The Dairy Products of the American Heartland Annual Kvetch About Bowl Game Names Comment Count

Seth December 23rd, 2016 at 9:42 AM

The tradition continues. See previous for Why.


image: Oh, flibblyniblets.

image: What’s wrong, April?

image: I am trying to surprise my husband with a bowl trip this year but I don’t know how to communicate where we’re going. I thought we were going to the Orange Bowl, but then I looked it up and it said some sort of credit card company.

image: Oh, I see what happened.

image: You do?

image: Why yes, you need COMMON LANGUAGE!

image: Lamegwege? What’s that?

image: Language! I use it all the time! It’s a body of words—and the systems for their use—that are common to a people who are of the same linguistic community. Here’s how it works:


Words are used to convey meanings that the listener is already conditioned to understand. The words enter the ear canal and are interpreted by the brain into cognitive thoughts.

image: But I’ve tried that. What if, like, some credit card company pays to replace the words for a bowl game with their name?


image: Silly April, you can’t BUY language! All you have to do is use words that your listener will comprehend.

For example here’s how you refer to all of this year’s bowl games in English:

(bold are the ones where they’ve done away with the real names. All times are EST. Click each logo to get the full size. Use however you like.)

Date/Time You Call it They Call It Since Teams Logo
Dec 17 New Mexico Gildan… 2006 UNM/UTSA New Mexico Bowl
Dec 17 Las Vegas 1992 SDSU/Houston LasVegasBowl
Dec 17 Camellia Raycom Media… 2014 AppSt/Toledo camellia-bowl-logo
Dec 17 Cure AutoNation… 2015 ArkSt/UCF curebowl
Dec 17 New Orleans R+L Carriers 2001 S.Miss/La-Laf NewOrleansBowl
Dec 19 Miami Beach 2014 Tulsa/CMU
Dec 20 Boca Bowl Boca Raton 2014 WKU/Memphis b_xxLEMu
Dec 21 Poinsettia San Diego County Credit Union… 2005 BYU/Wyoming PoinsettiaBowl
Dec 22-7pm Potato Famous Idaho… 1997 Idaho/CSU Potatobowl
Dec 23-1pm Bahamas Popeyes… 2014 EMU/Old Dom logo
Dec23-4:30 The Military One at TCU Lockheed Martin Armed Forces 2003 Navy/LaTech armedforces
Dec23-8pm Mobile Dollar General 1999 Troy/OHIO! mobile
Dec24-8pm Hawaii 2002 Hawaii/MTSU Aloha_Bowl
Dec26-11am (or Tampa II) St. Petersburg 2008 MSU (NTMSU)/
Miami (NTM)
Dec26-2:30 Motor City Quick Lane 2014 Maryland/BC Bowl in Detroit
Dec26-5pm Independence Camping World… 1976 NCSt/Vandy indepencence-bowl
Dec27-noon Heart of Dallas or
Cotton II
Zaxby’s… 2010 Army/N.Tex DallasBowl
Dec27-3:30 The Military one in D.C. Military Bowl 2008 Temple/Wake military_bowl_logo_2
Dec27-7pm Holiday National Funding… 1978 Minn/WSU HolidayBowl
Dec27-10:15 Cactus
(or Copper)
Motel 6… 1989 Baylor/Boise 14cactusbowl
Dec28-2pm Pinstripe New Era… 2010 Pitt/NWern pinstripebowl
Dec28=5:30 Tangerine
or Citrus II
Russell Athletic 1990 Miami(YTM)/
Tangerine Bowl
Dec28-8:30 San Francisco Foster Farms 2002 IU/Utah sanfranbowl
Dec28-9pm Texas or Bluebonnet AdvoCare V100… 2006 A&M/KSU bluebonnet
Dec29-2pm Birmingham 2006 SC/USF birminghambowl
Dec29-5:30 Queen City Belk 2002 Ark/VT queen city
Dec29-9pm Alamo Valero… 1993 OkSt/Colo 5kcx6fynk65qmg23v4ek
Dec30-noon Liberty Autozone… 1959 UGA/TCU Libertybowl
Dec30-1pm Sun Bowl Hyandai 1934 Stan/UNC SunBowloldlogo
Dec30-3:30 Music City Franklin American Mortgage… 1998 Neb/Tenn music city bowl
Dec30-5:30 Arizona Nova Home Loans… 2016 AF/S.Bama arizona-bowl-logo
Dec30-8pm Orange Capital One… 1935 Mich/FSU OrangeBowl
Dec31-11a Citrus Buffalo Wild Wings… 1946 L’ville/LSU 1990_1-1_Citrus_Bowl_Guide
Dec31-11a Gator Taxslayer 1945 GT/Kentucky Gatorbowl
Dec31-noon Peach* Chick-fil-A 1968 Bama/UW peach_bowl_logo
Dec31-7pm Fiesta* PlayStation… 1971 Clemson/OSU Fiesta
Jan2-1pm Outback
(or Hall of Fame)
1986 Florida/Iowa HOFBowllogo
Jan2-1pm Cotton Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic 1937 WMU/Wis Cottonbowl
Jan2-5pm Rose 1902 PSU/USC rose bowl
Jan2-8:30p Sugar Allstate… 1935 Auburn/Okla sugar_bowl_logo
Jan9-8:30p CFP National Championship   2015 ?/? event-cfp

