Besides being in the midst of the 12 Days of Christmas, we’re also in the throes of college football’s bowl season. It used to be that you could tick off the big bowl games with no problem at all: Cotton, Orange, Sugar, Sun, and the “granddaddy of them all” the Rose Bowl. Now, with the explosion of both bowl games and their often obscure sponsors, it seems that getting into a bowl game is a God-given right for every mediocre football team in the nation.
It takes a true college football fan (or someone desperate to avoid interacting with their family) to get jazzed about the Meineke Car Care Bowl, the Franklin American Mortgage Bowl, the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, the Godaddy.com Bowl, or the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
With the plethora of bowl games out there, I thought why should the Episcopal Church get left out of the old bowl game? Here are some potential sponsors and match-ups to keep us going while we sit around insisting that Christmas is not over but just kicking off on December 25th!
The Taylor Tawny Port Bowl
Trinity College (CT) vs. Hobart and William Smith
What better way to honor the single most-used communion wine in the Episcopal Church? (Of age) undergrads hand out pre-consecrated samples during halftime as we attempt to set the Guinness Book of World Records mark for largest communion liturgy (without a sermon).
The C.M. Almy Bowl
Kenyon College vs. Sewanee
The in-game referees are comprised of the male Almy catalog models looking particularly pious as they call that offensive holding penalty. The cheerleaders are made up of the female catalog models looking uncomfortable in ill-fitting female clergy shirts. The good news is that all paying customers are given a free Lenten array stole. The bad news is that it’s on back order.
The Usher Bowl
College of Preachers vs. College of Cardinals
This highly organized affair will insure sure everyone is seated before kickoff. On the off chance that a spectator is late, they won’t be seated until the first timeout is called. Sure it’s a bummer when the ushers pass the collection plate during halftime but you can always pull the old fold-the-single-dollar-bill-so-it-looks-like-an-$11-bill trick. Please note: despite the rumors, the recording artist Usher will not be performing during the halftime show.
The Forward Movement Bowl
Bard College vs. Random College from England
While it’s tough to read the players’ names in the scorecard because it’s printed in tract-size, this bowl gets the participants out of the cramped narthex and onto the playing field. This bowl is marked by a single rule change — forward laterals are legal. All players are presented with a signed copy of former Presiding Bishop Edmund Browning’s biography to regift.
The Bad Coffee in Styrofoam Cups Bowl
William and Mary vs. Voorhees College
Unique among bowl games, the BCSC Bowl is played neither in an open air stadium nor in a dome but in an ill-lit undercroft. This bowl usually peters out midway through the 3rd quarter as the weak coffee puts spectators and players alike into a catatonic state. The parking lot is conveniently located adjacent to a land-fill so fans can toss their cups away with full confidence that they will remain intact until the eschaton.
And, finally, the godfather of them all…
The Lent Madness Bowl
Scott Gunn vs. Tim Schenck
There’s nothing like a little Lenten foreshadowing during the Christmas season to get people excited about Lent Madness. The astroturf is painted purple in honor of this upcoming season of repentance — sure this, along with the purple football, make it hard to track on TV but who said the Christian life was easy? Fans cast their votes online (one vote per person!) to determine whether the halftime show will feature local clergy engaged in synchronized self-flagellation or Tim and Scott challenging one another in a Family Feud-style Prayer Book rubric violation quiz show.
I hope you enjoy yourself during this year’s bowl season. And, remember, when you’re at that Alabama vs. Notre Dame National Championship party, don’t pronounce “Notre Dame” with a French accent. It’ll make you look like an amateur.