Posts Tagged ‘bowl games


Dear Meow Mix Bowl organizers


Dear Meow Mix Bowl organizers,

My letter to you today serves a dual purpose.  First of all, I want to apologize to you and the entire Meow Mix family. I have belittled your bowl game event in the past, and I realize now that I was remiss in that.  Meow Mix is a very high-quality brand of cat feed.  Maybe the best.  I have found your Hairball Control variety to be particularly effective, with my fictional cat now horking up, oh, say, 25 percent less hair, thanks to your special blend of enzymes and catalysts. It also comes in little Xs and Os, much like our human cereal.  I like that.  Did you determine that those shapes make the feed more, like, visually appealing to the cats?  Brilliant.  Again, a tip of the cap to you for all the great work you do.

I sing your praises today, however, not only because of your unwavering commitment to delivering first-rate cat feed at affordable prices, but to ask that you add a new team to your bowl game watch list: my beloved Maryland Terrapins. I know, I know, we’re just two games in, and they’re 1-1. And they now finish a relatively easy homestand with Middle Tennessee State, Rutgers, and ACC opener Clemson. Not too daunting, but they probably need to go 4-1 to be a “contender,” and 3-2 to be respectable. Truth be told, after JMU I wonder about the prospects of obtaining either of these records. The ACC is soft this year and can definitely be had, but still, I wonder. And I worry.

And that, Meow Mix Bowl organizers, is where you come in.

You see, the thing is, we haven’t played particularly well as of yet. Our young and executionally challenged lines mean that we stall on offense, and need our defensive playmakers to overblitz and play help roles. And we have injuries. Big left tackle Bruce Campbell and little safety Jamari McCulloch are both out again this week, and now CB Nolan Carroll is likely done for the season. This is not good. And don’t get me started on Alex Wujciak. That’s another letter.

So anyway, this all brings me around to my request. Maybe you can go ahead and slot us in for Meow Mix this winter? Kind of like early admission to college; we won’t accept any other bowl offers, but you have to give us preferential status.  I know we would be honored to play in the Meow Mix Bowl. And I can speak for the program on that one. Really. I have that authorization.

So in closing, thank you again for providing such a top-flight cat feed formula — the cat feed formula so good, so delicate in its flavor profile, so toothsome for the feline pallette — that cats literally ask for it by name. Can Whiskas make a similar claim? They cannot.  When did you last hear a cat request Fancy Feast?  It is unpossible.  But also, and almost more importantly, thank you for considering the Maryland Terps for the Meow Mix Bowl, which provides an amazing fan experience for consumers young and old, who receive not only valuable exposure to the Meow Mix brand and family of products, but also to a moving and spectacular American football demonstration. Thank you for your time.

Bobby the sick boy with cancer


Bowl organizers go ahead and kind of pencil in the Terps for more mediocrity

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.

2008 EagleBank Bowl tailgaters reach consensus on the event's status as the most financially responsible tailgate or related exercise of the fiscal year.

2008 EagleBank Bowl tailgaters reach consensus on the event's status as the most financially responsible tailgate or related exercise of the fiscal year.

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.


A Preview in the Afternoon: A Humanitarian Bowl anaylsis from novelist Ernest Hemingway

ernest-hemingwayI left Spain in 1940 and after some years found myself in Idaho.  The leaves are yellow on the cottonwoods there and the wind brings a coolness to the rooming houses.  I was driving the road one day and saw a mountain and in its foothills lay a small tavern. The sign along the road said welcome to Boise. I did not stop at the sign. I kept on driving. There was no pulloff there for pulling over to look at the welcome sign.

I went into the tavern and ordered grappa. What is grappa, said the bartender. So instead I ordered white wine and nachos. The nachos came with meat and tomatoes and yellow cow’s milk cheese. I dipped pieces of fried cornmeal into the meat mixture and tipped the plate to drink the oil of the meat, and then I washed it down with the crisp white wine. What the hell are you doing, asked the bartender. I gazed at the cheese as it hardened on the plate.  I have unseen scars, you see.

A small television flickered in the corner and it displayed a blue field. It was a field for football. A boy’s game. The game of a boy before he goes to a woman. Before he knows the true sport of man — that of hunting another man.  In the dark.  Or the autumn.

I wonder if Nevada will beat Maryland in the Humanitarian Bowl, said a man on the stool next to me.  I wanted to tell the fool that for a humanitarian to bowl there would first need to be humans.  Nevada has a lot of good runners including their quarterback, he said.  What’s the good in running.  I ran but not to escape and I escaped anyway but it was not to freedom.

Colin Kaepernick is the Wolf Pack quarterback and he is the WAC player of the year.  He can run like the cool clear stream behind Ochoa’s house just east of Andalusia. Marko Mitchell is their primary wideout and Via Taua is their tailback.  They are both first-team all WAC and they can dance like fine bulls or trouts on the spawn.  The offense averages 37.8 points per game.  The defense allowed 31.5.  That is not very good.  For the Terps, Darrius Heyward-Bey has this last game to prove his draft mettle.  Those in Maryland, for the sake of the game if not his return to school, may hope that he takes full advantage of this opportunity. Maryland says its true strength is defense but it finished ninth in the ACC in total defense and I do not see how they can say defense is a strength when they cannot defend themselves.  Offenses can break boys and will know that day that they killed but they will do the killing and they will go on.

