So here we are.
This week, my dear Northwestern University is playing in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas. I probably won’t be watching. It’s not because we won’t have access to the game -- cable allows us to see colleges we never knew existed play everything from water polo to tetherball. And it’s not because I’m ignorant about football -- I was a kid in Pittsburgh, PA during the Steel Curtain/Immaculate Reception days.
I grant you, the horse is indeed out of the barn when it comes to sponsorship of all things once considered sacred. In fact, there are many things that I’m surprised haven’t had the bumper sticker of commerce slapped on them yet: I fully expected, in the disastrous wake of Hurricane Katrina, for the city to be renamed Pepsi Presents New Orleans.
And I am well aware that things are different now, in this everyone-gets-a-trophy era, and that the number of “championship games” is increasing to an embarrassingly large degree.
But couldn’t they come up with a better name for this damn bowl? Just to pretend that it was something real? Like the Engine Bowl? Or the Internal Combustion Bowl? Or even the Vroom Vroom Bowl? Sure, I know that Meineke wants to get its money’s worth, but their name doesn’t have to be in the bowl title if the stadium is already going to be plastered with their logo and ads.
Of course, there are plenty of other corporate sponsored bowls, with other uninspired names, and I’m waiting for someone to realize the obvious-but-at-least-sort-of-cute Splenda Sugar (Substitute) Bowl. But I fear that the slippery slope of unabashed ridiculousness coupled with the slow demise of satire... and sprinkled with a hearty dose of a robust 1% and decreasing regulation, will lead to future bowls with names like:
the Rick Perry PAC Bowl
the Wal-Mart Gun and Bedding Departments Family Funtime Bowl
the My Kids Aren’t Getting a Dime From Me Now Bowl
the Suck It Harry Flickman, You May Have My Wife But I Have Enough Money to Sponsor a Bowl Game Bowl
and of course:
the Twitter Bowl @TwitterBowl #twitterbowlforfootballnottweets #we understandhowthenamemightconfuseyou
That last one is probably going to happen someday, but even the others won’t seem all that outlandish when we finally declare satire dead. Just remember, Harry Flickman,* you heard it here first, so stay away from married women.
Yes indeed. Welcome to me.
*I don’t know any Harry Flickmans. It just sounded like a good name.