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    by Randy Ooney     

My Nickel’s Worth                        by Randy Ooney




No question that the name of our favorite sport has been stolen by college football.  I think it started in Pasadena, CA when an oval stadium was built.  Most football stadiums years ago had horseshoe shaped stands but the Pasadena oval was given the name Rose Bowl.  They invited the champion of the Big 10 conference each year to a final season game against the Pac-10 champion.  In 1961, our Minnesota Gophers were ranked #1 in the nation and travelled to Pasadena to take on the Washington Huskies.  Coach Murray Warmath, (aka Furry War Mat to Axel’s treehouse followers) and the gophers suffered a 17-7 defeat.  Sportscaster Dick Nesbitt had a wilted rose on his TV set that night but I am sure Sid Hartman offered a favorable excuse.  The Gophers redeemed themselves the following year with a 21-3 victory over UCLA.  Who among us would have ever though that our Gophers would not again see the inside of the famous Pasadena stadium for 55 years.


But wait ! Over the horizon comes a Rah-Rah-Rah for Ski-U-Mah warrior, Mr. P.J. Fleck who has brought more enthusiasm to the podium than Lou Holtz and Tim Brewster combined.  He led a little known Western Michigan team to an unbeaten record in the regular season and gave rough tough Wisconsin a run for their money in the Cotton Bowl.  I think his slogan is “Make TCF Stadium Great Again”.


The above history back in time covers the days when there were only four bowl games – Rose, Cotton, Sugar, and Orange.  This year I counted 43, and they all have clever names advertising a sponsor.  Our Gophers presented themselves well in the “National Funding Holiday Bowl”.  I am not sure what National Funding is, but I am sure they funded something to get their name on this football game.  Let’s not forget the NFL, who has borrowed the term Bowl for their all star game which no one watches, but also to their Championship game which is Super.  It is the only time that I know, where people tune in the TV to watch the ads, and pundits actually host discussions where the Super Bowl commercials are reviewed and rated. I have heard that in Las Vegas, you are allowed to wager on, not only which team will win, but over and under on the score, number of touchdowns, field goals, whether or not there will be a safety and all sorts of outcomes.  But if you are going that week, plan on room rates with 3 numbers left of the decimal point.  My annual retiree reunion at the Orleans was pushed into March this year so as not to be in the way of the big Super Bowl week in Sin City.


Final bowling note.  Let's all hope that Treasure Island will continue hosting the PBA50.  We need that here.




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