There are forces and there are objects but these are all weak and eventually they will all die and their dreams will feed the cottonwoods.  When the prize is 8-5 there are no long lines for the barrera seats.

The Boise State field is blue.  Like the blue fields of Kilamanjaro.

I left the tavern and went out into the street.

Final prediction:  Nevada 37.8, Maryland 31.5


Takin’ a Break from All Our Worries

The Noise in Boise is still 14 days away. Although everyone is clearly excited — reports are that the Maryland AD has sold a whopping 16 tickets! That’s as many as I sold to my recent colonoscopy. But that may be more a reflection on the greatness of my colonoscopies than the football team. We had it catered and everything.

In other news, the next basketball cupcake game is not until Sunday (although it’s against American, and we need revenge). Soccer and field hockey are over. Lacrosse is a spring sport. What’s a Terps blog to do? Take a break, that’s what. Recharge before the hoops season begins in earnest.

When the games come back, we’ll come back. In the meantime, enjoy the Maryland YouTubery below, have a great holiday season, good luck on those finals, and GO TERPS!

(P.S.: Please also enjoy this delightfully comprehensive history of Josh Portis’s career from East Coast Bias.)

Shaun Hill vs. Alex Smith montage….guess who wins

Kevin Barnes makes Jahvid Best puke

My favorite play in Maryland basketball history

My second-favorite play in Maryland basketball history

My third-favorite play in Maryland basketball history


So why is the Boise field blue?

And I’m not talking about some jokey answer like “oh, a bunch of Smurfs peed on it,” or “a bunch of Smurfs puked on it,” or “oh, a bunch of Smurfs were killed, ground up, and one night a paste made from their bones and organs was grimly tilled into the topsoil.”   Save your hilarious jokes for The Laugh Factory, why don’t you. Because I have a fever, and the only prescription is The Truth.  So you know what I did?  I rolled up my sleeves, and I did me some good old-fashioned reporting.


There’s a little bit of background about the blue field on the Boise State Web site. For example, did you know that the blue field was installed in 1986?  That’s right, bitch.  It surely was.

But sometimes dates and names aren’t enough. Sometimes your brain just demands that some semblance of reason be applied to such horrors. This is why people still read “Mein Kampf.”  And this is why I e-mailed the Boise State athletic department.

A very friendly person got right back to me with an answer.  What madness lurks unseen in this history?  Are you ready for the big reveal?  The answer is as follows:

Our athletics director decided to do it for something different.

I am seizing up.

Oh. Well.  Er, I guess he succeeded.  As did the Washington Wizards, Bjork, and the makers of Tequiza.  After all, it’s great to be different.  And make no mistake — Tequiza is still the best squirrell repellent money can buy.  You want to get serious about repelling some squirrells, you call me.  I’ll bring the Tequiza.  Game over.

Evidently there are now two lucky high schools with blue fields, but sadly, we may never see another one in the college ranks. According to my insider source at Boise State, “a few years after [Boise State] installed [their eye-hurting blue] turf the NCAA passed a rule that you could no longer install non-green fields. But we were grandfathered in. No other NCAA school can have a non-green field.”

So there you have it.   Don’t say I never put in no work on this blog.


It’s official

Maryland is going to the Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl. December 30 at 2:30 p.m. Start adjusting the color on your televisions now.

In other news, did you know that Roady’s is a chain of truck stops? Yes. More than 400 locations in 45 states. However, the Roady’s truck stop hos are independent contractors.


Terps stumble into Boise, receive sarcastic applause

Well isn’t this just a match made in heaven.  Looks like the Terps’ postseason will play out on the hallowed blue fields of the Humanitarian Bowl, and neither side could be any less excited.

Tampa was the Dream Girl.

Even as the news was announced, Maryland fans began turning up their noses at Boise, while the Idaho Statesman fired back that the Terps have no sizzle. I agree, man. After all, this is Boise, son! Some mediocre East Coast school just isn’t going to cut it for them in the sizzle department. Maryland may have a little sizzle, but Idaho needs some Blue Field type sizzle! It’s a whole nuther level!

What Idaho really wanted was Ball State love, but when Ball State flaked out and told them to talk to the hand, it drove Boise into the arms of the handsome but odd-smelling Terps, who still pathetically hold out hope that that cute girl from Charlotte is going to call back.

Charlotte was the safety girl.

And this is only after puking all over themselves in a misguided attempt to land the girl from Tampa, who it turns out was only flirting with us because she works for tips.

So now, here we are. Two oddballs nobody wanted, finding each other in Boise. Some might call it fate. Don’t you think, deep down, perhaps we both knew we’d find each other here?  So let’s just get this over with, shall we?


I just hope everyone can get drunk enough to stomach the experience. Sometimes, that’s all you can hope for.

Come on in, Maryland. We’re so very proud to have you.


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May 2020