Monday, December 3, 2012

Bowl Season

Here's a partial re-post from 2007--concerning (football) bowl season, which doesn't make any sense even in the culture to which in belongs (American):

Bowls I would like to see played, to make "bowl season" more interesting:

1. The Despair Bowl, featuring the two worst teams in college football. Different faith-traditions could sponsor this bowl and offer hope to the teams and their long-suffering fans.

2. The Absurdity Bowl, in which, if a team "scores," points are subtracted, not added. So if a team scored a lot, the scoreboard would read "-58" or something like that. The defenses would attempt to let the offenses score; they would be hospitable, polite, and supportive. The offenses would be inoffensive, reticent, and shy.

3. The Don't Go To War Unless It's Absolutely Necessary Bowl, featuring teams from the military academies. Before the game, all in attendance would pray in their own fashion that the players would never have to see military action and especially not have to suffer wounds or get killed in combat, ever.

4. The Poetry Bowl, in which players from the two teams would choose their favorite poems and read them aloud to the crowd during the four timed quarters. There would be a half-time, during which the teams could change their strategies and consult different anthologies. Judges would determine which set of poems was more interesting and which team gave better readings. All the players would earn academic credits in English at their respective universities.

5. The Zen Bowl, featuring no teams, only spectators, who would file in and look at the empty field. Cheerleaders representing no teams would "cheer" silently.

6. The Interpretation Bowl. This would be an ordinary football game, but on television, you could select different commentators to describe and interpret the game. The menu would include political scientists, feminist scholars, anthropologists, game-theorists, mathematicians, physicists, psychologists, and so forth. Everyone at home would get the deeper meaning of their choice.

7. The Out Bowl. This would be a game between two teams composed of players from all teams across the nation--perhaps East and West. Players would be invited to come out as gay, but no player would be outed without his permission. One aim would be to assemble enough gay players to field two teams. Another aim would be to help the United States get over its homophobia and realize that about 10 per cent of any given group--including athletes--is gay. (Consider the appeal of gladiator-movies.) I predict that this Bowl will not occur soon.

8. The Soup Bowl. Innumerable corporate sponsors would support this Bowl lavishly, but all the profits would go to feeding the homeless, who would be able to attend the game for free (if they so desired), after a good meal, a hot shower, and a fresh change of clothes.
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