Friday, December 16, 2005

Ranking the BCS bowls, party style!

It's been a while since I've had complete silliness here, so time to make up for that. has the gift packages available, so let's go through each of the BCS bowls, and see who got screwed, and who's taking home the bling. Remember, they all had a $500 limit, so they should be roughly equal quality.

Just as an introduction: what should we have in a gift package? Well, BBNW (that's "Bleed Blue 'n White" for you non-frequent readers... that is, everyone but Mike) thinks you need three main categories, at a minimum.

  1. Big-ticket bling item
  2. Commemorative bling
  3. Something to carry it all home in

Rose Bowl: USC versus Texas

• Sony PSP
• Madden NFL 2006
• Rose Bowl watch and backpack
• New Era hat and knapsack
• Commemorative Rose Bowl flip coin
• Rose Bowl souvenir football
• The Longest Yard DVD

OK, the PSP is definitely bling-worthy. Videogame afficionados can argue Nintendo versus Sony, but it's hard to deny that the sleek PSP isn't going to draw more looks for a football jock than tapping a little screen and yelling at a cyber-puppy. Presumedly the NFL 2006 is for the PSP itself.

The Rose Bowl watch and football is nice - but what's up with the commemorative flip coin? C'mon, this is the national championship! Take a nice lady back to your room, "hey, wanna see my commemorative flip coin that I got from the Rose Bowl?" Maybe you can stick it beside your stamp collection.

The backpack is also a little weird - especially when they also get a knapsack as well. C'mon, let's be serious - how many books are these guys gonna be carrying around? Why not get them something more useful, like a Rose Bowl CD case?

Longest Yard DVD: that's right, let's give the kids a movie about an NFL star who gambles, throws games, then steals a car and goes on a driving rampage, before redeeming himself by winning a football game in prison. Might not be the right message. Plus, it stinks.

Final Grade: B+. Good start with the PSP, but the commemorative flip coin? C'mon.

Orange Bowl: Penn State versus Florida State

• Sony PSP
• Madden NFL 2006 and NBA Live 2006
• Ogio duffel bag
• Commemorative hat and team plaque
• Friday Night Lights DVD
• ESPN The Magazine subscription

Another good start with the PSP, and the Orange Bowl trumps the Rose Bowl with including two games for the PSP, rather than just one. Nice to add a spice of variety, too, with the NBA making an appearance. Always good to support other sports!

And a duffel bag, too! I mean, the knapsack from the Rose Bowl could be the same thing, but it's all about presentation. "Knapsack" just implies some bum hitchhiking across the Atlantic Coast. Duffel bag? Athletic superstar in the making.

The commemorative department is nice, too. No real "bling" - a watch might've been nicer than the hat (but we don't know if the Rose Bowl watch is commemorative or just generic), but the plaque is a nice touch for decorating the trophy wall. Definite "A" in this department.

And hey, a better DVD too: Okay, so the kids didn't win in Friday Night Lights, and considering you're giving this to the #3 team in the BCS poll ("sorry your season came up short, guys, here's a movie about another team who did!") it might be a little crass, but still - more appropriate message, and a better movie all around.

(As a side note, a coworker of mine did point out - the team loses at the end of Friday Night Lights, and the team wins at the end of Longest Yard: are the BCS bowls trying to send the message "try your hardest, and you'll lose: if you really want to win, break the law"?)

Final Grade: A-. No insulting flip coin, and the movie's better. But you get the "minus" because ESPN sucks.

Sugar Bowl: West Virginia versus Georgia

• Men's Fossil watch/sunglasses set
• Samsung Mp3 player
• Customized Trek mountain bike
• Commemorative hat

Man, talk about the screwage! Which one's the big ticket item? The MP3 player? The mountain bike? What to tackle first?

Okay, we'll look at the MP3 player. Dude, it's an MP3 player. It's about the bling. How could you not go with the iPod? Just to check that I'm not wrong, here's what Google Image search says about "samsung bling" versus "ipod bling".

Yah, that's an easy one - I mean, it says right there: iPod Nano, Serious Bling. Samsung's only got some freakish preteen cellphone obsessed with sequins.

Now, onto the mountain bike. Thankfully both Georgia and West Virginia actually have mountains (trust me, if they gave this to Ohio State players, that'd be a total waste, unless by "mountain bike" they mean "10-foot rise bike") and hey, it's not like Georgia players have to take it very far. Hard-working Bulldogs could even bike home from the Sugar Bowl. But you have to feel bad for the West Virginia players for having to bring back a hundred mountain bikes with them. Imagine them seeing the Rose Bowl players with their backpack full of stuff happily getting on the plane to get home, as they struggle to carry around a giant bicycle. Plus, as several of my coworkers have noted, can you imagine some of the 300+ pound linemen on a mountain bike?

