Fun activities for teams and fans were in store for New Mexico Bowlgoers, beginning with the teams' arrival in Albuquerque on Wednesday. If the organizers' website is to believed (and this could still all be an elaborate joke, given its steadfast dedication to incorrect usage of its/it's), a supernatural treat awaited at the players' welcome dinner:
This year, the highlight of the evening will be a balloon glow to accompany dinner provided by El Pinto.
Begging the question, of course: Balloon glow? A quick trip to England's internet informs us that balloon-glowing involves the inflating and illuminating of hot-air balloons. One assumes this is somehow taking place outdoors, which is an advantage of holding the game in New Mexico.
The craziness doesn't stop there (and we're not actually kidding; this slate is among the more interesting you'll see this entire postseason, particularly among the lower-tier bowls). Before the teams competed on the gridiron, they faced grueling tests of their culinary and rhyming skills, perhaps simultaneously:
In the past, the evening’s main event has been the green chile stew cook-off. Each school fielded a team of six cooks and were given 45 minutes to turn raw ingredients into a delicious green chile stew, one of the state’s favorite dishes. They were then tasted by a panel of judges and also asked to perform a rap and/or skit. This year the cooking will be done off site and a video of it will air during dinner. The winning team is awarded the Chile Bowl. Coincidentally, the winner of the Chile Bowl has never won the bowl game.
In related news, BYU won the cookoff, so congratulations in advance to UTEP!
OBLIGATORY BOWLING EVENT: It's a big deal for bowl-bound teams to go bowling, because if there's one thing postseason organizing committees love more than commemorative keychains, it's puns. UTEP and BYU players and guests fulfilled this tradition by plying their trade at the Santa Ana Starlight Bowling Alley.
The 2010 New Mexico Bowl kicks off at 2 p.m. EST. Browse our complete 2010 college football postseason schedule, and connect with UTEP and BYU fans at SB Nation's Miner Rush and Vanquish The Foe.