Sweaty Men Endeavors

The sports blog with the slightly gay name

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Hardly bowled over

Raise your hand if you watched the Motor City Bowl on Monday.

Stand up if you actually attended the game at Ford Field. (Lift one leg if you can name the two teams who participated.)

Yesterday's Detroit News had an interesting piece on the game by Terry Foster. Even in this area, the Motor City Bowl is perceived as something of a joke. Throughout the season, Michigan and Michigan State fans taunted each other with the possibility of being the first team in the state to play a bowl game in Detroit. Yet it was a big deal for Memphis and Akron, and their respective fans and alumni. Restaurants around Ford Field were packed. Almost 46,000 fans attended the game.

Just imagine if the Motor City Bowl bothered to promote the game in this area. As far as I can tell, there was no effort. I listen to both sports talk radio stations, I read both Detroit newspapers in print and online, and I watch local newscasts and sporting events on TV. Not once did I see or hear an ad for the game. I couldn't even have told you when it was being played. Did I miss something?

Would that have made a difference? Maybe, maybe not. But it couldn't have hurt. Had I known one of the nation's top running backs was playing in the game, I might've been intrigued. Remind me that I love college football. Point out that I've never seen a game at Ford Field, and this would be a great chance to do so. I suppose if I really wanted to go to the game, I would've made an effort to do so. But hey, I'm just like anyone else. I need a tap on the shoulder, now and then. I'm waiting to be wooed. Make me notice you next year, Motor City Bowl.

Step forward if you've watched any of the college football bowl games so far.

I don't know where exactly I'm going with this, other than tonight's Alamo Bowl between Michigan and Nebraska will be the first bowl game of the season I watch. But I don't feel too excited about it, which I think is the prevailing sentiment among most Michigan fans. There's just not a lot of buzz surrounding this match-up. If it's not in January, we're not... well, I can't think of any word that rhymes with January.

The Ann Arbor News's Jim Carty says the environment surrounding the Alamo Bowl is more fun for the teams and those covering them than in Pasadena before the last two Rose Bowls. Hopefully, that celebrity treatment will result in a better game than most seem to expect. ("Hey, aren't you Chad Henne?" "Why, yes I am. How about I throw two touchdown passes for you on Wednesday night?")

I'm not sure what to expect. Will Michigan take out their frustration over the past season on a not-ready-for-prime-time Nebraska team, and show the rest of the country that they should be considered as one of next season's top programs? Or will they approach this game as a disappointing letdown, with the same frown and shrug of the shoulders that many of their fans are currently sporting?

Maybe the result will be somewhere in the middle. MGoBlog predicts a 10-point Michigan victory. That's probably spot-on. I don't know much about this Nebraska team, other that they have a good defensive line. I'd like to be optimistic and say Michigan gives us something to smile about until next August. But who am I kidding? If the Wolverines blow out the Cornhuskers tonight, fans will wonder why they couldn't have done that all season long. And I'll probably be right there with them.

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