And commemorative stuff: a hat? That's it? It could be the biggest game of their careers, and all you give them is a piece of fabric that could get ripped up by their loser neighbor's stray dog? Man. Lame.

Plus nothing to carry the stuff home in? Jeez. Someone's going to forget their lame-ass Samsung MP3 player, and have to run back carrying their bike, and have their commemorative hat fly off and get trampled by a bus. Big minus on the style points here.

The Sugar Bowl tries valiantly to bring the bling with the Fossil watch and sunglasses set, but it's just too little, too late.

Final Grade: F. No decent big-ticket item, poor commemorative item, no luggage help, and only a halfhearted attempt at bling.

Fiesta Bowl: Ohio State versus Notre Dame

• Sony PSP
• Bulova men's watch
• Commemorative football
• Fiesta Bowl dart board and snack-filled duffel bag

Wow, 3/4 of the BCS bowls going with the safe PSP option - but what's this! No game to go with it? Great! So now, they get to carry around their PSP and fake playing it to get attention? Definitely lose style points with that one.

The men's watch is a nice bling piece (actually better than the Fossil watch, if product images off of Google are of any merit), but it's a little generic. Commemorative - or even just with the Fiesta Bowl logo - would've been nicer. Hopefully it's the gold plated one - stainless steel just doesn't get the ladies, folks.

And for the commemorative option: what? Only a football? That's it? Okay, it's better than if they just had a flip coin, and it's better than the hat, but man, that's all around mediocre. The dart board and duffel bag might be commemorative, but they could just be generic as well (with the Fiesta Bowl logo and that's it).

The snack-filled duffel bag scores high with the 300+ pound crowd, and the dart board is a nice addition, and will help replenish A.J. Hawk's newly-empty apartment. Nothing really standout, though. But decent all around, I guess.

Final Grade: C. Major style point loss for no game with the PSP, and only a commemorative football knocks them down a notch. All-around ordinary.

Other non-BCS notable bowl packages include the Alamo Bowl which earns a solid A+ for its major bling of an XBOX 360 ($500? eBay says $700+, baby!), plus a Fossil watch, a commemorative mini-helmet (okay, a little silly, but XBOX 360!) and a sling-bag. Solid marks! Wait, why's Michigan complaining again?

Also the Hawaii Bowl earns a big old F for Oakley sunglasses, a sports jacket and backpack, a disposable camera (disposable camera?! "here, sonny, here's five bucks, have fun.") and some beach stuff, and a few shirts. I'd give lower, but I can't. And it's not like "hey, they're a minor bowl" - the Poinsettia Bowl (the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl) gets a C for an iPod Mini, $15 gift certificate, watch, and commemorative sweatshirt, T-shirt, and hat.

Finally, kudos to the New Orleans Bowl, which gets a B for the "simple, yet classic" package of a championship ring and watch. Yah, not as flashy as a PSP or an Xbox 360, and no luggage help, but you'll definitely get the ladies with the ring bling - much more so than with an Aloha shirt and a disposable camera, at least.

Edit: Holy crap, I missed the "Mother Of All WTFs" package: the Peach Bowl, which starts out decent with a commemorative windshirt, commemorative football and watch, and Xbox and Xbox game pack (not a 360, though) - but then throws it all in the toilet by including Wild at Heart, which is subtitled "Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul". From the review: "He challenges Christian men to return to authentic masculinity without resorting to a "macho man" mentality." What?! These are football players! I think the 'macho man' mentality is exactly what they're after!


Blogger Hugh said...

All around excellent post. Bravo. However, I think that the BCS bowls should have handed out the camcorders. I mean. That's what the players really want. I mean, you can't capture yourself on tape having sex with three chicks at once with a PSP now can you? And that's what a BCS bowl football player is going to be doing. Massive oversight by the BCS. PSP is nice, but I'd take function over fashion in this case.

10:04 AM

Blogger Mike L said...

ESPN does suck. The Mag looks like it's been written by monkeys with ADHD

3:01 PM

Blogger Pat said...

No taking pictures with the PSP?

Oh really?

This, coupled with the budding porn UMD industry, means "PSP=bling."

It should also be pointed out that someone came here from a Japanese site after searching Google Blog Search for "PSP bling". I rest my case. :)

3:50 PM


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