Daily Archives: July 3, 2009

Bowling for dollars

I know this is unlikely to change any minds, but here are some quotes of interest from the guys running the Sun, Holiday and Poinsettia Bowls regarding the debate about you-know-what:

Bernie Olivas, executive director of the Sun Bowl, said the bowl is the biggest event – of any kind – in El Paso every year.

“If there’s no bowl game here,” he said, “the hotels are empty between Christmas and New Year’s.”

Bruce Binkowski, executive director of the San Diego Bowl Association that operates the Holiday and Poinsettia bowls, said the association’s mission is to “fill hotel rooms.”

“We run the bowl for the benefit of San Diego,” he said.

Both Olivas and Binkowski said adopting a playoff format would damage the current bowl system. They said the bowls are made up of a weeklong series of events, and making them part of a playoff would seriously hurt their ability to generate revenue for their communities.

“In a playoff system, teams would show up the day before the game, play the next day and leave,” Olivas said. “If your bowl is part of the playoff, there will be no events, no festivities leading up to the game.

“Those events are a big part of the reason bowl games exist. To have a playoff would jeopardize that.”

Binkowski said a playoff also would affect attendance at the games. In an eight-team playoff format, for example, fans of the two finalists likely would be expected to travel long distances to fill 50,000- to 60,000-seat stadiums for three games, as opposed to just one game under the current bowl format.

“I don’t think they would travel from week to week,” Binkowski said, “especially on short notice and in these economic times.”

Fox concurs. He said Alamo Bowl week (right after Christmas) was the slowest tourism week of the year in San Antonio before creation of the bowl.

“Now it’s the busiest,” he said, “because of the game.”

Yeah, I know, nothing to be concerned about with a four-team playoff.

Just remember that there are a lot of turfs being defended in this battle.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Just Bidness

This is your brain on football.

Chris Brown has a post up at Smart Football entitled “Football, decision making and the brain” that makes you wonder what goes through the heads of people who handle talent evaluation.  In his piece, he links to a New York Times article about the Mannings and the Wonderlic test that contains one of my favorite quotes of all time from Wonderlic himself:  ”Why in the world would you want to know how smart a football player is?”

And this also:

… Eli Manning’s score was so high that when I mentioned it to Charlie Wonderlic, he suggested I recheck my facts and said, ”There’s not a job on the planet that requires a person to score at that level.”

That’s the NFL for you.  It’s similar to this absurd fixation on 40-yard dash times.  How often does your average lineman run forty yards at a stretch in a game?  Personnel guys get lost in the trees of these idealized stats and lose sight of the forest of whether a kid is a good football player sometimes.

Of course, if you’re trying to figure out why your recruits are wearing their underwear on the outside, maybe you need to cling to those stats.  Any port in a storm…

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Filed under Science Marches Onward