If It Weren’t In Your City, You Wouldn’t Understand The Importance Of A Bowl Game

By Gregory Moore
Updated: December 4, 2006

SAN ANTONIO — Let the snickering begin. The 2006 college football season is almost complete and the only thing left are the umpteen bowl games that will be on ESPN, ESPN2 and Fox. Sports fans and talking heads will only care about the BCS bowl games and even they will only care about four of them, namely the Sugar, Orange, Fiesta and the national championship game.

But what is going to be abundantly clear is that once again, the talking heads will be spewing out misinformation about the importance of the lesser bowl games and they will essentially discount how such a game helps the host city.

Let us put things into some sort of perspective; every bowl game means something to somebody. As much as it would be nice for the powers that be in college football to go ahead and give us fans a playoff system that works and makes sense.

We’d love to have the top twelve teams make up this playoff tree and we’d be done with it. But until someone figures out that more money will be made going this route, we’re stuck with what we have and that is not necessarily a bad thing for cities like Nashville, Atlanta and San Antonio.

When it comes to an economic boost, games like the Alamo Bowl help cities like San Antonio reach certain financial goals and those are things that sports talk show hosts normally don’t care about.

THE CIVIC PRIDE OF BEING A HOST CITY Whether you intend to watch any bowl game or not, if you think that these games are not successful, you are mistaken. Games like the Alamo Bowl help San Antonio learn how to become a major player in sports entertainment. Here are some things that your favorite sports talk guru won’t tell you about a bowl game:

The economic win fall for some city is in the millions. Depending upon the city, a bowl game can generate a few hundred thousand to several millions of dollars over a seven-day period.

The city gets national exposure on a national television level. Even if the bowl game is the New Orleans Bowl, a host city will get the exposure that normal advertising by its Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and marketing staff can never suggest.

Civic pride. If you think the local citizens don’t care, think again. Even though they may not be going to the game, the mere fact that their city is a bowl host makes them feel like they are a part of the grander scheme of things.

The economic impact of this year’s Alamobowl can be estimated at the minimum of some $3 million in the city coffers. By the time you add the residual income that will be coming from this game, $5 million in extra income is not an inflated number.

The amount of traffic downtown businesses get near and around the Alamo, Market Square and the River walk can be measured by what a city like San Antonio has to offer the teams involved. Fans want convenience and when it comes to the Alamo Bowl, the fact that the hotels are within walking distance, that a very nice mall area and great restaurants are all within walking distance from a visitor’s hotel makes this bowl game a very attractive game for any team that is invited to the game.

So sit back and pick whatever game you think caters to your tastes, but don’t ever think that these games are meaningless. To the host cities involved, it’s big time business and sometimes this bowl game is the foundation for them getting other sporting events and/or attractions.


If you think it’s difficult being a Cowpoke fan, think how it must be being the fan of the New York Giants. Here is a fan base that is in the process of witnessing a catastrophic collapse of near Titanic proportions. With the loss to the Dallas Cowboys, the New York media are asking for the head of one Tom Coughlin.

One Big Apple writer, Tom Vaccaro, wrote in his Monday morning quarterbacking piece “Tom Coughlin isn’t the only one who’s failed in his job this season. But the Giants coach is the one who ultimately must suffer the first, and harshest, consequence, if not today, then at the end of the season”.

“He is the face of a football team whose body is broken and whose spirit has slowly been snuffed, the loudest and clearest voice of a franchise that suffers now from football laryngitis. The Giants need a new face, and they need a new voice. If they ever listened to Coughlin at all, they have stopped even pretending that they do any more.” We writers are something else. We would rather pick on the easiest target rather than point fingers at the ultimate culprit of a team’s problems. Fire the coach; it’s so much easier.

Yet the Giants’ head coach isn’t the only problem. How about the injuries that took place. How about Plaxico Burress being allowed to play in the game after his unsportsmanlike conduct hit on a Dallas Cowboys’ defensive back.

How about the fact that this team has had collapses late in the game that shows the lack of maturity needed to win the tough game. Maybe it’s just the fact that the Giants aren’t as good as promised.

Whatever the excuses may be, the mere fact is that one team with blue in their color scheme are beaming with pride as they defeated their NFC rival while the other one is contemplating a near melt down that will rival the destruction of Three Mile Island.

So cheer up Cowboys fans and thank the football gods for putting your team right at 8-4. At 6-6, you could be contemplating the same topics that the Big Apple is contemplating in the five boroughs.

POP’S MELTDOWN AFTER THE KINGS’ WIN Even though the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Sacramento Kings last Saturday night, which has no bearing on the fact of how bad they played. Let’s call it what it is; pure luck.

The Spurs had a 17-point lead with 3:26 left in the third and they won by two points. The Kings went on a 24-4 run to close the gap and almost send that game into overtime. Nobody was happy about it, especially head coach Gregg Popovich.

“Give the Kings credit. They had a tough game the night before,” Popovich said.

Now if you think that the Spurs’ head coach didn’t have anything to say about his team that’s not true. He did but I’m choosing to use an editorial caveat and simply tell you that the man in charge was not happy with his team’s play and I’m sure there were some extra wind sprints added to Sunday’s work out.

What definitely has this team concerned is the health of Manu Ginobili but what also has the coaching staff concerned is the effort that this team is not putting into their games. Finishes are not as polished as they should be and that doesn’t sit well with Popovich or anyone else in a suit and tie.

Being a half game down to the Dallas Mavericks, the Spurs simply cannot afford collapses like Saturday and expect to win games down the stretch. This year’s opponents are better than they were a year ago and the Spurs should be rising to that occasion. At least that is probably what the coaching staff is hoping.