A Sporting Enigma
"How about this? How about it?" Marigold was scrambling the morning breakfast while Ernesto burnt the toast. Fred's coffee mug jiggled in his hands as he excitedly read the morning sports wire headline. "This is it. We've made it. It says right here that Ernesto's college, Temple University, will be battling Grandpa's UCLA Bruins, right here in DC at the 'The Eagle Bank Bowl' (whatever the hell that is)! "We've got to go. It's going to be 'The Big Game'." Ernesto tossed the charred toast into the compost and reloaded the bread incinerator, thinking what a cold place in December RFK stadium can be. He considered the few reasons any evolved person would risk the prevalent threat of freezing to death outside –
- A loved one is stranded on a frigid evening and must be saved before nightfall.
- Through years of training, a seasoned athlete has earned the right to compete in the Winter Olympics (held at the South Pole).
- It is the 1800s and someone they vaguely know, told another person that they know that someone they definitely know, might have found gold in them thar hills of the Yukon.
In his mind, watching the Temple Owls in a meaningless college bowl game did not quite make the list. Marigold chimed in. "Aren't those tickets expensive? Can we afford to go?" Fred read on – "It says here, in the paper, that UCLA will be making its eighth bowl appearance in 10 years and the game is a price-is-right experience. UCLA failed to earn one of the six bowl spots affiliated with the Pacific 10 Conference but was able to accept an invitation to the Eagle Bank Bowl because the game was a break-even proposition financially. In 2001, the Bruins declined a bowl appearance because of the cost. When they were invited to the 2001 Humanitarian Bowl, organizers asked the school to commit to a 'sponsorship' of at least $300,000. While Bowl Championship Series games offer huge paydays, some lower-tier games now require schools to buy as many as 10,000 tickets to the game to participate." "Can we bear to miss it?" Fred demanded. "This is our big opportunity to see a bowl game," Marigold acquiesced. "Well, when you put it that way… Resistance is futile." Some people might wonder about the brilliance of scheduling a winter, post-season game in Washington DC, which, while not New England, is pretty far from the Sunny South. This 'Eagle Bowl' looks to be a ten-year contract in the concrete palace called RFK stadium. Might as well hold it in Siberia. The turf will be like tundra. But a bowl game is a Bowl Game. They won't have hotel or airfare costs. This is their chance. Tickets are purchased. Let the hype begin.