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That time college football’s dumbest bowl was better than the Super Bowl

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Replace the Super Bowl with the Cheez-It Bowl.

Cheez-It Bowl - California v TCU Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Super Bowl was bad, and not just because the Patriots won it again, but because its 16 total points failed to provide much significant drama.

December’s very stupid Cheez-It Bowl, however, was wonderful, with TCU and Cal combining for a spectacular nine interceptions, some very strange QB changes, field goal oddities I’ve never seen before, a strange OT period, ESPN graphics people quietly crying for help, and more. (Somehow that 19-item list didn’t even sum up all the TCU-Cal lunacy, because I had to circle back here and add the story of the big guy running down the little guy on a play that didn’t even count.)

Sure, one difference revolves around the level of expectations we put on these things. The Cheez-It Bowl was supposed to live up to its absurd name, give us a pretty ugly game between two offense-averse teams, hopefully not get any minimally compensated athletes hurt, and file us along to the next bowl game in a series of 40. The Super Bowl was supposed to ~*~be the Super Bowl~*~.

The Cheez-It Bowl cleared its really low bar, and it did so by sprinting straight into the bar, wrapping its sick body around the bar in ever more gruesome contortions, and waiting for the judges to submit. The Super Bowl took one look at its expectations and just kind of stood there until everyone went home sad.

Let us compare each game’s crucial facets.


Both TCU and Cal scored touchdowns, unlike the Rams.

Julian Edelman was the one guy who had some offense in the Super Bowl. Sure, that’s kind of interesting. But it’s nowhere near as interesting as ESPN spotlighting box score nonsense like this:

The Cheez-It Bowl was also evenly matched and delivered an exciting overtime period, unlike the Super Bowl, in which no one really believed in the Rams (No One Believed In Us) with like four agonizing minutes still to go and in most of the minutes before those as well. There was no gloomy cloud of Cheez-It Bowl dynasty stinking up everything, no reason to assume the winner would be the same team it always is — in short, friend, there was no Bill Belicheez. Thank you.

Halftime show

Google doesn’t remember what the Cheez-It Bowl’s main act was, but it was still more memorable than the Super Bowl’s.

It doesn’t appear Maroon 5 was playing anywhere on the day of the Cheez-It Bowl, let alone on television during the Cheez-It Bowl.

The Super Bowl did have Big Boi trying to start an “ATL, hoe” chant on CBS, at least. The Cheez-It Bowl needs to develop that kind of Phoenix pride.


Look at all of it!!

Compare that constant wacky action to the Super Bowl’s version of defense: saying no until punts happen. While former Oregon State teammates Johnny Hekker and Ryan Allen briefly had a captivating duel in Atlanta, including Hekker whapping the longest punt in Super Bowl history, almost no surprising things happened on first, second, or third down. Fourth down alone can’t save us.


The Cheez-It Bowl had regular commercials no one felt obligated to pay attention to, while the Super Bowl insisted every human in America must remain on their couches for four straight hours, lest they miss a soda admitting it’s OK or a beer finding a way to piss off farmers.

Apparently there was one in which a wheel of cheese claimed to have blown out its knee. That’s better than several of the Super Bowl’s commercials, at least.

Special teams

The Super Bowl had a couple good punts, I’ll grant.

But you’ve seen good punts before. Have you ever seen this before?

The Cheez-It Bowl’s deciding field goal arrived in an overtime moment so tense — well, more like “tense” — that it was best summed up by this Twitter subscriber:

Casual bowl viewers: wow this is a bad game

College football diehards: *pounding their tables, baying and oinking for overtime*

The Cheez-It Bowl, a blatant farce and abomination, asked nothing of us and then strained to deliver as much as its little heart could bear until it burst like a piñata of interceptions.

The Super Bowl, an entirely different kind of crime against nature and reason, demanded everything we had, gave us little more than one of the saddest field goals of all time, and probably made us buy it another new stadium in the fine print.

It’s clear which game treated America right.