure how he survives, he doesn’t speak to his relatives very often, and he is routinely swindled by visiting salesmen peddling all kinds of wares like seedeaters, writing utensils, RV’s, Advocare, and Louisiana’s version of Hooters. He’s a bit scary, and you’re reluctant to visit him, but you learn something interesting and useful every time you do. In the end, he’s not that bad, and while you joke about him, you really love him and he’s an essential part of your family.
So take some time during your post-Christmas convalescence to pay him a visit. You’ll be entertained. This year he welcomes Louisiana Tech and Miami. The Bulldogs were having an excellent 9-1 year (only loss to Texas) before their star QB J’Mar Smith was suspended for “violation of team rules.” Smith’s suspension led to consecutive losses to Marshall and UAB, and a shot at the C-USA title. While they are likely disappointed by their staycation in Shreveport, they do receive what every G5 team wants….a virtual home game against a P5 “power”.
As for Miami, I could recite facts about their team or tell you something you already know about Manny Diaz. But I won’t. The college football world is better when the Hurricanes are bad, and let’s be honest, you aren’t a Miami fan. So embrace the spirit of American Independence and root for the under…./tugs collar… Dogs.
Quick Lane Bowl | Eastern Michigan vs Pitt | Thursday 7:00 p.m. | ESPN
Quick Lane is a place to get your oil changed in a fast and efficient manner. Maybe rotate your tires. Perform an inspection. Change a few fluid levels. Swap out some spark plugs. I’m sure they do a wonderful job at a fair price and it allows everyone to keep flying by at a faster pace of life to move on to hop back into traffic, the line at Starbucks, or your preferred ridiculous waste of our limited time.
But these are all pretty easy tasks someone could handle on their own. Sure it takes a little longer. Requires a little reading or “know-how” especially the first time. But the reward is that you get your hands dirty and finish a task you might not have expected you could handle. It will force you to use some other parts of your brain that don’t apply to spreadsheets, text messages, and conference calls.
In our hurry-up society, a lot of people could skip out on a December bowl game between a middle of the road ACC team and a feisty, yet faulty, MAC squad. But much like changing your own oil, sometimes by slowing down, spending a little more time and effort, and actually watching the Quick Lane Bowl, you’ll learn a little bit about yourself. Or not. What the hell do I know. I can tell you to bet the under in a meaningless CFB bowl game, and you will feel more alive for 3 hours than you ever will checking emails while standing in line at Trader Joe’s.