Photo courtesy of PlayStation Fiesta Bowl
Bowl gifts; they are a benefit that oftentimes get overlooked amongst the common eye.
Bowl gifts provide presenting sponsors with an opportunity to entice student-athletes with flashy, but more importantly, free presents. Unfortunately, it is time to say goodbye to any other thrilling bowl season.
With bowl season essentially in the rearview with the exception of the Texas Bowl and national championship, we reflect. No, not on the games.
Instead, here are the coolest bowl gifts of the 2021 college football season.
10. Quick Lane Bowl
— Quick Lane Bowl (@quicklanebowl) December 24, 2021
Gifts: JBL Tune Bluetooth noise-cancelling headphones, $175 Best Buy gift card, PhotoSlap life-size photo stickers, backpack and tag, commemorative football, game merchandise
This one is cool for a few reasons. First, who wouldn’t want a life-size sticker of themselves? Second, a shopping spree to Best Buy as a young adult?
9. EasyPost Hawaii Bowl
— Hawaii Football (@HawaiiFootball) December 20, 2021
Gifts: Oakley sunglasses, backpack, Kahala aloha shirt, beach towel, swimming trunks
Sure, the game may have never happened, but one can easily name about 1,000 worse ways to spend a week than on a beach in Hawaii.
8. Cheez-It Bowl
— Cheez-It Bowl (@CheezItBowl) December 24, 2021
Gifts: $400 Amazon gift card, Fossil watch, Ogio backpack, commemorative football
A $400 Amazon gift card? For each player?
Who knew Cheez-It had it like that?
7. TaxSlayer Gator Bowl
— Wake Forest Football (@WakeFB) December 27, 2021
Gifts: Maui Jim sunglasses fitting, Fossil watch, waterproof Bluetooth speaker, noise-cancelling headphones, Power Bank portable charger, Tile Bluetooth wireless tracker
So, here’s a question: Did Texas A&M receive all these gifts, and then have to hand them all over to Rutgers? Or did TaxSlayer have to buy bowl gifts for three separate teams? Or did Rutgers get nothing at all since it was late to the party?
The world may never know.
6 Guaranteed Rate Bowl
— Minnesota Football (@GopherFootball) December 24, 2021
Gifts: Theragun Pro massager, Lululemon 22L Cruiser backpack, 26-ounce Ice Shaker bottle
Theragun Pro Massager: $600. Lululemon 22L Cruiser backpack: $158.
The feeling of knowing the NCAA still considers itself a nonprofit?
5. Wasabi Fenway Bowl
“On the second day of Fenway, my true love gave to me” … a movie theater all to ourselves 🎬 pic.twitter.com/9Lxwwo6ceM
— SMU FootbaIl (@SMUFB) December 19, 2021
Gifts: Gift suite, Bose Sport wireless earbuds, L.L. Bean Dopp kit, personalized mini baseball with the player’s name and jersey number
Here’s another game that didn’t happen, but boy, are we suckers for a personalized mini baseball…
4. Valero Alamo Bowl
Kayvon Thibodeaux dipped on Oregon's bowl game with Oklahoma.
All the "swag" at the Alamo Bowl:
$490 Mastercard gift card by University Fancards; Ice Shaker bottle; mini-helmet; team panoramic photo
I'm thinking he's thinking about the NFL. The one Kirk & ESPN are always hyping https://t.co/sp4rc9UQtq
— Brian (Inward Gibe 👉🧠) Wedig (@BrianWedge88) January 2, 2022
Gifts: $490 Mastercard gift card by University Fan cards, Ice Shaker bottle; mini helmet, team panoramic photo
After some quick math, we calculated that Valero gave out well over $25,000 in Mastercard gift cards alone. That is hard to fathom and is just further proof that college athletics is one of the most lucrative businesses in the world.
3. New Era Pinstripe Bowl
No trip to New York is complete without a little shopping. Thanks to @Harman, @HokiesFB and @TerpsFootball lived the dream and took home top technology as part of their @BowlSeason week here in NYC. pic.twitter.com/VKdJlPGZrF
— Pinstripe Bowl (@PinstripeBowl) December 28, 2021
Gifts: A variety of New Era products and a shopping experience at Harman New York City store, Balfour ring
We didn’t know what the Harmon store was in New York City, so we looked it.
Here’s what we found: “Harman has been synonymous with high-quality audio equipment for over half a century. The brand’s Midtown flagship is a must-visit for audiophiles, featuring popular products by brands like JBL, Harman Kardon, AKG, Infinity, Revel and Mark Levinson.”
Oh, how the rich keep on getting richer.
2. Servpro First Responder Bowl
Real life ➡️ action figures pic.twitter.com/h8zjmPpGED
— Air Force Football (@AF_Football) December 27, 2021
Gifts: Gift suite, Action Face personalized figure, Anker phone charger, commemorative football
Getting a personalized action figure would be a top-3 moment in some of our lives. For this author, it wouldn’t be No. 3 or No. 2.
1. PlayStation Fiesta Bowl
— Vrbo Fiesta Bowl (@Fiesta_Bowl) December 30, 2021
Gifts: PlayStation 5
Was there ever any doubt? The PlayStation 5 is so hard to get your hands on at the moment that people are willing to mud wrestle with an alligator in 120-degree heat if it means copping the hottest gaming system this world has ever seen.
Yet, student-athletes from Stillwater and South Bend — some of which probably can’t even afford to buy a roll of toilet paper (no shame, many of us were once broke college students) — have been gifted with the PS5.
To be frank, it’s now fair to ask if going to the Fiesta Bowl this year was more rewarding than making the College Football Playoff. For gamers, the argument can be made.