* semi-final games.

image: So I’m a bit less confused, but why is the bowl in Jerryworld called the “Cotton Bowl” when the one played at the Cotton Bowl is called “Heart of Dallas”?

image: I guess that’s why they added “Classic” to it, but yeah, words can’t fix everything. They can assist in communication, not guarantee clarity.

image: So I can actually use these names to convey meaning to other people who speak the same language as me! Tell me, is this legal?

image: Have you entered into a contract with any of the sponsors above where they pay you to replace words in your speech with their names?

image: Well, no, that actually sounds kind of...

image: yeah.

image: …fizzly. Flupped even. Totally flupped beyond wizzly fizzy.

image: Glad we had this conversation.



December 23rd, 2016 at 11:00 AM ^

Translate "whatever cheaper sponsorship they had to settle for" bowl to the traditional names. It's a much needed public service, because who the hell knows what bowl the "beef o Brady" bowl Is (I think that was last year.)


December 23rd, 2016 at 10:50 AM ^

I found this to be an inspired work of sheer genius. One of the great things about this blog, which perhaps differentiates it from most others of its ilk, is its ability to balance serious analysis with fun and wit. I frequently miss some of Ace and Brian's references due to generational differences, but I'm sure many readers have a great appreciation for that which is lost on me.


December 23rd, 2016 at 10:56 AM ^

It's tradition (see previous), you haters. I put it out every year to bitch about ambush marketing and provide a useful table with:

  • a schedule of bowl games
  • a resource of non-branded logos for all the bowls
  • a comprehensive list of comprehensible names for the bowls



December 23rd, 2016 at 11:32 AM ^

This one has some history. Queen City is a nickname for Charlotte--apparently Cincy also claims this title so I may have overestimated how ubiquitous that label is. I'm a total junky for history of the British royal family so whenever I think of Charlotte I associate it with George III's (yes THAT George) wife whom it was named for.*

But the bigger reason I'm a stickler for this name is their first two naming rights were awful. It was the Continental Tire Bowl for just 3 years and then was one of two bowls called just "Meineke Car Care Bowl".**

Belk is a local department store chain that nobody outside of Charlotte ever needs to know about. It's also the third naming rights holder and the fourth name for the bowl, which began as the Queen City Bowl.

**Its other nickname is "The Hornet's Nest" because the locals were such a pain in the ass to the British that Cornwallis had to give up on using it as a base of operations, writing home that it was "a hornet's nest of rebellion." Hence the hoops team.

**The other is the Bluebonnet, which is now called the Texas Bowl, but every old college football fan knows the bowl they play in Houston is the Bluebonnet Bowl.


December 23rd, 2016 at 11:35 AM ^

I'll pull my response from my 2012 edition of this:

I'm not against branding. We do plenty of it, and I plan to do more. Sponsoring a nice thing so people can have it for free is one of the most polite ways folks have yet found to introduce themselves to customers. Marketing is subject to the same rules of propriety as all other intra-species communication. Polite: Your banner over the entrance to the guest lecture you're sponsoring. Impolite: making the lecturer interrupt his spiel to talk about the fantastic deals you're currently offering. Polite: Leaving your business card on the restaurant's bulletin board. Impolite: Renaming all the meats in the sandwiches after your products. Also impolite: naming your kid "Need School Supplies? Call 1-800-555-PENS and We'll Deliver!" so that every time the teacher does roll call you're drumming up business.

