Saturday, December 29, 2012

New Names for Bowl Games

Here at Grab Bag Sports we have always had fun with the ridiculous names of the meaningless bowls that wrap up the college football season each year. In fact, just for fun I'll list the names of ten "bowls" which may or may not be real games that exist currently or were once played. Try to guess which games on my list are real and which are fake.

1. Bluebonnet Bowl

2. Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl

3. Cigar Bowl

4. Heart of Dallas Bowl

5. Cherry Bowl

6. Aviation Bowl

7. Refrigerator Bowl

8. Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

9. Bacardi Bowl

10. Bowl

(Don't cheat and use the internet! Answers will be provided at the end of this post.)

As I sit here watching the (absolutely real) New Era Pinstripe Bowl, which has featured much more snow than good football, I am beginning to think that we should name the games AFTER they are played. Like, this could be the 2012 Snow Bowl. We could also name the bowls after important events that took place during the games. For example, this game could be named the Geno Smith Safety Bowl, since he has had two safeties already. Or maybe we could just let the game's MVP name the bowl on the field in a post-game interview.

All of these options seem better to me and would likely give me a better chance of remembering exactly what I watched when looking back at past games. It seems like we're limiting our creativity by sticking with the same boring (and usually terrible) bowl titles.

Oh, and #10 is the only title on my list that I made up. The rest are actual names of current or past bowl games. But give us some time and that bowl could happen.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Shift in IndyCar's Demographics is Coming

It may be many months away, but as a recently fired IndyCar CEO, Randy Bernard, said from afar on Twitter, the biggest shift in IndyCar demographics is coming:

I sent the above video link to my sister who then showed it to my two nephews both under 10. Result, they now really want to see it. I must note I just sent a link, so I did nothing to convince them or say anything to them, they made their own opinions. Lets state something now, even if the impact of Turbo is minor, it will in fact still be the biggest single drop in IndyCar demographics ever.  

More importantly its worth noting that the trailer on YouTube already has over 677,000 views. Minus crash videos, does anyone know of an IndyCar video that has a number of views that high? The answer is none.

Go on YouTube, search "indycar" and sort results by # of views. The hot wheels stunt at the Indy 500 is in the top five with 13 million views but it's not really indycar related.

In fact you have to go all the way to Page 4 before you get a non-crash video (Wheldon, Brack, Marcello, Brayton, Conway, Zanardi etc.). Down on page 4 of most watched is JR Hildebrand doing a lap of Sonoma with a GoPro (900k views), which we can probably all agree has more to do with GoPro, which is why they are a great sponsor/partner. 

The next highest non-crash video = Danica/Milka fighting in pits (700k views)

Keep going, Simona crash fire, Pace Car crashing at start of 500, Servia crash at Laguna Seca, Mansell/Vitollo car stacking (300k views) .... you get the point, crazy as it seems...

In fact, you have to go all the way to Page 7 before you get a non-crash video, drumroll please...

Will Power Extinguishes Engine Fire at Sebring Test (290k views)

...and right behind it

1996 CART Laguna Seca - "The Pass" (275k views)

Turbo's trailer in just a little over a week has twice as many views as "The Pass," the seemingly holy grail of IndyCar 'big play' videos.  

Plus I'm sure the demographics for the turbo video are much lower and more spread out that just racing fans  = good thing for IndyCar. More than anything It means kids buying Turbo toys, which while it will include a snail will most likely include little IndyCars they will race around the "tracks" of their living room carpets. It should also means parents of those kids will learn of the movie and when some random friend says "wanna go to an IndyCar race?" they'll at least know whats being talked about.

And that is a good thing.

A better thing that many may not have seen in the initial news release about the movie is this tidbit:
"Little else is known about the movie but DreamWorks Animation thinks it’s going to be huge (an animated series is already in the works, presumably to air on Cartoon Network)"

This is not Driven folks, and its not a one-off mini-splash, and that is good news for IndyCar, its drivers, teams and fans.