I attempted to imagine the one exact person every bowl game’s sponsor is advertising to this year. The following is a typical day in Bowl Man’s life, where I think you’ll see that they’re basically like every other American: hungry, in need of real and imaginary money, and driving a car while eating half a box of name brand snack crackers.
8:00 a.m. My day begins with a huge bowl of Frosted Flakes (Sun Bowl). I am, per their marketing research, the kind of emotionally stunted adult who either a) believes cereal is actually an acceptable breakfast food, or b) lacks the strength of my convictions to just call it dessert and eat it with my hands straight out of the box on my couch. That last thing is actually what I do in real life, both because I have real beliefs, and also because I can’t have someone thinking I live like an enormous toddler eating cereal in my high chair as though it were real food.
I munch away and appreciate how the cereal simultaneously cuts the roof of my mouth and ends up becoming a disgusting paste seconds after hitting milk. As I do this, I think about where I am going to get money.
8:15 a.m. I open my computer and immediately begin signing up for financial services. First, I take out several large personal loans from Capital One (Orange Bowl), SoFi (Hawaii Bowl), and several other places I find through Lending Tree (Mobile Bowl). I can’t remember all of the names of the banks, but hearing “15% monthly interest” made worrying about the details irrelevant. I hustled and won, thanks to hard work, exactly 24 minutes of intense sugar-based energy, and the encouragement of bowl sponsors and their respectable neighborhood businesses.
8:25 a.m. The Frosted Flakes crash my insulin levels. Having just been approved for many loans, I am a man of means. No hectoring boss dares ask me to dance to his punch clock! I nap with my head on the breakfast table until my blood sugar recovers.
10:45 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. RISE AND GRIND!!! Having achieved financial success, I look for ways to complete the American Dream. The first step: Buying my own home, and then purchasing a second home so that someone else may never live in it or enjoy the security of home ownership. The dream! Both FBC Mortgage (Cure Bowl) and NOVA Home Loans (Arizona Bowl) approve me within minutes. I select several houses at random in the San Diego area and purchase them without appraisal or inspection. Wealth isn’t easy but it beats being broke.
11:31 a.m. The San Diego County Credit Union (Holiday Bowl) informs me that local residency is required to become a member. I explain that I have two homes in the area, but after a check of public records it appears I have not spent enough time there to enjoy membership. I explain that I am heartbroken, and that after years of watching the Holiday Bowl, all I want in life is to feel like I am finally part of the team so that I, too, can enjoy the low interest rates and family atmosphere only a quality credit union like theirs can provide.
I ask them: How long would they deny me at the gates of heaven, or failing that, refuse to give me a personal savings account with some of the highest yields of any in the nation? And a free San Diego County Credit Union tote bag? How, after all these years of investing in them by watching San Diego State and Air Force play rusty football several days before Christmas, could they not invest in me? She hung up on me, but she can’t hang up on my dreams.
11:40 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. I call Allstate Insurance (Sugar Bowl) and purchase several policies to protect my home and car. I also take out a solid life insurance policy, too. My net worth since bowl season started has skyrocketed, and I’ve practically become an investment all by myself. To celebrate this responsibility and my freedom from society’s judgment as a wealthy man of independent means, I order several pairs of roomy pleated khakis from Belk’s website (Belk Bowl). I don’t fear the judgment of man or god. They make me look thin, and that’s that.
12:15 - 12:30 p.m. Feeling inadequate with only two first mortgages, I take out second mortgages on both of my homes thanks to Franklin American Mortgage (Music City Bowl). Never listen to the haters! Making money is easy when you know how to do it.
12:30 - 1:30 p.m. Lunch! Bowl sponsors believe I need food, and brother are they ever right. Building a fortune off fast consumer loans can really work up quite an appetite. I crack out the credit card for Outback Steakhouse (Outback Bowl) for appetizers, enjoying a Bloomin’ Onion all to myself before a quick spin through the Chick-Fil-A (Peach Bowl) drive-thru for a spicy chicken sandwich. Full, but not dead yet, I decamp to Walk-On’s (Independence Bowl) for a ribeye po’ boy, boudin balls, and seven beers before heading to Tropical Smoothie Cafe (Frisco Bowl) for dessert.
1:31 p.m. I black out.
1:58 p.m. I awake to find the good people of ServPro (First Responder Bowl) cleaning up the kind of industrial-grade mess around my prone body only ServPro can handle. Apologizing profusely, I enter a nearby mall and find an Academy Sports (Texas Bowl), where I replace my soiled clothing with a pair of Bike brand gym shorts, a logoless baseball jersey, a discounted pair of golf shoes, and a New Era (Pinstripe Bowl) hat to hide from the shame my revolting body left on the floor of the Tropical Smoothie Cafe.
Tired from this walking, I reflect on my needs as a man of status. I have acquired homes, insurance, and cash. The next item on my list: a car.
