Why are football championship games called "bowls?"

Okay, probably a stupid question, but it’s a 25 minute drive to work and sometimes my mind wanders.

Sugar Bowl, Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Aloha Bowl, even Super Bowl.

Why bowl?

Because that’s what the stadia are called, dear.

Why the game is named after the stadium, I couldn’t say…

Not the name of the stadium…

Why “bowl?” Why not “Championship” or “Match?”

Nice to see another Central Floridian, dutchboy :slight_smile:

The Rose Bowl didn’t open until 1922 and the first “Rose Bowl” game was played on Jan. 1, 1923.

The game played in Pasadena on New Year’s Day had various names, mainly something with “East-West” in the name of it before sportswriters hit upon using the name of the stadium to describe the game.

The Rose Bowl was modeled after the Yale Bowl, although when it opened it wasn’t a bowl yet. It took a few years before the last part of it was finished.

The other bowl games that started were not all played in stadiums with bowl in their names. The Cotton Bowl and Orange Bowl were, but the Sugar Bowl got its start at Tulane Stadium.

ivylass, what dutchboy is telling you is that the game is named after the stadium it’s played in.

The Tournament of Roses added a football game to its activities. After a few years, they built a stadium for those football games. The stadium was called the Rose Bowl. After a while, the game itself was called the Rose Bowl. Others followed suit, and “Bowl” has developed into a word referring to certain championship games. But it all started with the name of the stadium.

I would also add that the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, who runs the parade and the game, refers to the football game as “The Rose Bowl Game” and not “The Rose Bowl”.

And you never ever call the parade “The Rose Bowl Parade”. The parade is much older than the game and the game is an offshoot from the parade, not the other way around.

Nice to see you too, ivylass.

For what it’s worth, the term “Bowl” has now outgrown the stadium, so a “Bowl” game need not be played in a stadium with the same name, or even one called a bowl.

The Capital One Bowl, for example, is the old Citrus Bowl game, even though the Citrus Bowl (stadium) is still the Citrus Bowl (stadium).

Although the Citrus Bowl was born as the Tangerine Bowl, before expanding to a greater range of fruits.

And now there’s another Tangerine Bowl, not to be confused with the original Tangerine Bowl, which became the Citrus Bowl, which became the Capital One Bowl.

And the Orange Bowl is not played in the Orange Bowl anymore, but rather at ProPlayer Stadium.

Only the Rose and Cotton Bowl are eponymously named. (Is that the right use of the word eponymous?)


So it’s not the Rose Stadium, where the Rose Bowl is played, but the Rose Bowl Stadium.

Took a couple of hits to the head, but it finally sunk in.

Technically, where the Rose Bowl Game is played is not the Rose Bowl Stadium, but the Rose Bowl, which is a stadium.

Slight hijack here, since the OP has been pretty much answered, but the commercialization of these bowl games has always been something that irked me. It seems to be a relatively recent phenomenon, similar to the naming-the-stadium-after-a-huge-corporation trend, so when did this type of behavior begin? I guess specifically, when was the first bowl game named after a corporation and not a generic word like “Citrus” or “Rose” or “Orange?” Also, when was the first stadium named after a corporation?

Rose Bowl = Rose “Large Building Shaped Sort of Like a Bowl”

Presumably, if stadia were shaped differently, we’d have the “Rose Cube” (which is equally nonsensical as “Rose Bowl” … “Rose Vase”, maybe …) and the “Sugar Cube” (which translates perfectly).

The first time I remember a bowl game being corporatized was the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl- when FSU won, I believe in '99.

The first major stadium named for a sponsor would be the Pontiac Silverdome, I suppose- now abandoned for Ford Field.

It happened long before that – The first I can remember was the Mobil Cotton Bowl Classic, in the mid 80s. And it’s the first I remember only because that’s the only game I watched. I don’t know if there were others before.

There was also a Blockbuster (as in the video store) bowl which I believe is now the Outback Bowl, and the John Hancock (now Sun Bowl) Bowl at the time.

The Sun Bowl is also an eponymous bowl, along with the Rose and Cotton – it is played in the Sun Bowl.

The Orange Bowl Game is no longer played in the Orange Bowl, either.

My favorites are the Poulan Weedeater Independence Bowl in Shreveport, and the Sports Humanitarian Bowl in Boise.

There also used to be a Salad Bowl and a Cherry Bowl.

Sadly, Poulan has been replaced by MainStay for the Independence Bowl.

On to more important question (aside from calling for the Toka Bowl):

Why is the Bud Bowl between Bud and Bud Lite rather than between Bud and, say, Miller? That’s like having the offensive and defensive squads of the Dallas Cowboys face each other in the Superbowl.

Because it’s a commercial for the Budweiser family of “beers”

The Rose Bowl was the first bowl.

I believe Miami built the Orange Bowl to host the bowl game to get tourists. I don’t think the University of Miami had a football team when it was built. Its not a true bowl - it has an open end - but probably took the name from the Rose Bowl.

FSU played in the Fiesta Bowl following the 98 season. It was the first BCS championship game.

The FedEx Orange Bowl was one of the first sponsored bowl games. I tend to think they did this before Mobil named teh Cotton Bowl, but I’m not sure.

About 10-15 years ago, a top bowl paid $3-4 million. Now, a top bowl pays about $13 million to each team.

The Super Bowl was both a continuation of the Bowl game theme, and a takeoff on the “Super Ball”, that incredibly bouncy little thing sold for a quarter in the vending machines at the grocery store.