DAILY DIRT: Blame it all on the Sunkist Fiesta Bowl


Daily Dirt for Thursday, Dec. 22, 2022

I’m getting a little ahead of myself today, but I would truly like to meet Patty Scialfa someday … Welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 483 of The Daily Dirt.

1. If you’re a baby boomer, you likely remember watching those postseason college football games when they were known simply as the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Sugar Bowl, etc.

At some point, however, corporate America got involved and some major company got itself attached to a few of the major bowls. Little did we know that less than 40 years later just about all of the bowl games have foregone those once proud  monikers for whatever company president will write the biggest check to be attached to the game.

First of all, don’t blame the bowl games. The sponsorship money goes into team payouts and paying the bills.

It’s just sad that instead of, say, the Gator Bowl we know have the Poulan Weed Eater Bowl (which is actually no longer with us, but remains one of my all-time favorites!) or the Duke’s Mayo Bowl or the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. 

When did all of this start, you ask? Back in 1985, Sunkist announced a partnership with the Fiesta Bowl, becoming the first corporate bowl game sponsor. The five-year deal provided the Fiesta Bowl with an additional $500,000 in payout for participating teams, plus elevating the then-14-year-old game into elite status, alongside the Rose, Sugar, Orange and Cotton Bowls.

Other big-time money soon followed with USF&G, FedEx and Mobil soon attaching themselves to the bowls. The rest, as they say, is history.

2. Bruce Springsteen and Patty Scialfa have been married since 1991.

For musicians, especially rock and rollers, that’s an eternity. Yet they seem happy, both onstage and off, and there’s no denying their musical chemistry.

What is often overlooked is Scialfa’s talent. All too often she gets lumped with The Boss with little discussion about her own accomplishments. Do yourself a favor sometime and look up some of her work on YouTube.

I wholeheartedly suggest my three favorite Scialfa songs:

Gold medal: “As Long As I Can (Be With You).” It’s one of her faster-paced numbers and that raspy voice is a perfect accent. If you have the opportunity, take in one of the videos that captures The Boss playing in the background while his wife sings out front. You can sense the love and appreciation oozing from him, which makes it easy to understand why those two have been together for so long.

Silver medal: “Lucky Girl.” Is that a little twang in those vocals?

Bronze Medal: “Rumble Doll.” For those who may want to slow dance to a Patty classic.

3. Since we will likely be tumbling into minus-temperatures this weekend, I wondered what the coldest Illinois temperature on record has ever been?

The answer, my friends, was a rather crisp minus-36 in Congerville on Jan. 5, 1999. Congerville is a town of just over 400 in the upper north central part of the state. (Fun fact: The winter of 1998-99 was my first in Illinois after moving from Ohio. There were times during that first winter I thought I had moved to the Arctic Circle).

Steve Thought O’ The Day — I still miss the Poulan Weed Eater Bowl.

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. His favorite bowl is whichever one the Buckeyes are in.

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