Beef ‘O’ Brady. What’s that?
I admit, I asked the same question when Marshall got the invite to play in the Beef ‘O’ Brady Bowl St. Petersburg against FIU on December 20th. In case you’re still wondering, Beef ‘O’ Brady is a restaurant chain situated in the southeast, similar to our more familiar Buffalo Wild Wings or Quaker Steak and Lube.
Nonetheless, national sports pundits such as Pat Forde with Yahoo! Sports and ESPN.com’s Mark Schlabach have pointed to the Marshall vs. FIU matchup in St. Petersburg as an example of the bloated bowl system and ranked the game as the least “must-see” bowl game. It’s not that Forde and Schlabach don’t have a point, if you’re looking at the matchup from the perspective of a fan sitting on his duff in Illinois. However, just like the vast majority of bowl games, the Beef ‘O’ Brady Bowl means a lot to fan bases of the teams involved.
Am I psyched about the Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl on Dec. 27 between Western Michigan and Purdue or the Belk Bowl featuring Louisville vs. North Carolina State?
Will I watch? Well that’s a different story.
“TV ratings are at an all-time high for bowl ratings. Clearly fans enjoy them,” says ESPN VP of Collegiate Development Dan Shoemaker.
“What’s not to like from the standpoint of a college football bowl game. The average early season bowl games continue to get ratings beyond the average game during college football season,” continues Shoemaker.
Ultimately the bowl season is a reward for players and another chance for fans to get to see their team play one more time. Are there too many games?
However, we continue to watch the games. For the programs that go to bowl games it’s a chance to showcase the team and its more ammo for coaches who will soon be on the recruiting trail. It’s another spring practice for young players who need all the time they can get to develop.
“They’re great opportunities for the fans. They’re great opportunities for the players. There’s no down side,” according to Shoemaker.
Will Pat Forde being watch Marshall and FIU?
Probably not, but who cares anyway?
Follow Dave on Twitter @wvmetro_dwilson. E-mail comments to firstname.lastname@example.org