My beef is naming rights are a form of ambush marketing, and become a barrier to communication.


December 28th, 2016 at 9:22 PM ^

You might not like the tone, but it's essentially just a reminder that unless you're personally getting free Poulan Weed Eaters, you're under no obligation to refer to anything as the Poulan Weed Eater Bowl. 

Case in point: My wife was driving home from Orlando tonight, and mentioned that it looked like there was a game going on at UCF because there was a blimp overhead. I told her that must have been the Russell Athletic Bowl at Camping World Stadium, and got a blank stare. When I gave in and told her it was the Tangerine Bowl, she magically knew exactly what I was talking about.



When I worked at a newspaper, it drove me crazy that other editors felt obliged to use phrases like "Russell Athletic Bowl" instead of using names that would let everyone know what we were actually talking about. Russell never paid us a dime — no bowl sponsors do — but these people would tut-tut like we'd libeled somebody if an unsponsored reference found its way into print.

Anyway, I don't hear it as a complaint. If it is, it's certainly not about sponsorship in general. And it is tradition — one I hope doesn't go away any time soon.


December 23rd, 2016 at 11:15 AM ^

who has them as a major client, I only WISH we had the budget to sponsor a bowl game.

Even though I hate sponsored bowl games and participate in using only trad names.

That Maytag logo is hilariously old (there have been two redesigns since the "worms"). Enjoyed seeing how it still comes up in searches as "the" logo.


December 23rd, 2016 at 11:19 AM ^

The Zaxby's Bowl transcends your naming convention. They have Chicken Fingerz, Zalads, and Zappetizers. It will alwayz be the Zaxby Bowl to me.


December 23rd, 2016 at 11:49 AM ^

Bo's second bowl victory in a calendar year (after a decade with zero)!

That Bluebonnet Bowl was a critical juncture in Bo almost going to Texas A&M. First because Bo refused to talk about a new job until he'd beaten UCLA for "stealing" a WR recruit out of Detroit.

After the game however was the beginning of several weeks when A&M made their big recruiting move. Bo even disappeared from the locker room shortly after the game to be with the group of A&M/Cowboys/Oil Money guys who were recruiting him hardcore at the time.


December 23rd, 2016 at 11:41 AM ^

Technically it is. The Bluebonnet Bowl ended in '87 and then they brought it back as the Texas Bowl (with some awful naming rights). There's three reasons I want to keep the Bluebonnet name alive: 

  • That bowl had some history so most college football fans should recognize it as the bowl in Houston
  • There are SO MANY bowls in Texas that calling one of them the Texas Bowl is the opposite of helpful. There's one at Jerryworld, one at the Cotton Bowl, one at TCU, one in San Antonio, and then the Sun Bowl in El Paso.
  • Bluebonnet Bowl is a good name.


December 23rd, 2016 at 11:36 AM ^

simply because of the length of time (Outback) and the simplicity of the sponsor name (florida citrus growers), I'm assuming.

Citrus was actually known as the Tangerine for like 35 years before being sponsored as the Citrus Bowl and then adopting the name later (a real coup for the Floriday Citrus Growers).

Citrus II (or Tangerine) is really Tangerine II, right? The former Blockbuster.


December 23rd, 2016 at 11:45 AM ^

Yeah. But everyone remembers it as the Citrus and then they named a second bowl the Tangerine and it got so confusing that the old names aren't any better than sponsored names.

The Outback is a special case because it might actually be an improvement on "Hall of Fame Bowl". Given the length of that deal at this point there's no use fighting it. If they called it the "Outback Steakhouse Bowl" then I'd say just go back to Hall of Fame.


December 23rd, 2016 at 11:59 AM ^

Some of these are way shittier than the real ones. Why is "Millitary One at TCU" better or more traditional sounding than the "Armed Forces Bowl"? Why call a bowl in St. Petersburg the Tampa Bowl? 


December 23rd, 2016 at 2:45 PM ^

I think it ended up too small to notice but I want everyone to know that I did not edit the yaldo eye center logo. They actually make the subtext fuzzy.