The most fun adventures teams had during bowl season

From ESPN - January 11, 2018

Out here, we love to spend the holidays debating the validity of bowl games. There are too many. They cost too much. Their financial structures are wonky. Would-be future NFL stars should not waste their time or risk their bodies playing in them. We should be replacing all these games with ones that matter, like an expanded College Football Playoff, right?! Argh!

But that's what we do out here, where none of us actually suit up for games. Those who do indeed hold down a roster spot, they do not care about any of our cantankerous bowl season back and forth.

They are too busy having fun.

You do not think that Alabama and Georgia were having fun on Monday night? Of course, they were. We all were. Well, OK, maybe not Dawg Nation after the last play of the game. But up until then, the fellas in black and red had the same look on their faces they did a few years back when their birthday parties were throwing down at Chuck E. Cheese.

"These two games have been business trips, there's no doubt about that," UGA running back Sony Michel said at championship media day of Georgia's semifinal and the championship game. "But we have tried to make sure we have taken time to really enjoy the experience. Especially out in California before the Rose Bowl."

"OK, maybe not Nick," Michel said of backfield mate Nick Chubb, smiling slyly. "Did you see his viral video?"

We will get to that in a minute. Before that, let's check in on the teams who were enduring the burden of laboring through the smaller bowls that do not mean much to many. Like the poor tortured souls of Wake Forest and Texas A&M, forced to spend their Christmas holiday in Charlotte for the Belk Bowl, where they were strong-armed into a shopping spree at the game's namesake department store and then marched into miserable activities such as practicing pit stops at the NASCAR Hall of Fame and riding shotgun at 170 mph-plus with the professional stock car racers at the Richard Petty Driving Experience.

Battle of the pit crews here at the @NASCARHall. #GoDeacs

Wake Forest Football (@WakeFB) December 27, 2017

"I think after all of this I might quit football and become a NASCAR racer!" Wake Forest head football coach Dave Clawson half-joked, adorned in a firesuit and helmet at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. In years past, some Belk Bowl participants chose to sit out the racecar ride, fearing a crash that might alter their NFL draft status. None of this year's Demon Deacons or Texas A&M Aggies bailed.

"Naw, man," Texas A&M wide receiver Christian Kirk said. "We all did like Ricky Bobby. We wanna go fast!"

In a span of just a few weeks, players flew through a lifetime's worth of bucket list activities. Just, you know, without the bucket. Unless you count the buckets used to catch all the oyster shells, chicken wing bones and empty hot sauce bottles leftover from the team meals-turned-eating contests. And there are a lot, hosted everywhere from the party rooms of America's most famous barbecue joints to the decks of aircraft carriers.

There were other kinds of competitions, too. Like, did you see TCU throwing down on some Chris Stapleton in the Alamo Bowl talent show with Stanford? With Gary Patterson whistling and six-stringing?

Look out, @ChrisStapleton! Our guys @TCUCoachP, @pakamiaiaea and @jterry124 killed it in the @valeroalamobowl Talent Show! #BeatStanford

TCU Football (@TCUFootball) December 27, 2017

Or perhaps you saw the Longhorns doing a very Texas-like thing and setting a Texas Bowl record for cattle pinning.

20.3! We set the @TexasBowl record for cattle pinning! #HookEm@curtis_davion @DDuvernay28

Demarco (LuLu) Boyd (@demarco_boyd) December 24, 2017

OK, well maybe you saw the Horned Frogs and Cardinal arriving in San Antonio like conquering heroes? I mean, if conquering heroes were allowed to arrive via neon riverboat ...

The one-of-a-kind @valeroalamobowl Pep Rally, with Cardinal players and @lsjumb arriving via river barges.#GoStanford

Stanford Football (@StanfordFball) December 27, 2017

Or maybe you saw Purdue hanging out with Kay Corleone on the ferry to Alcatraz? Perhaps she was en route to see Michael doing hard time while the Boilermakers were en route to the Foster Farms Bowl?


Continue reading at ESPN »