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BOWL THINGS, RANKED

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A DEFINITIVE, UNINFORMED AND INCONSISTENT SET OF VALUE JUDGMENTS THAT I AM PASSING OFF AS JOURNALISM BECAUSE THERE ARE NO LAWS ON THE INTERNET

41. AdvoCare

I thought this was motor oil for a long time. I really did. Life was easier back then.

40. NOVA

39. Franklin American

38. National Funding

37. Foster Farms

Every one of these companies is made up and possibly a tax scam, which I'll concede makes them perfect bowl sponsors. But they're also fronts for spy organizations. I've seen Sneakers. Non-descript office building? Generic-sounding name? Ben Kingsley's running a spy organization out of there.

36. Birmingham

This isn't fair. I've never been to Birmingham. It's probably fine. It did give us the greatest sporting storyline of the 1990s, though:

Not enough to rank it any higher, though. Even people from Pittsburgh complained about going there. Pittsburgh.

35. TaxSlayer

I use TaxSlayer to do my taxes every year. I am a huge idiot, I have no idea what I'm doing, and I'm probably going to jail eventually.

34. Russell Athletic

33. Gildan

No knock on low-priced athletic clothing. I live 98% percent of my non-work life in cheap gym shorts. But let's not act like these were informed purchases.

32. Valero

A couple Christmases ago, I was driving with my Mom through rural Ohio at night, and we were almost out of gas. She passed up a Valero because "I've never heard of that brand". We nearly ran out of gas, in winter, in the middle of nowhere. Valero is one of the largest gas chains in America. Anyways. Just thought you should know this.

31. Quick Lane

30. AutoZone

29. Motel 6

28. Belk

These are all fine. Belk comes out on top because it's a funny word. But if a downscale department store is going to sponsor a bowl game, why not Kohl's? "Kohl's Bowl" kinda sounds like "Rose Bowl" if you mumble. Try it for yourself!

"Hey, how'd your team do this year?"

[mumbling] "Going to the [coughs] Kohl's Bowl"

"The what?"

"Notre Dame went 4-8"

27. St. Petersburg

Bowls like this are great real-world training for players who don't go pro, but will end up getting sent on business trips to places like St. Petersburg.

26. Poinsettias

I had a vague recollection of hearing that Poinsettias were poisonous, so I looked it up. The Wikipedia contains one of the most disturbing phrases you could conceive when context is removed: "An Ohio State University study showed no problems even with extremely large doses".

25. Pinstripes

Great if you're the New York Yankees, the Chicago Cubs, or a suit from 1996. Terrible if you're not.

24. The Cure

Weird that they're even sponsoring a bowl game. Weirder that it's in Florida. Heard they still bang though.

23. The Sun

Now, I know what you're saying. "Life on earth can't exist without it". Oh yeah? Well I'm sitting at my desk wearing a sweater and a coat. Work harder, asshole.

22. Independence

Great in concept, terrible in execution. I don't know what the hell to do with myself. I wish I were still on my parents' insurance.

21. Boca

Perfectly fine meat substitute. Veggie burgers aren't bad. The important thing when writing a half-assed list is to find things that'll enrage people into discussing further, thus boosting clicks.

Anyways, veggie burgers are fine.

20. Las Vegas

It's great for 72 hours every three years max, and anyone who exceeds that is not to be trusted.

19. Lockheed Martin

Why do they sponsor a bowl game? This bugs me every year. Do military spending decisions get made while watching crappy December football games? If so, are foreign powers watching these games? Shouldn't we put Alabama in this game, project strength abroad? Something to think about. UL-Lafayette isn't our best message to the world.

18. Outback

It's a perfectly mediocre restaurant that demonstrated to us all that you can make a 2,000-calorie appetizer out of 12 cents worth of produce, and we should appreciate what an innovation that would've been considered had it been developed two centuries earlier.

Historian: "It was the Bloomin' Onion that saved Ireland during the blight, and we dedicate this statue to its creator..."

16. Dollar General

If you don't think 90% of what my toddler is getting for Christmas this year is coming from Dollar General at the last-minute, then you've never seen how much 50 cents of plastic eggs can entertain a 1-year old.

Plus, they've got discontinued and irregular snacks, which are my favorite kind.

15. Buffalo Wild Wings

Wings are hard to screw up, and they don't. Also, they have enough TVs that they'll show every football game, so you can discreetly watch the Browns play without your family or friends knowing. It can be our secret shame.

14. Sugar

Shouts to high-fructose corn syrup for making "this has real sugar in it" sound healthy.

13. Potatoes

Name one other food that can also be shot out of a gun or used to clog a tailpipe, and I'll fry and eat it, too.

12. Camellias

11. Roses

10. Celebration, by Kool and the Gang

I just checked, and 18% of the words in this song are either "celebrate" or "celebration". The 1970s were an honest decade that didn't beat around the bush.

9. Oranges

Full of Vitamin C, and freshman year of college we used to grab them from the dining hall to see how deep we could throw them out of a 7th-floor window into the parking lot. Game really changed when we got the three-man slingshot. Anyways, I'm pretty sure the statute of limitations has passed, and the sound of an orange hitting a Corolla from 100 yards away stays with you.

8. Miami Beach

It's 15 degrees this morning and I would kill any one of you to be in Miami Beach right now.

7. Cotton

The fabric of my life.

6. Zaxby's

5. Chick-Fil-A

4. Popeyes'

Remember what I said about baiting you into arguments?

3. New Orleans

Here's my most cherished memory from the four days I spent in New Orleans for the 2010 Sugar Bowl:

Terrific city.

2. PlayStation

"How does this rank above New Orleans?"

Well, the Bearcats won the Sugar Bowl on my PlayStation.

1. The Military

I'm here to start arguments, I'm not here to get fired.