Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Michigan, MSU hold key to Detroit's bowl success

I have always maintained that when given a choice, Michigan and Michigan State should play in the Little Caesars Bowl at Ford Field. It'd be great for the local economy. It would go from lukewarm media coverage to intense media coverage locally. Obviously, ticket sales would grow.
However, in truth, both have avoided the bowl like the plaque. There is a stigma attached to it.
It's when one of the teams is 4-4 late in the season, "The only place they are going to go is the Motor City Bowl (former name)...."
Bowls in Detroit: Empty seats say a lot:
I can see hell freezing over before Michigan plays a bowl game in Detroit. George Perles, a member of the board of trustees at MSU, and the Spartans' former coach with distinction, runs the bowl. Yet, the Spartans understand they can't win by playing in his bowl. Michigan fans would be insufferable in their mocking of it.
Subsequently, the bowl battle cry of MSU fans everywhere when their team is roughly .500 is, "Anywhere warm."
Detroit in December hardly qualifies.
That's why I am curious the Lions reportedly want to add a bowl game for Ford Field. It will only truly work if they get a big-name program from the Big Ten (Ohio State, Nebraska, Penn State would also do). Not Northwestern or Purdue (who have played in the Little Caesars Bowl).
I respect Mid-American Conference football. It is a vastly underrated entity, but honestly it is under the radar. An outdoor game at Comerica Park (a possibility raised for the Little Caesars Bowl should it be kicked out of Ford Field for another bowl) would be a difficult sell in this area. So would two college bowl games in Detroit when one already seems be at the bottom of the food chain, despite solid sponsorship from Little Caesars.


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