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Monday, April 23, 2018

Best and Worst Bowl Game Gifts

Aside from every college football player’s obvious wish to play in a bowl game, there are other perks than holding up the winning trophy. Case in point: the gifts you get. These days athletes know that a bowl berth means that there are gifts waiting for them.

Bowl gifts are as close to payment as most college football players get — at least within the phony NCAA rules. The gifts being handed to players this year run the gamut from electronic devices to souvenirs, from every young man’s fantasy to the downright bizarre. These tokens of appreciation can add up to hundreds of dollars in retail value.

This year the list includes some sweet electronics like the Amazon Kindle Fire and the Apple iPod nano, both of which are courtesy of Northrop Grumman’s Military Bowl. The R+L Carriers Bowl is giving away a Samsung Galaxy tablet. Since we are talking about 18-22-year-olds, few things will top the Sony Playstation 3 that is given out at the Beef’O’Brady’s Bowl. The Meineke Car Care Bowl’s Toshiba 32-inch flat-screen TV is also sure to win many hearts.

It seems that sporting bags, caps, and especially watches are among the most widely gifted items. Perhaps the best item is the Best Buy gift card, a popular present being handed out by several bowl organizers. Both the Champs Sports Bowl and Capitol One Bowl are the most generous with their $420 dollar Best Buy shopping spree.

Some gifts might not be received with much excitement. The Gildan New Mexico Bowl decided to include a “pen with box” and Christmas ornament in their swag package. The comically-titled “pen with box” is probably a commemorative souvenir. Or maybe it’s just a really nice pen. The funniest gift, hands-down, is the aptly-named Helen of Troy hair dryer. The organizers at the Hyundai Sun Bowl either have a sense of humor, or a combination of weird taste and coincidence.

Gift suites, rooms decked out with presents like a candy store, are a favorite among the BCS bowls, as well as a few others. After all there are millions of dollars being poured into these games. You can assume the athletes are walking away with some juicy items.

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