‘Tis the season for those weird bowl names


With the college-football bowl season getting into full swing, we're entering the time of year when corporate sponsorship yields some of its oddest names. Some are odd in a merely clunky way—for instance, the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl. Some are vaguely slapstick, like the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Others sound cheesy, like the AutoZone Liberty Bowl—or, in the case of the Papajohns.com Bowl, extra-cheesy. Then there are the puzzling ones, like the Insight Bowl, which will pit Kansas against Minnesota at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz. (Rather pathetically, it shares a Web site with the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl—which, of course, makes one think of a Fiestaware bowl into which a bag of Tostitos chips has been poured.) The Insight Bowl sounds as though it ought to be something like the old GE College Bowl quiz show, with students from different schools competing to see who can make the most apposite remarks on the issues of the day. Still, even the Insight Bowl's moniker (which comes from a technology vendor that modestly goes by the name of Insight) can't match the sheer weirdness of the Roady's Humanitarian Bowl, which pairs "Humanitarian" with the name of a chain of truck stops. One pities the poor archaeologist who, some millennium in the future, unearths a football with this bowl game's name stamped on it and has to try to figure out what it could possibly mean.

—Posted by Mark Dolliver