I know what you're thinking: There's really no way to improve on the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. It's a December bowl game in Idaho, sponsored by potatoes. Its logo features a football that doubles as a baked potato, complete with a dollop of sour cream and chives. And not just any potato — a famous potato. From Idaho. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
But I'm here today to tell you that you were wrong, friend. You and me both. Because the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl is going to be even bigger and better and more potato-y than any of us could have possibly imagined, courtesy of a 12,000-pound spud sponsored by the Idaho Potato Commission scheduled to kick off a national tour at Saturday's game (emphasis added):
The spring agenda: a national tour to raise the profile of the Idaho potato, with stops in Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C. The commission will spend $800,000 on the campaign, in addition to the $375,000 it is spending to be title sponsor of the Potato Bowl. An estimated 3 million people could watch the game, which will be televised on ESPN.
"This is building upon what we started years ago," said Frank Muir, head of the commission.
The commission wants to dispel what Muir calls the "anti-potato propaganda" that has cropped up as some question the vegetable's nutritional value, even wanting to ban it from school lunch menus.
It's about more than just fun and games. It's about more than just business. The Great Big Idaho Potato is fighting for the inalienable rights of decent, hardworking Americans to enjoy starchy, tuberous crops prepared in the manner of their choosing. This is about freedom.
And nothing says "freedom" more than a whopping hunk of plywood, concrete and styrofoam fashioned in the form of a potato that could — if edible — conceivably supply schoolchildren across the great state of Idaho with a year's worth of wholesome, delicious, All-American french fries. The carbohydrate-hating perpetuators of the War on Potatoes don't want that to happen. They'd rather force patriotic citizens to turn to "alternatives" like cabbage and… like, llama cheese, probably. Who is going to protect our plates from these atrocities?
We live in a world that has walls. And those walls have to be guarded by a six-ton potato.