Start spreadin' the news. Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said Wednesday "We'll have conversations" with New York City's Pinstripe Bowl.
Now this is what I'm talking about. I've long complained that the Big Ten's cluster of bowl-affiliations didn't have enough variety or pizazz.
Three bowls in Florida is one too many, and the Gator Bowl was an addition the conference didn't need. Jacksonville is the Oakland of the Sunshine State. And by that, I mean to quote Gertrude Stein, who once said this about Oakland:
"The trouble with Oakland is that when you get there," Stein said, "there isn't any there there."
(As I type this, I just saw NBC Sports Channel show Dennis Miller sitting next to James Lipton at the New Jersey-New York Rangers Stanley Cup playoff game at New York's Madison Square Garden. If I had to run into a pair of fans at a Rangers-Devils game, I'd prefer it would be Jerry Seinfeld and David Puddy.)
Anyway, the Pinstripe Bowl would be a good get for the Big Ten. Let's hear it for New York, New York, New York.
Hey girl what's it like to be in New York?
New York City, imagine that! -- Michelle Shocked, "Anchorage"
"New York City is the financial sports capital of the world," Delany said Wednesday. "It's a global city like Chicago. We'll have conversations with them."
Iowa State was the Big 12's representative in the 2011 Pinstripe Bowl. The Big East has the other conference tie-in. But these deals frequently change, and the Big Ten will mix things up after the 2013 season.
The Big Ten needs to ditch Jacksonville, and lose either Houston or Dallas. One Texas bowl is enough. Then, it should get itself to New York and either San Francisco or San Diego. Keep two games in Florida, one in Texas, one in Arizona, and if it must, the one in Detroit.
Why New York? Because it's New York, that's why.
Now I know some people don't want to go to a bowl in New York. Too expensive. Too cold in late December to sit outdoors. And many a Midwesterner isn't crazy about the Big Apple. Well, if college football really is part of an educational system, maybe it should also be educating its fans. Don't get in a comfort zone going to Tampa or Phoenix all the time. Explore a different world, see a bowl game in a totally different atmosphere. Like outside in Yankee Stadium, the South Bronx.
Chris Edwards of Marion and SourceMedia, the company that also employs me, went to last year's Pinstripe Bowl. His account:
"For instance, we stayed in Newark at a business hotel and took the train into the city each day instead of paying $250+ per night for a hotel and attempting to drive and find places to park. I think it's also worth mentioning that pretty much everyone we encountered there, be they random New Yorker on the street to the Rutgers fans we were jammed in with on the trains - were REALLY friendly and helpful. I was expecting stereotypes, but was pleasantly surprised by all the nice folks.
"As for the bowl game itself, seeing a football game in Yankee Stadium is a fun experience, though it's pretty hard to find a good seat because of the way they lay out the field. Iowa State fans traveled pretty well to it and you definitely saw a lot of ISU gear as you moved around NYC, particularly tourist spots like the Brooklyn Bridge and the like.
"I think that if you talked to most any ISU fan who went to the game, they would tell you that it was a great experience and fun time. I think they would also tell you that it would probably be something they would do once and not necessarily return to if ISU played there the following year or year after. After all, it's not like you're going tropical, and it's novel to make that trek once but not necessarily twice."
Much thanks for that, Chris.
But if the Big Ten does tie in with the Pinstripe Bowl and Iowa should go one year, here's my advice to Hawkeye fans: No face-painting.