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For Fresno State, the Jimmy Kimmel Bowl Is No Joke

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The Fresno State football team will begin the 2021 season with a new bowl game in mind.

It’s the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl on Dec. 18 in SoFi Stadium —the fabulous $5.5 billion home of the Los Angeles Rams and San Diego Chargers.

Portrait of GV Wire News Director Bill McEwen

Bill McEwen

Opinion

As Kimmel said during his opening monologue on Wednesday night, “This is not a joke. This is a real bowl game named after me, so mark your calendars.”

Like every college football team, Coach Kalen DeBoer’s Bulldogs have hopes of playing for the national championship. But that’s the longest of longshots given college football’s structure and the overwhelming advantages held by Power Five schools like Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, and LSU.

Game Pits Mountain West vs. Pac-12

However, the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl is a real possibility for Fresno State. A multi-year contract pits the Mountain West champion against the Pac-12’s No. 5 bowl selection in the bowl.

The game will be televised by ABC, which also airs Kimmel’s late-night talk show. And, it will be the first collegiate football game played in the year-old, high-tech, 70,000-seat stadium.

“Never before has a bowl game been named after a human being (as far as I know, I didn’t check),” Kimmel said in a statement. “On December 18, my dream of being forever enshrined alongside orange, rose, cotton, and peach comes true.”

In regard to the name, college bowls have a long history of jumping the shark of absurdity. For example, the Beef O’Brady’s, New Era Pinstripe, and Cheez-It bowls.

The advantage of the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl is tens of millions of people know the comedian’s name. Expect him to work the game into his TV act and for ABC to promote the bowl in a gluttonous orgy of shameless synergy.

For the Mountain West football champion — whether it’s Fresno State or some other school — that’s a good thing. Publicity is a commodity to be exploited on the recruiting trail.

Well played, Mountain West.

 

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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