Now that the college football bowl season has kicked off — three games down, a mere 32 to go — we should all pause, put down our Bud Lights and reflect on what this annual ritual reveals about our nation’s soul.
Let’s start by considering the dozens of brand names being spray-painted onto fields and beamed onto television screens, including BBVA Compass, GoDaddy.com, Gildan, AdvoCare V100, R+L Carriers, TaxSlayer.com, Vizio and Belk. I have no idea what any of those things are, or what they do, or why I should want to pay money for them. I’m at least slightly familiar with a few of this year’s bowl sponsors, including Allstate, Tostitos, AT&T, Little Caesars, AutoZone, Bell Helicopter, Kraft, Sheraton and Chick-fil-A. I’m making an undereducated guess that Beef ‘O’ Brady’s and Buffalo Wild Wings have something to do with pub grub, and I’m fairly sure that Capital One and Discover provide the kind of cutting-edge financial services guaranteed to make my wallet thinner. The only sponsors that spell it out in plain English are the San Diego County Credit Union, Meineke Car Care and Franklin American Mortgage.
Many fans of college football, those quaint dinosaurs known as purists, bemoan this tsunami of commercialism.