NEWS BLOG (WSAU) The trouble started with the Independence Bowl. It was always a second-tier bowl game, usually matching two mediocre southern football teams.
The Independence Bowl was among the first to bring in a corporate sponsor. Poulan, a company that makes yard and power tools, was the logical choice. The game was played in Shreveport, Louisiana. Poulan’s corporate headquarters were in Sherveport, and they were one of the city’s largest employers.
Other bowl games lined up bigger, more impressive sponsors like A T & T, Federal Express, State Farm, General Mills, and Toyota. But Shreveport, Louisiana gave us the Poulan Weed-Eater Independence Bowl.
And since then corporate sponsorships have plastered their names over some of college football’s biggest and not-so-big games. Syracuse and Colorado played in the OS2 Fiesta Bowl. The game sold its naming rights to IBM for a year. (If you don’t remember, OS2 was IBM’s new personal computer operating system, introduced in 1993.) Our Wisconsin Badgers play tonight in the Champs Sports Bowl. What used to be the Peach Bowl in Atlanta is now the Chick-fil-A Bowl. What used to be the Hall of Fame Bowl is now the Outback Bowl. The Tangerine Bowl became the Florida Citrus Bowl and is now the Capital One Bowl. And this year we have the inaugural Pizza Pizza Bowl, played in Detroit, and sponsored by Little Ceasars. Not to be outdone, there's the Papajohns.com Bowl in Birmingham, Alabama.
There are many good reasons for a college football playoff system. Getting rid of over-the-top corporate sponsorships would be one.
Operations Manager-Midwest Communications, Wausau