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The Holiday Bowl is a shade of its former self, but don't let that dissuade you from blowing precious hours watching two offenses scratch and claw for points like starving urchins.* There are positives despite the loss of the bowl's former Pac 12 and Big 12 two seed matchups. There is the lack of Craig James calling this contest, a holiday treat whose novelty has not evaporated. There is the Texas defense, a real pleasure to watch work now that they sort of know who Manny Diaz wants them to kill on the field. (No, not the yard marker! The slot receiver! THE SLOT RECEIVER IS NOT THE YARD MARKER.)

There is also the ever-unpredictable sight of Cal in a bowl game, and the number of free shots you're going to get in your private Holiday Bowl Drinking Game whenever the announcers mention that Zach Maynard and Keenan Allen are brothers. Double the shots each time this comes with mention of Snapdragon Stadium (Qualcomm's sponsor rental name for the bowl season,) and double down on the mentions of the Shipley/McCoy dynasty, and you should be well close to the blotto-drunk you've come to expect from this game.

*Starving urchins: America's fastest growing demographic AND devoted EDSBS readers. Pay attention, advertisers!

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