Half of the fun of bowl season is breaking down the gifts that each bowl gives to the teams that participate. Last year, Kentucky players each got a bobblehead of themselves from the TaxSlayer Bowl, a cool and unique souvenir they’ll have on their desks or nightstands for years to come; what gift awaits them in Nashville at the Music City Bowl?
According to Sports Business Daily, a Fossil watch and a trip to the bowl’s gift suite.
Oh. Well, to be fair, that gift suite could include a lot of cool stuff (per NCAA rules, up to $550 worth of cool stuff per person). According to KnoxNews.com, last year’s Music City Bowl gift suite featured 70 items, including flat-screen TVs, mountain bikes, recliners, watches, electronics, headphones, and apparel. Schools can also add up to $400 for each player, meaning that the Cats could have up to $950 to spend in the gift suite.
That’s enough to make you forget about the Fossil watch, which might make for a nice Christmas gift for Dad, but it’s hardly as cool as a personalized bobblehead or some of the swag other bowls are handing out. Such as…
Cactus Bowl (Kansas State vs. UCLA): Yeti cooler and tumbler; Fossil watch; Ogio backpack; Legendary hat; JBL Flip 4 speaker; blanket
Shoutout to the Cactus Bowl for going all out. As anybody with a Yeti cooler will tell you, they’re not cheap, so to pair that with a Yeti tumbler (also not cheap), a backpack, a hat, a really nice bluetooth speaker, and a blanket? That’s all you need for a fun day at the beach or park. And, of yeah, the requisite Fossil watch (14 bowls are handing those out this year).
Quick Lane Bowl (Duke vs. Northern Illinois): $175 Best Buy gift card; JBL bluetooth headphones; life-sized Fathead decal for each participant of his likeness; Ogio backpack and tag; mini helmet; hoodie; workout shorts; winter hat; vintage football
The Quick Lane Bowl compensates being located in Detroit with an amazing gift set. Not only will players get a $175 gift card to Best Buy, nice bluetooth headphones and other swag, they’ll get a life-sized Fathead of themselves. That is awesome. Can you imagine Stephen Johnson’s?
That could be worth going to Detroit for.
Citrus Bowl (Notre Dame vs. LSU) & Camping World Bowl (Virginia Tech vs. Oklahoma State): $400 Best Buy player shopping trip; Timely Watch Co. watch
You can get a 43″ Samsung LED 4K Ultra HD TV for $379 at Best Buy right now. No gift will get more use than that.
PlayStation Fiesta Bowl (Washington vs. Penn State): PlayStation PS4 PRO bundle; Fossil watch; Ogio backpack
See above. College boy’s dream right there.
Alamo Bowl (Stanford vs. TCU): Amazon Echo Show; $175 Amazon gift card; Fossil watch; mini-helmet; Rock ‘Em socks; team panoramic photo
I doubt anybody under the age of 45 is going to use an Amazon Echo Show (why when you have a phone?), but it would make a nice gift for parents or grandparents. Plus, $175 will get you plenty on Amazon.
Peach Bowl (Auburn vs. UCF): $300 Vanilla Visa gift card by InComm; Ultimate Ears Wonderboom bluetooth speaker; Fossil watch; football
Money, money, money. MONEY!
…oh, and a Fossil watch.
Bahamas Bowl (UAB vs. Ohio): Gift suite; iSlides sandals; drawstring backpack; beach towel; bowl pin
Also, being in the Bahamas.
Outback Bowl (Michigan vs. South Carolina): Jostens ring; Fossil watch; $125 Best Buy gift card; Outback Steakhouse gift card; hat
You had me at “Outback Steakhouse gift card.”
Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Marshall vs. Colorado State): Gift suite; Oakley sunglasses; Oakley 5-Speed backpack; Lit tumbler; beanie; Gildan stadium blanket; cap; Fidget Spinner
To be fair, the fidget spinner will be the most used gift on that list.
Belk Bowl (Wake Forest vs. Texas A&M): Shopping trip to Belk department store; Fossil watch
Somewhere, Jim McElwain is really jealous.
AutoZone Liberty Bowl (Iowa State vs. Memphis): Bass Pro Shops shopping trip; Bulova Caravelle watch; Nike athletic shoes, sport sandals and backpack; football
Somewhere, Kash Daniel is really jealous.
For a complete list of the bowl gifts this year, check out SportsBusinessDaily.com.