It's long been rumored that the Little Ceasers Pizza Bowl wasn't going to be in the Big Ten's bowl lineup anymore and that the Detroit Lions were looking at creating a new bowl game under their umbrella for Ford Field in downtown Detroit.
On Wednesday the Big Ten and the Lions announced just that, with a new bowl game set to take place tentatively on December 30th, 2014 (pending TV contract info). It will pit the Big Ten against a conference yet to be named with both conferences controlling the selection of itheir teams.
“We are thrilled to be hosting a new bowl game in Detroit that will be anchored by an annual commitment from the Big Ten,” said Detroit Lions Team President Tom Lewand in a joint statement by the Lions and the Big Ten. “In addition to showcasing our city and its rich football tradition, this game will be an opportunity for fans to enjoy a postseason matchup featuring one of college football’s best conferences.”
This little treat in the middle of winter int the Midwest still doesn't have a name to it, awaiting title sponsorship of course. However, that's not stopping Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany from heaping praise on a game and an organization that has never been involved in something like this.
“We are pleased to join with the Detroit Lions in creating this new postseason bowl game in Detroit,” Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany said. “The city of Detroit has played host to as many big-time sporting events as any other major city in America, from NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four and Regional games to the Super Bowl, World Series and NBA Finals. The support of the business and community leaders of Detroit coupled with a world-class facility in Ford Field and Detroit Lions’ management of the game will result in a meaningful experience for Big Ten teams and their fans.”
Nothing like a little positive spin on a topic to start off your day, right? Wow… Since they don't have a title sponsor for this one we'd like to propose a name for the game: The Purgatory Bowl presented by Dante's Inferno.
Seriously though, who amongst the Big Ten fan base is going to be super jazzed about flying or driving around the holidays through potential snow storms and spending their free time in downtown freaking Detroit – ON PURPOSE none the less?
There's a reason attendance sucked at the LIttle Ceaser Pizza Bowl, it's because getting sent to Detroit for a bowl game and for New Years Eve festivities is like a general punishment for having been just good enough to not completely suck, yet not good enough to get to go to a bowl game in warm environs.
Unless this game has some unique twist and draw to it that the Little Ceaser's Pizza Bowl didn't it's hard to see this sucker doing anything but failing miserably. It's a nice gesture to fans in Big Ten country's heartland and all, but the reality is most Big Ten fans want to escape the harsh realities of a Midwest winter over sticking closer to home for a bowl game.