One of the most interesting parts of bowl season is seeing what bowls give out as gifts to the student athletes. The NCAA authorizes gifts of up to $550 from each bowl. For those who are in the camp that say student athletes should be paid, this may not be what they are talking about but at least the players get to take home some great gifts as a reward for putting it all on the line on the field each week.
If I was a player, here are the bowls I would most like to go to based on their bowl swag:
Swag: Sony Playstation 4, winter hat, Ogio backpack
Every student can use a hat and a backpack. Wait, what's that? A Sony Playstation 4? Unbelievable. The Playstation 4 was released in November but right now it's one of the hottest things on the market. It has a retail value of $399 but do a Google search and see what people are paying for them right now because there simply isn't the supply to meet the demand. This is an awesome gift.
Russell Athletic Bowl & Capital One Bowl
Swag: $450 Best Buy gift card and shopping trip, Timely Watch Co watch, Russell Athletic workout shirt.
The big one here is the $450 gift card and shopping trip to Best Buy. As a big fan of music, movies and video games, I could do some serious damage in Best Buy with a $450 gift card. That's like a dream for most college students. They could even grab a tablet, ipod, laptop, phone, DVD player, speakers, headphones, TV or whatever they want.
Valero Alamo Bowl
Swag: iPad Mini with retina display, Apple gift card, Fossil watch, panoramic photo, Schutt mini helmet.
The iPad Mini has a $299 value and what college kid is going to turn down one of these? In addition to the Mini, they also get a gift card to download games, music or movies from Apple. That's a win.
Las Vegas Bowl, Beef O' Brady's Bowl, Texas Bowl & BBVA Compass Bowl
Vegas: Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, beanie, cap, Oakley Flak Pack XL backpack, football, Zappos gift card
Beef's: Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, Oakley breadbox sunglasses, Oakley Status backpack, Schutt mini helmet
Texas: Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, Fossil watch, belt buckle, T-shift, Ogio backpack, label pin
BBVA Compass: Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, Fossil watch, Oakley sunglasses, ESPN cap, Big Game football
I lumped all four of these bowls together because their primary gift is the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3. I have a Samsung Galaxy phone and love it and I'm sure these tablets are just as good. Another great gift for the student athletes and they also get some other various stuff that I'm sure they will dig.
Swag: $305 Best Buy gift card, Reactor Meltdown watch, Maui Jim sunglasses, cap
$305 at Best Buy? Yes, please. Not to mention a nice watch that would cost you $250 if you tried to walk into a store and purchase one.
Many people argue that we have too many bowl games. Being in bowl games means a lot to teams. They get extra practices which mean more reps for the younger players. They get a chance to create momentum for next season and it also gives the outgoing players one last chance to showcase themselves for the NFL Draft. In addition to those benefits, the players also get their bowl SWAG and while $550 might not seem like a lot, the players deserve their swag.