March 25, 2010
The death of a bowl game is never easy, especially in its youth. But fans of Toronto's International Bowl we can take some solace in the loosening of the bonds of its tortured existence, stricken as the late exhibition was from the beginning by dwindling attendance, largely unappetizing match-ups from the MAC and Big East and possibly the lingering stigma of SARS. The deceased saw much in its brief life -- the best team in Rutgers history, the first ever bowl appearance by the Buffalo Bulls, lost fumbles on four consecutive possessions in a single quarter by Connecticut, Jim Leavitt's final game as South Florida head coach before being fired for allegedly slapping a player -- but alas, the Toronto Sun says it is no more:
Though it has not been announced officially, sources have indicated that the International Bowl, played the past four years at the Rogers Centre, is no more.
Fans haven’t flocked to the annual NCAA game, with just 22,185 showing up this past Jan. 2 to watch South Florida beat Northern Illinois 27-3. Of the four games, the biggest crowd was in 2009, when the University at Buffalo participated, helping result in an attendance of 40,184.
Otherwise, the International Bowl, the only bowl game outside the U.S., has served as little more than a point of curiosity for fans.
International Bowl officials could not be reached for comment.
Oof. Even the parents aren't up for a eulogy. The International Bowl: The Eleanor Rigby of the college postseason.
Thus does another bowl wander off this mortal coil to join such esteemed predecessors as the Boardwalk Bowl (1961-73), the Freedom Bowl (1984-94), the Poi (1936-39), Pineapple (1940-52), Aloha (1982-2000) and Oahu (1998-2000) bowls, the Sunflower Bowl (1982-86), the Refrigerator Bowl (1948-56), the Vulcan Bowl (1942- 49, 1952), the Tobacco Bowl (1935-41), the other Tobacco Bowl (1948-84) and, of course, the immortal Bluebonnet Bowl (1959-87). Let us never forget.