LIVE (ON TAPE) BLOG – CHICK FIL A BOWL CHALLENGE

IT’S THE CHICK FIL A BOWL CHALLENGE!!  LIVE-ON-TAPE FROM REYNOLDS PLANTATION IN GREENSBORO, GEORGIA!! (Wait….did that say PLANTATION?? REALLY?? Yikes….maybe want to consider renaming that at this point.) BROUGHT TO YOU BY….ESPN THE OCHO…I mean ESPNU….actually, it’s on…ESPN2?? Must be summer!

Because the Chick Fil A college football bowl game usually matches foes from the ACC and SEC each January, some TV and/or bowl game executive thought that this Challenge would be a good idea. It benefits charity (scholarship funds for the schools, so its not all bad) and pits current head football coaches from those conferences against each other, while they are paired up with former players of their choosing. And apparently they could pick players from any sport, and any era. Hence pairings that feature the likes of North Carolina State’s head coach Tom O’Brien with former hoops star/current belligerent fan Tom Gugliotta; Tennessee’s coach Derek Dooley with former receiving great Stanley Morgan; and North Carolina coach Larry Fedora with North Carolina coach Roy Williams….wait huh?? I mean, I guess Roy qualifies since he played for Dean Smith way back in the day. However, we are ALL being short-changed as Maryland’s coach is now Randy Edsel (paired with former QB Stan Gelbaugh). Can you imagine Ralph Friedgen hoofing it around the fairways, even WITH a cart?? Man that would have been great!

Apparently we will only be subjected to the back nine by ESPN2’s coverage, and it’s only on for an hour, so let’s get to it:

(BTW, anytime you can televise and get sponsors for a golf match featuring men age 50+ that are not golf pros in any way playing for charity in front of no gallery, you HAVE to do it!)

11:07am-Easily the most star-studded pairing is from South Carolina featuring coach Steve Spurrier and former wideout Sterling Sharpe. I just watched the Ol’ Ball Coach use a belly putter to drain a 5-footer. One thing I never understand is how Bill Belichick is referred to as “The Hoodie” but Spurrier is never called “The Visor”? How has that NOT stuck?

 11:09-I am just reminded that Urban Meyer is Ohio State’s head football coach. What a great place to be to spend more time with your family and not be under so much stress. At least he’s   relieved of some stress here as his partner Jeff Logan holes out from the fairway on his 2nd shot for an eagle! And who would have thought Meyer would be a good golfer? He wins the coaches portion of the closest-to-the-pin contest. Shocker.

 11:11-So if I am the coach from Chapel Hill, and I could pick any former athlete from my school…what was going through Fedora’s head when he decided to take Williams as his partner over, say….Davis Love III?

 11:15-Georgia Tech’s Jon Barry likes cigars. Yup he’s THAT guy on the golf course…you know the one that either drives off the tee with it in his mouth the whole time, or sets it down on some dry grass while he hits, hoping nothing ends up ablaze.

11:21-There is an entire weekend centered on this event from what we can tell from the footage shown coming out of the last commercial. Special dinners and silent auctions, all to benefit the scholarship funds for the conferences. There’s even a fireworks EXTRAVAGANZA one of the nights, which looks like it went off without a hitch, unlike THIS.

 11:27-In succession, we just saw Gelbaugh, Morgan, former Florida St cb Terrell Buckley, and former Miami qb and Heisman winner (for life and beyond) Gino Torretta.

 11:28-The leader board is listed by school, so it bears a striking resemblance to the annual preseason Top 20. You know…the most meaningless poll rankings ever.

 11:32-Yet another edited cut between shots, and it’s obvious we are only seeing the good shots that these guys are all hitting. Phil Mickelson is super jealous right now…and Adam Scott for that matter.  And speaking of only good shots…. (sorry, I started on a YouTube bender and ended up there, had to share)

11:40-In interviews conducted at an earlier (or later, who knows) time, the coaches were all asked who would be in their ultimate foursome out of all the coaches in history. Names like Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden, Ara Parseghian…but no Joe Paterno? Weird.  (#kindofahumblebrag)

11:45-Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer and former basketball star/Steph’s dad Dell Curry have been in the lead for a while, but they van de Velde the last hole and chunk it in the water a couple of times before finally taking the drop. All done.

11:49-UNC’s Fedora drops in a 35-foot putt and Roy is happier than watching C-Webb lose his mind!

11:51Creepy commercial during the break about fans being buried in team caskets when they pass on, or even having all the family plots facing one way in the direction of a stadium. (Wish I thought of that first!)

11:53-Down the stretch its Georgia Tech steaming ahead of the pack at -9. Coach Paul Johnson drops in a chip shot within 8 feet, and then Barry puts it in and avoids a playoff. Tech gets $125k in scholarship funds by finishing in first, the Gamecocks grab 2nd place, and the U pulls in 3rd. ACC dominating the SEC in the final standings.

11:56-CEO/President of Chick Fil A Bowl Gary Stekan thanks everyone for playing and contributing, and closes his remarks with a humdinger of a joke about gay Muppets.  Just kidding!

11:59-Next up on ESPN2…..FROM NORTH STATE STREET IN CHICAGO, ITS PBA BOWLING! DON’T TOUCH THAT REMOTE….

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