'Live' bowl marathon blogging

Do not ask me why, but I have the urge to do a little “live” blogging for my bowl marathon with Bobblehead.

Okay, fine: Why? Because I think this is the last Saturday of college football until the 2013 season kicks off sometime in late-August. Throughout the regular season, I reserved Saturdays for college football. However, my interest has waned since the conference champions were crowned and bowl season kicked off. I have taken myself out of the loop despite the fact the long, off-season lull is just around the corner. I need to enjoy college football as much as I can before it is done for another seven months. So when Bobblehead suggested a five-game bowl marathon for today, I immediately signed on.

Having procured some food for later, we are sitting in his living room, enjoying a hard hitting Armed Forces Bowl, and drinking frosty beverages. He opted to start the day with a Busch Light and is working on a 16-ounce Peebers. I thought about drinking a beer every quarter but have fallen behind: I drank only one PBR in two quarters of football.

12:26 pm
It is halftime of the Armed Forces Bowl and Air Force leads Rice, 14-7. Rice cannot take care of the ball to save their lives. The Owls have lost two fumbles and have kept two others thanks to the Gods of Instant Replay. The teams seem evenly matched but I think I am rooting for Rice.

I think we have decided to watch the New Era Pinstripe Bowl because it is snowing there. Bobblehead alerted me to a potential scheduling conflict: the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl starts forty-five minutes after the Pinstripe so we were unsure what to do. However, the snow has given the Pinstripe that old school, bad weather appeal.

I think I need to catch up beer-wise while it is still halftime.

2:21 pm
“All right. Fuck the snow. I just want both of these offenses to go nuts.”

Verbatim Bobblehead as the Pinstripe Bowl begins — and just as I opened my laptop to update this “live” blog. (I say “live” because I am not posting any of this as it happens; I am waiting until later to post the whole thing.)

So Rice protected the ball and scored twenty-six unanswered points to down Air Force in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. (I forgot to include the corporate sponsor before so I thought I would make amends.) I am pleasantly surprised Rice was able to take control, especially on defense. The multiple and option-read attack looks to be pretty hard to keep bottled so kudos to the Owls. Obviously, though, they beat a branch of the armed forces in the Armed Forces Bowl, complete with at least one end zone painted with “THANK YOU.” It is a bad kind of irony but one I am willing to accept since this is Rice’s second bowl win in 57 years.

So the Pinstripe Bowl has kicked off and West Virginia totally biffed a field goal attempt. It is not really snowing there as much as it had been, but the inclement weather seems to be impacting the game.

Anyway. I need to eat because I drank two PBRs and a Stella Artois. Bobblehead has since started drinking a Schell Emerald Rye. We are not going big but have had a couple discussions about conference realignment and possible candidates to push the Big Ten to sixteen members. (I dream of cultural continuity within the Midwest and Rust Belt, but Bobblehead has thrown in Air Force, fittingly, UNC, and Viginia. We both agree Syracuse got away, but the Big Ten is not going to pay $50 million to bail another school out of the ACC. The discussion should evolve as our collection of empties increases.)

3:59 pm
We are talking about Les Misérables. Manly, huh? Bobblehead’s wife and mother are at the movie while we are enjoying our football. A few nights ago, at Bobblehead’s parents’ place, I said something like “There’s another Les Misérables movie?” Nobody knew what I was talking about, but I could have sworn there was a version released sometime in the late-nineties. (It is probably one of those haunting memories from French class.) And, as I suspected, a version was released in 1998 staring Liam Neeson, Uma Thurman, and Claire Danes. (Bobblehead even mentioned seeing it just because of Claire Danes.) Essentially: I was right! Ha HA!

This is why we are not watching the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl: Arizona State is up, 21-0. It is halftime of the Pinstripe Bowl and Syracuse is leading, 12-7 — which means all the Orange journalism alumni at ESPN are happy.