2:10 p.m. I enter my local Mitsubishi (Las Vegas Bowl) dealership and carefully consider my choices, knowing I will deliberate for hours if necessary to select the perfect vehicle. A man of means like me did not achieve wealth through impatience.
2:20 p.m. I purchase a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo with a modded engine that puts out 450 horsepower, and comes with a neon undercarriage package, an original Playstation (Fiesta Bowl) and small flatscreen in the dash, custom racing spoiler, nitrous system, eight ball shifter, and a sticker of a winking anime lady that blocks out most of the back windshield. (So you don’t get distracted by traffic behind you.) DORIFTOOOOOOOO--- .
It comes with a new set of Goodyear (Cotton Bowl) tires. They grip the road beautifully as I pull into the Valero (Alamo Bowl) for gas before getting on the highway. The Mitsubishi performs perfectly. I play Crash Bandicoot on the PlayStation in heavy traffic, eat handfuls of an economy-sized box of Cheez-Its (Cheez-It Bowl), and punch the accelerator, wondering how I ever lived broke.
2:55 p.m. I drift into the back of an R+L Carriers (New Orleans Bowl) semi-truck and crash the Lancer. After calling ServPro for cleanup (again), I walk across the street to a Quick Lane (Quick Lane Bowl) shop and see if they carry parts for my damaged vehicle. The clerk believes my car to be totaled. I scoff, knowing that men of means do not allow a little something like skepticism from getting the job done. To prove my point to this do-nothing nobody, I drive the car out of the parking lot with the engine purring like a kitten.
3:12 p.m. The flames become too intense for me to continue driving. Luckily enough, I’d gotten to a place that might be able to help me. I pull into the lot of the Autozone (Liberty Bowl), rolling out of the door and onto the pavement exactly like a trained professional stuntman would. I stop just in time to see the burning Lancer gently hop the curb and enter the AutoZone through its glass doors. The glass makes a mess, but when the flames set off the store’s sprinkler system, it extinguishes my car and prevents any further damage to the store. Things mostly work out for the best like that!
The very wet manager comes out to see if I need help finding anything. He seems distressed, so I try to lighten the mood with a joke, and I say I was just following directions by getting in the zone...the AutoZone.
Police are called.
4:30 p.m. My Lancer is impounded and my license taken by the very unfair police, so I purchase a Bad Boy Riding Mower (Gasparilla Bowl) from a dealership nearby. It travels 35 miles per hour and runs on diesel, and at $14,000 with extras, serves both as a car and as a ruthlessly functional riding mower. I engage the motor on the highway as an experiment, firing tiny pieces of gravel into the windshields of every car within a hundred yards of me. Bad Boy indeed!
4:40 p.m. I pick up a copy of Liam Neeson’s COLD PURSUIT from my local Redbox (Redbox Bowl) because bowl sponsors understand I am a man of culture.
4:48 p.m. I return home and continue research into vehicles I can purchase without a license. To my surprise, no license is required to fly Lockheed Martin’s F-35 (Armed Forces Bowl) or Northrop-Grumman’s B-2 stealth bomber (Military Bowl). I apply for more loans from my partners at Capital One and SoFi, anticipating a smooth transition into the life of a vertical take off and landing playboy lifestyle.
Because of some obscure federal regulations regarding non-car type vehicles, I apply for the F-35 under the name “Government of Indonesia.” I email my contacts at Taxslayer (Gator Bowl) to see if I can claim the B-2 as a homestead.
5:00 p.m. A quick call with my financial planners at Northwestern Mutual (Rose Bowl) just to review the day’s responsible purchases.
5:06 p.m. After some discussion of our differences in financial philosophies, Northwestern Mutual’s planners and I agree to part ways. I put in the movie, relax on the couch, and browse TicketSmarter’s (Birmingham Bowl) selection of concert tickets while Liam Neeson kills people with a snowplow. Maroon 5 for just $400? This love has taken a hold of me, I say, buying eight tickets without thinking. For dinner, I sip a Cheribundi (Boca Raton Bowl) to keep my wealthy body full of antioxidants and eat a whole baked potato (Famous Idaho Potato Bowl) like an apple. Shame is for the less wealthy.
5:15 p.m. I answer a call from the FBI regarding a complaint from the Government of Indonesia. I explain that I am very wealthy and important, and will have my attorney call them to discuss the matter.
5:35 p.m. The good people at Camping World (Camping World Bowl) have sold me a quality Thor Venetian Class A Motorhome for the low price of $350,000. Having decided that the fast-paced San Diego life might not be compatible with my current lifestyle, I rent my two West Coast real estate investments on VRBO (Citrus Bowl) and take to the open road. I need to go somewhere no one will find me, because a man of means such as myself – the kind bowl sponsors understand better than anyone else – is beset on all sides by demands.
I need to go to the last place in the world a man of wealth and taste such as myself would end up: Elk Grove, Illinois (Bahamas Bowl).