Heart of Dallas Bowl Editorial Misses the Mark

There’s an editorial in today’s paper about the new Heart of Dallas Bowl, which will pit Oklahoma State against Purdue in the Cotton Bowl on New Year’s Day. I’ve met some of the people behind the Heart of Dallas Bowl. They’ve got an interesting concept, a nonprofit football game that gives its profits to nonprofit organizations in Dallas. The first beneficiary will be the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance.

So then. The editorial urges people to attend the game. Why?

Because of the million-dollar payouts to the competing schools, organizers need to sell tickets. They hope for 20,000 above the team allotments, but we can do better, can’t we? Every extra dollar goes to a worthy cause, and you get a good time at one of college football’s best stadiums to boot. Dallas’ game is the only one with a nonprofit’s name leading the marquee. That should be a point of pride and call to action.

No one is going to attend a bowl game because they feel its his civic duty. It’s hard enough to get people to vote, for goodness’ sake, and that’s a much bigger civic duty that requires far less commitment. The way you get people to attend a football game is to make the case that it’s going to be a great football game. Something like this: Oklahoma State had the second-most first-team All-Big 12 selections in the league (running back Joseph Randle, wide receiver Josh Stewart, offensive lineman Lane Taylor, and punter/kicker Quinn Sharp). They’re going to put some points on the board. Meanwhile, on the other side of the field, Purdue has a new head coach in Darrell Hazell. Even though he won’t be calling the plays on New Year’s Day (that’ll be receivers coach Patrick Higgins, acting as interim coach), his men will want to impress the new boss by showing their mettle, so look for them to play better than their 6-6 record might suggest. Should be a great contest. Get your tickets now. That’s how you talk up a game.

(Note: I know absolutely nothing about OK State or Purdue, except that No. 1 Notre Dame beat the latter by three points early in the season. The preceding information was gleaned from a very cursory internet search. But you get my point.)