My favorite bowl names of the past

by andybechtel

A ticket stub from the now-defunct Bluebonnet Bowl, played at the now-defunct Astrodome in Houston.

It’s bowl season in college football. Fans will get to enjoy more than 30 games in the next few weeks. Headline writers will be tempted to “go bowling,” in an attempt to “bowl over” readers.

Nowadays, names for most bowls contain corporate names for companies, industry groups and chain restaurants. But it hasn’t always been that way.

The bowl games of days past are filled with colorful names that reflect the aspirations, culture and history of the places where they took place. Here are my 10 favorites, listed in random order and accompanied by the cities that hosted them:

  • Cigar Bowl (Tampa)
  • All-American Bowl (Birmingham, Ala.)
  • Cosmopolitan Bowl (Alexandria, La.)
  • Gotham Bowl (New York City)
  • Garden State Bowl (East Rutherford, N.J.)
  • Freedom Bowl (Anaheim, Calif.)
  • Oyster Bowl (Norfolk, Va.)
  • Aviation Bowl (Dayton, Ohio)
  • Bluebonnet Bowl (Houston)
  • Aloha Bowl (Honolulu)
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