Mountain West Football: Every 2019 Bowl Gift Package, Ranked
Bowl games are important, but the swag for every player matters just as much. Which gifts are the best among the seven Mountain West bowls?
If you won’t give the players money, at least make it worth their while.
It’s a well-established fact that every bowl game is precious (even if some games are a little more precious than others), but it is also true that this does not necessarily hold for the customary gift packages given to players instead of, you know, just paying them cash for their labor.
Sports Business Daily has the full rundown of what every single bowl is giving to its participants and what becomes readily clear is that the big time games give the best stuff. This makes it especially important for the lower-tier bowls to make their decisions count and, this year, some did a lot better than others.
Here are the indisputable swag rankings for this year’s slate of bowl games.
7. Mitsubishi Las Vegas Bowl
The swag: Gift suite; socks; beanie; portable charger
Do you remember the “Christmas Party” episode of “The Office” where, before Michael Scott suggests a game of Yankee Swap, Creed forgets to get Jim a gift for Secret Santa and just throws a dirty and too-small button-up in a plastic bag for him? That’s what this set of swag is. You should expect more from the conference’s premier bowl and hope next year’s replacement, the new bowl in Los Angeles, is taking notes.
6. Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl
The swag: Gift suite; Herschel Supply Co. Chapter travel kit; New Era insulated beanie
This is a fairly modest package overall, but it is worth noting it’s miles better than socks (seriously, don’t give socks as a gift during the holidays). One has to wonder, though, whether the travel kit is filled with even smaller travel swag. If so, then this ranking is perhaps a spot too low.
5. SoFi Hawaii Bowl
The swag: Gift suite; Kahala aloha shirt; Oakley backpack and sunglasses; performance T-shirt; beach towel; surf trunks
As usual, the participants here get a load of swag with the local flavor, which you might describe every year as a “high floor” gift package.
4. Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl
The swag: Gift suite; Justin cowboy hat; football; college football 150th anniversary coin; lapel pin; Blingware cup; beanie
The Frisco Bowl gets points for originality, especially with regards to swag that is unique to the locale. Whether everyone actually looks good in a cowboy hat is another question entirely, but outside of the purview of this thought exercise.
Blingware’s merchandise actually looks pretty neat, too, the kind of stuff you might consider giving to the diehards in your family for Christmas. A solid overall effort from the folks in Texas.
3. Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
The swag: Gift suite; Thule Achiever computer backpack; Herschel Supply Co. hip pack; beanie; coin
Computer backpacks are underrated, almost like a solid center for your offensive line, so Spuddy Buddy and his friends get props for recognizing that niche value. The package as a whole is also uniquely suited to the climate, so recipients will get immediate use out of everything right away and thereafter.
2. New Mexico Bowl
The swag: Gift suite; Oakley Holbrook sunglasses; Oakley Gearbox backpack; beanie; water bottle
The sunglasses and backpack are an impressive investment, and the latter gift gets extra points for being the kind of gift that has both utility and durability. Everyone else seems pretty nondescript, but this is a clear win for San Diego State and Central Michigan.
1. Cheez-It Bowl
The swag: GoPro Hero 7 with accessories and carrying case; Fossil watch; Oakley sunglasses; Ogio Shuttle Pack backpack; “History of The Bowls: Celebrating the Good of The Game” book; Ice Shaker insulated bottle; Branded Bills cap and travel case
The Cheez-It Bowl just gets it. Everyone else could learn something here.