Bowl week more than just games

Published 4:05 pm Thursday, December 23, 2010

Over the next month, college football and the bowl games will be the focal point of the sports landscape. The games will present challenges to coaches, players and universities who hope to conclude their season in the win column.

But throughout the bowl week, there are memorable experiences shared by these student-athletes off the field that will have a profound impact on their lives.

So even though there will be a final score and each game will dictate a winner and loser — the ultimate experience of bowl week is more than just a game. It is also about the lessons learned, the lives touched and the lifetime of memories each student-athlete will have during a very special week.

Bowl week is unique to college football and it represents a chance for student-athletes to make a child smile, extend their appreciation to members of the military, visit members of the community who are sick or injured, or serve a hot meal to a member of the community who is less fortunate.

It is a time for giving but also an opportunity for learning: history lessons, travel excursions, visits to museums, tours to see monuments and the opportunity to participate in American traditions.

“Bowl week provides the ultimate opportunity for student-athletes to expand their horizons and share in a once in a lifetime experience with their college teammates and these local communities during the months of December and January,” said Tina Kunzer-Murphy, Chairman of the Football Bowl Association and Executive Director of the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas. “These are meaningful events and activities for each student-athlete. With a college playoff system, these bowl games and the week leading up the game would eventually come to an end. For the eight to sixteen teams that make the playoffs, bowl week is eliminated. For the many schools that don’t make a playoff, most bowls will simply go out of business and a great American tradition will die. That is why it is so important that America’s bowl tradition be kept.”