Missing Mele Kalikimaka
[The following is a little history lesson for those younger BC fans.]
In the old days, when bowls still meant something, the college football postseason kicked off on Christmas Day with Aloha Bowl. BC played in the game twice and it was the prefect for us.
Why was the game perfect? Because it provided everything we needed and didn't ask much of BC in return.
We can whine about Boise or Detroit, but at the end of the day none of us actually have to go to these games. The player and coaches do. A trip to Hawaii was rare and a true treat. The guys got a unique experience and warm weather.
The game actually provided a showcase for BC. This was the first bowl game of the year and it was on ABC on Christmas Day. There was nothing else on. Millions of desperate sports fans tuned in just to get their football fix. And for BC fans it was great. The games were afternoons kickoffs, so you could open your presents, have a little family bonding and then watch BC. There was no juggling of schedules or figuring out where you were going to be for some random, midday weekday kickoff.
Plus we played real teams. In 1994, Kansas State was ranked and favored before our defense tore them apart. Like us, Arizona State squeaked into the 2000 Aloha Bowl, but at least they were a name from a power conference.
Playing in Hawaii also meant BC wasn't expected to travel. Few schools did. We just needed to provide a solid TV rating (which we always do).
Finally Hawaii just looked great and fun on TV. The scenic shots in and out of commercials made you feel warm. I wanted to hop on a plane after seeing Dan Henning in a Hawaiian shirt or watching TOB try to hula.
We played in the last Aloha Bowl. The official NCAA certification ended and was later replaced by the Hawaii Bowl. But the Hawaii Bowl is not different though. It is basically an extra home game for the University of Hawaii and is rarely on Christmas Day. Maybe one day BC will find themselves in this newer bastardized version of the Aloha game again, but it won't be the same. None of it is the same...I guess for Christmas I should ask Santa for an NCAA playoff with a championship game in Honolulu.