My guess is little did Claude Poulan know what he wrought.
The Monroe, Louisiana native invented the chainsaw bow guide, using an old pick up truck fender. Which gizmo revolutionized both the wood cutting and horror movie industries.
In ‘46, he opened his own chainsaw store, in the larger metropolis of Shreveport, La., which he named for himself. Then his enterprise started manufacturing its own brand of chainsaws, then other similar types of equipment.
Which mention should give a hint to the inveterate pigskin fans among my readers what any of this lede has to do with college football bowl season.
Years, decades really, after Poulan sold his company, after it changed hands again, and then was passed off to a subsidiary (Husqvarna, a Swedish concern), in ’90 the guys in the PR office thought it would good biz to sponsor the most mediocre of bowl games.
Thus for seven glorious years we were bedazzled with the gloriously monikored Poulan Weedeater Bowl.
Just curious, wonder if there’s a Poulan Weedeater Elke Sommer Speed Skating Race in Sundsvall?
May it, the name not the Shreveport bowl game, Rest In Peace.
Soooooo, this is the first of my triptych of meaningless but hopefully entertaining bowl predictions. Which battles shall be identified by their oft ridiculous and incomprehensible commercial tie ins. Should Lockheed Martin or Radiance Technologies, or even Jimmy Kimmel wish to compensate me for the mention, all gratuities shall be graciously accepted.
Warning, caveat emptor to anyone who thinks I have a clue about many, most of these matchups.
You know how when you need to get up in the middle of the night at home, to adjust the temp on the thermostadt, get a drink of water or use the john? You don’t need to turn on the lights because you’re so familiar with your living space.
This is the opposite. You’re on a trip. Arrived at the Airbnb late, and were groggy from travel, not paying close attention to the layout. so you fumble about, and stumble into a couch, stub your toe.
That’s what these picks are like.
Part Uno, the games from December 17 through December 21:
Bahamas Bowl: Middle Tennessee vs. Toledo. No commercial tie in here. How so very quaint. Which team will spend too much time on the sand and water slides? Which shall pay a modicum of attention to the game and pay the most respect to an island that reeks of college pigskin tradition? Rockets.
Tailgreetor Bowl: Northern Illinois vs. Coastal Carolina. As best I can discern, Tailgreeter is some sort of tailgating planning company or something. Not sure, frankly. Never been much of a tailgator. As for the battle, I’m going Teal.
RoofClaim.com Bowl: Western Kentucky vs. Appalachian State. Which of these G5 schools is looking for an estimate on their practice facility roof from a company that also sponsors the juggernaut Jacksonville Formerly Urban Meyers in addition to this Boca Raton battle? Long live the Corvette. Toppers pull the upset.
PUBG Bowl: UTEP vs. Fresno State. A modicum of research has taught yours truly, who has never played a video game, not one honest, that PUBG is an acronym for Player Unknown’s BattleGrounds. Who in their dotage would know? Not moi. So, do I play the hunch and predict a W for acronymish UTEP? Uh, no. Fresno State, even though I believe it’s one of the 178 schools with an interim coach.
Radiance Technologies Bowl: BYU vs. UAB. Shouldn’t these two Initial Schools be playing in the PUBG? Of course, but they’re not. This battle of acronyms is taking place in the Land o’ Poulan. Claude, may he RIP is surely, like me, wondering if the sponsor is some sort of CIA front. I got a hunch about the Blazers.
Lending Tree Bowl: Eastern Michigan vs. Liberty. How up front that this bowl doesn’t mess around with some sort name besides the commercial sponsor. Kind of admire that. Hugh Freeze can coach, but given his transgressions at Ole. Miss, is the perfect guy to be coaching at Falwell State. Zip up those pants, son. Solid favorites they might be, just can’t pick ‘em. Eagles from Ypsilanti.
Jimmy Kimmel Bowl: Utah State vs. Oregon State. Joke we might about the late night comedian’s “naming rights,” it appears the proceeds here are actually going to be going to some legit good causes. Plus there’s the game mascot. A bearded camel. Which vomits. Cool. Which the Beavers will be prone to do after falling to Ute State.
R+L Carriers Bowl: Marshall vs. Louisiana. The stands in New Orleans shall be full with Cajuns come to the city from the bayous. Let’s hope they two step to the world famous Kaplan Waltz — a real classic, I’ll have you know — after the dudes from Lafayette best the interlopers from coal country.
Myrtle Beach Bowl: Tulsa vs. Old Dominion. Old Dominion is closer. Tulsa is better in a game actually named for the place where it’s being contested. Naming rights still available for anybody out there, wishing to get in touch with his/ her inner Jimmy Kimmel. Golden Hurricanes.
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Kent State vs. Wyoming. Blue turf. Not to be confused with bluegrass. Lots of fries to be eaten. Crispy. Soggy. Baked. Your choice. Always a chance for winter inclemency, the kind that won’t allow you to click to another channel. Cowboys win it.
Tropical Smoothies Cafe Bowl: UTSA vs. San Diego State. Riddle me this. Why would this smoothie franchise sponsor a bowl in San Fran, when there’s one beggin’ for a tie in in the Bahamas? Some situations make no sense. (Actually it’s in Frisco, Texas, as I’ve been corrected by an alert reader, but still . . . ) Aztecs are Wile E Coyote to Roadrunners roadrunner. Beep Beep.
— c d kaplan