Aug 4, 2011, 3:40 PM EST
Our lack of a college football playoff system is depressing and stupid, but it can also be delicious. Welcome to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, which until Tuesday was called the Humanitarian Bowl, but was renamed in keeping with its main sponsor, the Idaho Potato Commission. To date it is the only major bowl logo that I know of which includes condiments. Press release:
Four of the top five potato-consuming states are represented by the WAC and MAC conferences: New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas.
“We’re proud to support a bowl that has become a national showcase for the State of Idaho,” said Frank Muir, President and CEO of the Idaho Potato Commission. “It’s the perfect opportunity to reinforce the health and quality benefits of Idaho potatoes to a national audience while supporting a game that has generated significant funds for the local economy and associated charities.”
But to make this a success, the Potato Bowl people need to look at the example set by the Idaho Falls Chukars, a Double-A Minor League Baseball affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. In 2009, the Chukars held their gala Potato Night, which included the following components, all of which the Potato Bowl could incorporate:
- Before fans walk in the gates they’ll be able to see a two-ton potato on the back of a custom 1946 Chevy cab-over truck known as Old Murphy, courtesy of the Spud Drive-In in Driggs, Idaho. Fans can take pictures with the giant potato while they wait for gates to open at 6:00. The Spud Drive-In will also be bringing a 37-foot Mr. Potato Head inflatable obstacle course for children, which will be available throughout the game.
- The first 100 children in attendance will receive an Idaho Spuddy Buddy from the Idaho Potato Commission. Spuddy Buddies are a popular plush potato doll with arms and legs. There will also be a limited number of Spuddy Buddies that will be thrown into the crowd during the game for fans who weren’t able to make it to the park early that night. For children who arrive after the first 100 there will be 200 potato coloring books, also from the Idaho Potato Commission and printed by Eagle Press in Idaho Falls. Potato Grower Magazine will have copies of its free publication available at the gates as well for fans of all ages.
- Also at the front gates will be Junior Miss Blackfoot (Potato Capital of the World) Paige Pearson in a custom-made potato sack dress, along with King and Queen Russet, the long-time Shelley High School mascots. The dress will also be available to the highest bidder during a silent auction that will conclude at the end of the seventh inning.
- The fun won’t stop once fans get to their seats. All night long the music at Melaleuca Field will include songs about potatoes. Fans can watch special on-field competitions, including a potato sack race, mashed potato eating contest, and a two-person hot potato championship. The first pitch that night will be a potato and the text trivia question will be about the infamous minor league potato incident in 1987.
Your move, Potato Bowl.
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