The Bowl Games Are Growing Like Weeds

450991514Clinton, South Carolina, Saturday, December 26, 2015, 3:21 p.m.

Football isn’t forever. It just seems like it this time of year.

Insignificant bowls started at 11 a.m., and today’s last one starts shortly after 9:30.

Monte Dutton

Monte Dutton

Marshall fans didn’t think their bowl — St. Petersburg, maybe? — was insignificant because beating Connecticut (6-7) made the Thundering Herd (10-3) double-digit winners.

At the moment, the Sun Bowl is being played amidst ice. Washington State looks slightly warmer, having just taken a 10-7 lead over Miami.

Tonight’s NFL game fits right in. The Washington Redskins (7-7) are visiting the Philadelphia Eagles (6-8) in as important a game as teams with two such records can possibly provide.

The major development is the passage of the Christmas line of demarcation. As of today, the teams are recognizable.

I like the Sun Bowl. I like stadiums that have mountain backdrops. I’ve driven past that stadium a number of times while making my way from a NASCAR race in Texas to one in Arizona. It’s along the side of Interstate 20 but up above it. It doesn’t seem possible when looking at it from the highway that it’s the same stadium on TV.

Brigham Young’s stadium has a magnificent backdrop. I’d like to go to a game there. I’d sort of like to see tailgate parties where Coca-Colas are taboo. I can see the novelty wearing off fairly quickly, though.

(Monte Dutton photo)

(Monte Dutton photo)

4:03 p.m.

I’ve been talking with my niece about modern-day hassles, her little boys, and going to the zoo sometime soon.

Now I notice games are sprouting everywhere. Indiana and Duke are battling each other in balmy New York. Washington and Southern Miss are in New Orleans. It’s halftime at the icy Sun Bowl.

Based on my hazy memory of recent years, Duke has an excellent chance of losing this game in heartbreaking fashion.

Either that or they’re due.

Wonder where I got that "mountain backdrop" notion? (Monte Dutton photo)

Wonder where I got that “mountain backdrop” notion? (Monte Dutton photo)

Conferences were so much better when they were smaller. The schools had things in common and stuff. Conferences actually had the accurate number of schools in the titles. The Big Eight had eight: Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Iowa State.

Now it’s the Big Twelve which has Ten, which is less than the Big Ten, which has Fourteen. It also provides such intersectional rivalries as those kindred spirits West Virginia and Texas Tech. Throw out the records when those two get together. The same can surely be said of the rare and precious games matching Nebraska and Rutgers.

Television, with the NCAA as implementation consultant, has, by its machinations, created a national landscape where Texas plays Iowa State but not Texas A&M, and Missouri plays Vanderbilt but not Kansas. Schools that have played each other a hundred times both cease and desist because they don’t tap enough TV markets.

(Graphic courtesy of Meredith Pritchard)

(Graphic courtesy of Meredith Pritchard)

(Joe Font cover design)

(Joe Font cover design)

Enough, already. Buy my novel. It only costs $3.49. If you can’t figure out how to read it on your electronic devices, what’s the loss? You might come to enjoy picking up an iSomething and playing a wisdom video game called reading. Apps. Free apps. They unlock the world.

(Melanie Ryon cover design)

(Melanie Ryon cover design)

Two of my novels, The Audacity of Dope ( and The Intangibles (, are available in both paper and download.

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

The next one, Forgive Us Our Trespasses, will also be a KindleScout e-book and it will undoubtedly be available within a few months because I’ve already received money, and that generally speeds things right along.


Read more of my “other” writing — short fiction, reviews, essays, et al. — at .

About Monte

For 20 seasons, I mostly wrote about NASCAR. I'm still paying attention, but I'm spending more of my time these days writing novels and songs. I try to blog regularly on whatever happens to strike my fancy.
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