Tonight, the inaugural Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl will be played. Technically, at least: it will be the first time the bowl is known by that name. It was previously the Copper Bowl, Insight.com Bowl, and Insight Bowl. Hawkeye fans are well-acquainted with the Insight Bowl since it was where the Hawkeyes played the last two years. Perhaps the fact the bowl has changed names is keeping Hawkeye fans from being so depressed this bowl season, but who knows? I really do not care. However, I admit it is quite strange: there is no bowl build-up in the local media and nobody around town is wearing freshly printed, and officially sanctioned, bowl shirts. The only bowl coverage in Iowa is focusing on Iowa State.

Bobblehead does not think people are dwelling on the Hawkeyes being home during the bowl season, mostly because men’s basketball looks so promising — something I can agree with. I have noticed a few more “post-football” fans at basketball games recently. They are a little more vociferous and impatient than those of us who have watched the team grow during the McCaffery era.

5:58 pm
The Alamo Bowl has begun.

Ahh — the Alamo Bowl. Speaking of bowl games and the Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa played in the inaugural Alamo Bowl in 1993. The Hawks were destroyed by Cal, 37-3. The Hawkeyes’ quarterback was Paul Burmeister, who is now an analyst for the NFL Network — which blows my mind. From what I can remember, Burmeister was barely good enough to play FBS college football — at least you would assume given his performance during that first Alamo Bowl. But good for him. (I remember watching that game on New Year’s Eve at my aunt and uncle’s place. We returned home sometime during the game and my dad continued to watch the blowout in my parents’ room while my mom and I watched the New Year’s Eve build-up on ABC in the living room. The final score, for whatever reason, is etched into my memory.)

Since I last updated the beer count, I drank another Stella Artois, a 12-ounce PBR, and a 16-ounce PBR. Bobblehead’s dog has snuggled against me and we have a four-cheese pizza in the oven. (I am hungry enough to eat it all, but I took a peek at the nutritional table and saw the whole pizza is 1,860 calories. Hmm… Probably not.)

Right now we have decided that the Big Ten needs to snatch Syracuse and Pitt before they officially join the ACC.

8:20 pm
Oregon State is leading 20-17 but it seems Texas has the momentum. Grr! Neither Bobblehead nor I are rooting for Texas. We feel the Beavers need to change quarterbacks.

Bobblehead and his Missus recently bought new leather couches and are trying to keep their bulldog from tearing them up. He tried to hump my leg earlier and has now latched onto Bobblehead’s leg. Crazy dog!

We have opened my magnum of Anchor Christmas Ale 2011 and are drinking well. It aged beautifully! However, having tried so many different editions of the beer recently, I am beginning to think there is little difference between. Which is quite sad. Anchor makes a big deal about how secretive and different the ingredients are every year, but it may just be a marketing tool. It would not surprise me, though I still think I will continue to buy into the whole Christmas Ale deal. I find it too romantic.

Bobblehead is now teaching me how to play Angry Birds. (TOUCHDOWN BEAVERS!) Apparently, the goal is to eliminate pigs. Poor piggies.

9:07 pm
Sorry. I mean the Valero Alamo Bowl.

With less than three minutes left, it seems Texas has the momentum and may score to either tie or take the lead. Oregon State has the lead, 27-24. However, Texas just scored as I writing that to take the lead, 30-27. Grr! With the PAT it is 31-27.

9:19 pm
Man, fuck this shit! Texas wins. Grr! Bobblehead just said, “I’ll give it to them. It was a good game.” I agree, but the result was not to my liking. Mack Brown said the win gets them “off eight wins,” which means he gets to keep his job in Texas. Eight wins! As a Hawkeye fan, I would have taken that this season. Shit, I wish the Raiders would win eight games this season.

“Texas should not be allowed to play bowl games that take place in Texas,” said Bobblehead. I agree. It is a de facto home game for them. Screw that.

Coverage of the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl just started and I greeted it with a couple resounding claps and “Hawkeyes! Oh, wait…”

I just looked to Bobblehead and said, “You know, this is the fourth football game we’ve watched today. Isn’t it glorious?”

With a mouthful of biscotti, he said, “It is. It is.”

11:38 pm
I am back home. My sister was hosting a holiday party for her friends and it thankfully finished ten minutes before I returned. Amazingly, I am finally feeling a little tipsy. It is a good tipsy, though, so I think I should watch the rest of the BWW Bowl to complete the bowl marathon, though I am no longer at Bobblehead’s.

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