No one needs me to tell them that the EagleBank Bowl is, well, it’s just not the nation’s most prominent bowl game. No offense meant, but I’ll go so far as to add that EagleBank (and that’s one word, members of the media…they didn’t spend five million on brand development* so you could be a cavalier with the space bar) is not exactly the nation’s most prominent college football sponsor. They’re headquartered here in D.C.’s Maryland suburbs — my home town stomping grounds — and yet I’ll be jiggered if I’ve seen more than one or two EagleBank branches in my entire life. Jiggered, I tells ya.
Relative anonymity notwithstanding, the EagleBank Bowl, which will host its second game in 2009, recently bumped back its game date from Dec. 20 to Dec. 29. They gave several perfectly valid-seeming reasons for the move, but one has to believe that the Terps are a big part of the subtext. See, the EagleBank Bowl is played in RFK Stadium — right in Maryland’s back yard. This year, the EagleBank Bowl will feature the ACC’s eighth-place team and either a team from Conference USA or that perennial football powerhouse, Army. Last year, the bowl guys wanted Maryland, but the school’s exam scheduling precluded it. So instead, local fans got a matchup for the ages when 8-5 Wake Forest beat 8-5 Navy, 29-19. Boom.
But now, no doubt bearing in mind the notion that a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, and what have you, the EagleBank folks are dreaming even bigger. The new date removes all scheduling conflicts with Maryland. Could a Maryland-Central Florida tilt be in the cards for this New Year’s Eve Eve Eve? Winner gets the satisfaction of finishing three games above .500? Maybe cracking the AP top 50? OMG dood, don’t jinx it!!!! I’m getting a case of the chicken skins just thinking about it.
I want to suggest a new name for the bowl though. How about the We’re Pretty Sure Maryland Will Be Iffy Again So We’re Positioning Ourselves to Capitalize on That By Offering A Readymade Third-Tier Bowl Game That Is Easy For Maryland Students and Alumni to Buy Tickets For Attend in Large Numbers Bowl. Presented by EagleBank. Again, that’s one word, guys, okay? Please update your autospelling software. EagleBank.
And what’s worse, who would argue with this? It’s a savvy bet by the EagleBank people…the guess here is that some of them have formal business training. You might even say they are “banking” — EAGLEBANKING — on the Terps to finish eighth and help them make a compelling and profitable matchup. But if that’s what they are doing, are they wrong? After all, the team lost 13 starters from last season’s squad, and not one of them was named Chris Turner. I guess I’m supposed to get all excited about the promising young players getting their chance to step up or whatever? Well. Here’s hoping it happens. And hey, if not, we’ll always have the EagleBank Bowl for a niiiiiice soft landing.
*Numbers may not be non-fictional.