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Since the Fiesta Bowl is going to be decertified, chastened, and reduced to a shadow of its former self by the now extremely public scandal surrounding its baller lifestyle as a young bowl living the fast life. "No, slow down son," said the Sun Bowl. "Chillax," said the Rose Bowl, sipping a caipirinha slowly on the veranda while the Fiesta Bowl rolled in coked-out and late for their lunch appointment. But you can't tell youth anything, especially once lunch at the strip club becomes a regular thing.
So what will take the place of the Fiesta if the BCS and NCAA separately decide to banish the Fiesta from bowldom? Nature abhors a vacuum and so does college football, so someone will likely come rushing into the scene. These vultures of the season are, in no particular order. Warning: clicking after the jump is terrifying. We want you to be prepared.
THE COTTON BOWL
GOOD CHRIST ON A LIGHTNING ROD. Randall Flagg, Jerry Jones, The Cotton Bowl, the ol' Double J, Tension McStretchyface, the Private Plane-shaker himself....for the purposes of this piece Jerry is the Bowl, and the Bowl is Jerrah, and Jerry likes big, bigger, and bigger bigness in a way that embarrasses even the most hyperbole-philic Texans. For formality's sake, the actual CEO of the Cotton Bowl is Rick Baker, who has managed to balance a career designing amazing creature effects with bowl stewardship and maintaining Jerry Jones' youthful appearance.
Dear Rick Baker: please make Jerry Jones a frightening werewolf for his next facelift.
Advantages: The JerryDome, if you like soulless, huge places and ticket prices that would squeeze blood from a turnip. (Turnips have blood. You just have to squeeze hard enough.) Large airport, tons of corporate sponsors, and a mixed record of success hosting large sporting events. On this last note, it is clear that Jerry Jones failure to control the weather for the last Super Bowl was entirely his fault. You learn things by reading NFL writers. Cheap flights. Hooker-friendly, which is great for fake trend pieces in advance of the game. Ample cash from interested parties, ready to go, and probably has some karmic credit from the first time the Fiesta shoehorned their way ahead of the Cotton in the BCS line.
Disadvantages: A crappy vacation destination, and we will not even begin to debate this point relative to the charms of Miami, New Orleans or Los Angeles. "But how is it any worse than Phoenix?" Phoenix has geography, for one, and at least can claim a solid belt of ranchy old fart-style resorts friendly to the geriatric and geriatric-sympathetic. Dallas can claim a decent bar scene and extremely underrated restaurant scene, but as for innate vacation-type distractions, it comes up well short of its prospective peers.
It's a fine city, but it's like Atlanta in that its fun learning curve is long, its airport is its most familiar landmark, and guns are considered utensils.
THE HOLIDAY BOWL
Dark horse-ish at best, but the fundamentals are strong.
Advantages: Is San Diego, and therefore is justly thought of as one of those places that, for three days fresh off a plane, you swear is perfect. NFL quality stadium, a solid corporate sponsor, an established drinking game, and all the necessary portals of transportation. Has run a very entertaining and well-assembled bowl since 1978. Tijuana for the family, and the zoo for the bachelor and bachelorette classes! Wait, that's backwards NOOOOO THAT CHILD IS NOT FOR SALE PUT HER DOWN---
Disadvantages: Not blessed with the megalomaniacal local---COUGH COUGH JERRRAH--to spearhead the local campaign for a bowl. May be doubling up on the pitch with the Rose Bowl, its relatively close neighbor. Sea lions. They're more terrifying in person than one might think. Tijuana's proximity to San Diego may bring the NCAA's labor practices into stark, ironic relief when poorly paid laborers behold poorly paid laborers and nod at each other. Bad Anchorman jokes, which really isn't so much an Anchorman problem as it is repetition's problem. Possible Jason Mraz appearance at pregame.
THE CAPITAL ONE BOWL
Advantages: Largest non-BCS bowl payout at $4.25 million in 2010 is a large reason for this, as well as solid corporate sponsorship, vacation destination status, hotel rooms for miles, and kids yelling YAY DISNEY YAY DISNEY YAY DISNEY. Is warm (mostly.) Excellent possible investor in the Eared Empire, too, whose already got ESPN up to its wristwatch in college football's posterior and could wiggle even further with a sponsored bowl game.
Disadvantages: The turf in the Citrus Bowl is made of dirt painted green and old Christmas garland, and has killed thirty seven young men in bowl games played on its surface. Would reject obvious namechange to "The Queefcore Bowl." Site of one of college football's most disturbing incidents, the on-field torture and murder of Kirk Cousins in the 2011 Capital One Bowl. Is Orlando.
THE CHICK-FIL-A BOWL
Advantages: Well-run, consistently profitable, and a nice venue. Um...ample parking? The Confederama? Airport?
Disadvantages: Everything else, and [see Dallas description.] Part of the non-bullshit sell a bowl can give is a vacation destination, and Atlanta is a great vacation destination if you like strippers. We live here. This is a fair estimation of our cities capabilities:
- Brunch. It's the official meal of Atlanta
- Nice gyms
- Fall and spring are peerless
- Lots of people who can rob things really well
- Trader Joe's AND Whole Foods? SWAG, Y'ALL!
- Derelict buildings on every block and aura of urban decay ensure ample "authenticity" for hipsters
- Our mayor, Big Boi.
- A hockey team you can just go down and see, or not see, and it's mostly not see.
- Beautiful naturally occurring Newport Cigarette Box flurries are typical in early January.
- Cee-Lo swims three times a week in a mermaid costume at the Aquarium. It is the most beautiful thing you will ever see.
- Seriously, short of shooting someone you can do whatever the hell you want to do in the city limits.
- This includes stenciling three huge Tom Selleck heads on the south side of the Arizona Ave. overpass.
- The Clermont Lounge, where last night we talked with a stripper about how awesome Thin Lizzy is for damn near an hour.
Again, it's obviously a pleasant machine for living, but not someplace you send postcards from, and certainly a logistical challenge with weather that in January can rival.
THE INDEPENDENCE BOWL
Why not, Shreveport? IT COULD HAPPEN!
OH HEY HOW ABOUT A NEW YORK OR CHICAGO BOWL HUH?
No. It's too fucking cold. Even the Big Ten is going inside to Indianapolis, and Jesus, how cold is it when you're opting voluntarily to go to Indianapolis? Fuck. That. With. A. Goddamn. Fuckbat.