We’re just getting into the meaty part of the annual “too many bowl games” season. So many people are champing on the bit to share this opinion. Based on comments made in a radio interview today, ESPN’s Kirk herbstreit is one of them.
While Herbstreit should be commended for using the tired “participation trophy” phrase in reference to something resembling an actual participation trophy, one shouldn’t hold their breath waiting for him to advocate for meaningful change.
Why? Oh let’s just take a look at how many bowl games his employer will air this year. The answer is 36: 31 on on ESPN, 4 on ABC, and one on ESPN2. Is it just me, or is that a lot of football — including what promises to be some rather poor football?
ESPN, of course, has done the math and believes airing some of these so-called “participation trophy” bowls is worth the time, energy, and resources. Enough people tune in to the Whatever Corporate Tulsa Bowl or Restaurant Chain Auto Parts Bowl to build a cumulative success.
Right or wrong, too many bowls are good for business — Herbstreit’s business. For instance, he’ll be calling the Las Vegas Bowl between 7-5 Oregon and 10-3 Boise State. Not exactly a top-line offering.
Look, reasonable minds can disagree on the issue of over-saturation. But it’s a complicated issue with many non-football issues at play.
Anyway, enjoy the glut of games. Try not to get too upset over the quantity or quality.