The 3 best and worst bowl game gifts players get this year
It’s almost bowl time! Which means players are starting to find out what kind of swag they’ll be getting for a hard-fought season. The Sports Business Journal outlined all the gifts this year. Some of this year’s bowl game did a very good job, others … not so much.
For the purposes of science we’re omitting the bowls that offer a gift suite. This is basically a private event with giant mounds of gifts that players can select themselves. Some of these will probably be really good, others might be terrible — but they have no place in doing a raw ranking of the gifts players have no choice in.
Three best bowl game gift baskets
1. Quick Lane Bowl
$250 Best Buy gift card; Sony headphones; custom-made Fathead for each player with their likeness; various apparel; football
There’s nothing quite like the permanence of having your own personalized Fathead. Long after those video game consoles are obsolete and headphones broken, that Fathead will stand the test of time. For those players who go on to the NFL it’s a perfect addition to their trophy room. For others it will look wonderful in the window of the flagship store in a small, poorly run chain of car washes where it will become sun-bleached and sad for decades to come.
2. Military Bowl
Microsoft Xbox One console; Under Armour backpack; Might Boom Ball speakers; beanie
Getting an Xbox One is dope, especially if it comes with a decent game packed it. Worst-case scenario a player can flip that thing on Craigslist for something truly useful. Cap it off with a solid backpack, a vibration speaker and beanie and it’s pretty much the go-to kit of stuff a college-aged kid would want.
3. National University Holiday Bowl
$445 Best Buy gift card and shopping trip; Fossil watch; cap
Super solid, all around. You might wonder why this doesn’t rank above the Military Bowl given you could just go to the Best Buy and get an Xbox One, but that’s simple — tax. No, not sales tax, the tax on your soul for actually needing to drive and set foot in a Best Buy to redeem your gift. Then you’ll wind up with like, $32 on that card, have no idea how to spend it, lose it, find it six months later and realize it expired only to hate yourself and suffer regret.
Who’s got time for all that baggage?
Three worst bowl game gift baskets
1. Belk Bowl
Shopping trip to Belk department store; Fossil watch
You know who’s excited to get a shopping spree in a Belk? Countless 75-year-old Southern grandmothers, and that’s it. Every Belk I’ve ever been to smells like too much old lady perfume, the men’s department is always lodged between the bathrooms and mountains of Emeril Lagasse cookware, and the whole ordeal is a frustrating disappointment.
I’m sorry Belk Bowl participants.
2. Outback Bowl
$150 Best Buy gift card; Outback Steakhouse gift card; Fossil watch; Jostens rings; cap
That gift card is neat, but FIVE different bowls are offering Best Buy gift cards of greater value. To make up that difference you get steak. It doesn’t specify how much steak, but steak nonetheless. Also, you know that Jostens ring is going to have a giant-ass Outback Steakhouse logo on it, which means 20 years from now those athletes can be the creepy guys who eat at Outback wearing their Outback ring.
3. Valero Alamo Bowl
GoPro Hero4 Silver camera and 32MB memory card; Fossil watch; Oakley Works backpack; Schutt mini helmet; panoramic photo
There’s some meta-trolling going on when a bowl game gives you a GoPro camera. It’s like “Hey, you’re used to being filmed and not getting paid for it, so might as well do it yourself.”
When all else fails…
Remember that the bag man gift suite is the greatest of them all.