Bring Back The Copper Bowl! (And Other Non-Corporate Bowl Names)

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For former and current Arizonans such as myself, this is a time to rejoice: The Copper Bowl is coming back (sorta)! Per ESPN.com’s Brett McMurphy:

Only, the proposed Tucson-based bowl game pitting teams from the Mountain West and Conference USA has a rather generic working title:

Boo! The only logical name for a bowl game in Tucson is the Copper Bowl, which the original Tucson bowl was from its inception in 1989 until its move to Phoenix under the corporate banner of Insight.com in 1997.

Corporate sponsors foot the bill for bowl games, so it stands to reason that executives brokering these deals would try to maximize their investment by turning the bowls themselves into advertisements. From a purely anecdotal perspective, I don’t know effective naming rights are.

I’ve never purchased a Gildan garment despite watching every New Mexico Bowl, and I still have no idea what Insight does. Conversely, I equate the New Mexico Bowl with the beautiful, terracotta trophy given to the game’s winner, and I equate the Copper Bowl with Arizona because copper is one of the state’s Five Cs.

Every elementary school in the state is taught the cornerstones of Arizona’s early economy and landscape: Cotton, Copper, Cactus, Citrus and Cattle. The former Copper Bowl-turned-Insight Bowl-turned Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl finally got back on board with the Five Cs, changing its name to the Cactus Bowl just last season.

However, copper is so symbolic for the state, it appears on the flag in the center star. Both Arizona and Arizona State co-opted copper as part of alternate football uniforms in recent years.

It only makes sense a new bowl game in the state brings back the Copper Bowl moniker. But then, anything beats a corporate sponsor’s name, which itself can become a sticky situation.

We saw that last week when the Independence Bowl — which has undergone repeated name changes — severed ties with Duck Commander. The popular hunting equipment and outfitter took over the game’s moniker for all of one season, but a contract was never brokered.

Coincidentally, the Independence Bowl ended the handshake agreement the same week Duck Commander patriarch Phil Robertson said some rather repugnant things about religion.

Previously, the Independence Bowl was sponsored and named for multi-level marketing company AdvoCare. That opens a can of worms in its own right, as Braxton Miller could theoretically play in an AdvoCare Bowl, but NCAA rules may preclude him from selling AdvoCare products to make some extra money.

Seems hypocritical. It would probably be best for all parties if the ridiculous corporate bowl names went by the wayside.

And hey, as long as we’re bringing back the Copper Bowl and Independence Bowl, can TaxSlayer.com just let us call it the Gator Bowl? Please?