Yes, Deion Sanders knows that the Celebration Bowl exists. But that doesn’t mean its the only one he thinks should exist for HBCUs.
The new Jackson State head coach made a second appeal to bowl game sponsors to look at HBCUs moving forward, appealing to the fact they may not be excited about the return on investment with FBS programs.
“I know you not happy. I know you kinda upset but you really can’t say nothing because its a turbulent time,” Sanders said in Under Armour gear while working out in PrimeU attire. But what you’re paying for in the college bowl games, you’re not getting your money’s worth.”
Of course, this is similar to the appeal made by Sanders last week. A popular rebuff to his previous statements is that there is already an HBCU bowl game — the Celebration Bowl. Sanders clearly knows this (heck, its a condition for a bonus in his JSU contract) but he doesn’t think the game between the MEAC and SWAC champions is the end-all, be-all of what bowls could be available for HBCUs.
“I know the HBCUs are saying: Well we have a bowl game. But its only for the two who are going to play in the championship. What about all the rest who had wonderful seasons. What about all the rest of the fans that would love a week’s vacation at one of these pristine destinations at which college bowls offers?”
Deion Sanders promised great attendance and energy surrounding a potential bowl bid.
“Why don’t you try us at an HBCU? I promise you, we’re not only gonna show up, we’re gonna show out. We’re gonna travel deep. And we’re gonna really have a wonderful time and be appreciative and thankful of the opportunity. Try us, at an HBCU.
Deion Sanders determined to ‘think big’
The inaugural Celebration Bowl featured the game’s highest attendance as over 35,000 fans packed into the Georgia Dome. The next four games did not surpass it.
Of course, there have been several other HBCU bowl games. There was the Heritage Bowl (featuring the MEAC vs. SWAC) and the Pioneer Bowl (featuring the CIAA vs. the SIAC), as well as several other bowl games throughout the season.
Someone respond to Sanders that the classic games — Bayou Classic, Florida Classic, etc— served as bowl-game-like atmosphere. Sanders didn’t quite see it that way.
“No major money for teams or television exposure for the kids,” Sanders tweeted. “Lets think big.”
The Bayou Classic was broadcast on NBC for decades before moving to NBC Sports, and often receives higher ratings than FBS bowls. The Florida Classic is often on an ESPN offshoot, but it occurs during the regular season along with the FBS.
Clearly, Deion Sanders is still brushing up on his HBCU facts but he’s had the art of self-promotion down for a while. He’s a fast learner, so expect him to figure it out.