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Sunday Morning Quarterback

Sunday Morning Quarterback

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

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The Pioneer PureVision Las Vegas Bowl: Mormons in Sin City; Little White Chapel booked solid.

For a short time, about ten years ago, the Las Vegas Bowl was one of young SMQ's favorites. Always the first bowl of the soon to be rapidly expanding season, between champions of the Big West and Mid-American Conferences, it had character in the same "this is these teams' Super Bowl" way as the I-AA Championship. Now? Just another boring WWL affair, indistinguishable from a regular season mid-week game, and not even good enough to fall during the burgeoning post-Christmas/pre-New Year tradition of Capital One Bowl Week.

Who: Brigham Young (6-5) vs. California (7-4)
Where: Sam Boyd Stadium in fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada! Check out its fabulous parking lot! The stadium is actually located about eight miles away from Vegas, meaning fans miss both the quaint appeal on an on-campus venue and have to drive through the desert and throngs of roadside protesting Mormons in town, to get back to the Strip. Most disappointing is that Boyd Stadium was once, until 1984, named the Silver Bowl, which strikes SMQ as a very good name for a bowl contest. Alas, along with the Copper, Freedom and, soon, Peach Bowls, good postseason names are nothing in the face of creeping, massive midfield logo-fied corporatism.
Watch Because: Hippies try to tolerate polygamists in the Stereotype Bowl! Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett put the grater to BYU's only mildly improved swiss cheese run defense! John Beck creates outsized, inevitably unfulfilled 2006 All-America and NFL Draft hype with a monster passing game as the Cougars attempt to scramble from way behind! Next on ESPN!
Don't Watch Because: Mainly, because Cal is just a lot better than BYU. The Cougars can toss it around a bit, but were competitive against exactly one respectable foe (TCU, in a 51-50 OT loss) and were blown out by the likes of San Diego State. The Bears are barely touchdown favorites, which is pretty low for a 7-4 PAC Ten team facing a 6-5 Mountain West squad whose best win came against Colorado State (so, okay, yed, Cal's best win was Stanford. Three of UCB's four losses were by a combined 17 points, two of them to UCLA and Oregon - combined record: 19-3 - all games in which BYU would have been smeared).
What Else is On: You have no life. But the Pioneer PureVision Las Vegas Bowl isn't your only option to fill the void eroding your inner soul:
ABC, 7 p.m. CST - Extreme Makeover, Home Edition: Holiday Wishes
120 mins. The team revisits families that the show has helped, and enlists their aid in helping others. Brian Wilson performs "Deck the Halls." First Lady Laura Bush also lends a hand along with crooner Wayne Newton and actor James Denton.

Every new home owner's holiday wish.

Spike!, 8 p.m. CST - MXC
30 mins. A Japanese-produced game show in which contestants attempt outrageous stunts while a running commentary (loosely dubbed in English) spotlights their mistakes.

i, 8 p.m. CST - Early Edition: Christmas
60 mins. On Christmas Eve, Gary tries to prevent a bombing, but has a jolly tough time convincing the police that there's a problem. Meanwhile, Chuck's arrested and thrown in jail - with a big guy (M. Emmett Walsh) in a red suit. Det. Crumb: Ron Dean. Chuck: Fisher Stevens. Gary: Kyle Chandler.

Court TV, 9 p.m. CST - Investigators: For Better or for Worse
60 mins. A marriage gone wrong is detailed. After several years together, a woman notices that her husband is displaying disturbing behavior, so she files for a divorce and a restraining order. A later 911 call from her husband gives police pause and leaves many questions unanswered.
Watchability Rating (click here for the SMQ Watchability Scale): This holds about as much panache as an October Wednesday night showdown between Miami U. and Cincinnati. SMQ didn't feel right about watching the burtal third quarter of that one, either.

SMQ's Pick: California 44, BYU 26
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11:12 PM

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