The Pinstripe Bowl is finally here. The West Virginia Mountaineers, led by the legendary trio of Smith, Austin & Bailey look to go out in style. With the win over the Syracuse Orange WVU will avenge last season's upset loss and finish the redemption of a 2012 campaign that nearly came off the rails.
A cold and snowy Yankee Stadium will be the setting for a television broadcast that will feature too much discussion about the soon to be defunct Big East and too little discussion about why in the hell New York City didn’t build their new football stadium with a damn roof on it. If they’d just spent the extra millions, College bowls and future Super Bowls (2014) could be played in the warmth of an indoor stadium. As it is, the forecast for Saturday is snow and low 30’s.
It got me to thinking that if Oklahoma wasn’t excluded from the BCS bowls because of the invite granted to Northern Illinois, WVU would’ve gone to the Holiday Bowl in San Diego, California. As a resident of Southern California, this was the bowl destination that I was hoping for (I live 90 minutes from San Diego). However, while the weather alone might seem enough to get you also to have wished for this, NYC has so much more to offer a bowl experience for both players and fans.
So as to encourage those of you who are freezing your tuckuses off in Yankee Stadium, here’s a list of PROS & CONS of each location from someone who’s been to both places a lot:
New York City PROS
- Team Headquarters in Midtown Manhattan
- The 9/11 Memorial
- WVU's Team leaders ringing the bell at NYSE
- More NYC restaurants than can be counted
- Great nightlife
- Broadway shows
- Basketball at the Barclays Center (home games last night & tonight)
- Playing/watching football in Yankee Stadium - a rare treat
San Diego PROS
- Sunshine & 60 Degrees
- The Gas Lamp Bar District
New York City CONS
- Freaking cold!
San Diego CONS
- Apart from Gas Lamp / Downtown area, San Diego doesn't offer a huge variety of experiences.
- The ocean is freezing cold; except for surfers who wear body suits there isn't frolicking in the ocean.
- While driving to Tijuana, Mexico, sounds like a good idea, it isn't. There is a distinct possibility you will be robbed and an outside chance you might get shot or lose your head.
- East Coasters will waste two days traveling to and from San Diego - and flights from the east coast were delayed and cancelled many places making travel a pain in the butt.
All that to say, NYC is a great place to have a bowl game if you could subtract the winter weather outdoor game experience. As for the game itself, playing on a slick surface favors a team with a fast offense because defensive footing is hard to get. For whatever reason I think back to one of my favorite Backyard Brawls, the 2006 hammering at Heinz Field. Pat White & Steve Slaton ran all over the field in the second half while the Pitt defense slipped and slid in futility. I imagine Tavon Austin doing the same against the Cuse. This brings us back full circle - this game is outside and Syracuse plays indoors. We Californians can verify that oranges die in freezing weather.
My prediction: WVU 45 – Syracuse 24.