Within just minutes of the game's end, a representative from the (Kraft?) Fight Hunger Bowl got on the loudspeaker to offer a spot to the BYU Cougars to play a Pac 12 team in the San Francisco Fight Hunger Bowl. This will be the 9th straight bowl game (conveniently following the 9 straight seasons that Bronco has coached the Cougars.
So that's great and all. A bowl game is secured! But what does that actually mean? Is anyone quite sure what the Fight Hunger Bowl is? Many are, but for the few that aren't, we've done a bit of research for you.
Where it's played?
The AT&T park (home of the San Francisco Giants Major League Baseball team) traditionally hosts this bowl every year. The park seats approximately 48,000 people (and has sold out pretty well in the past).
Who's played there that I know?
Arizona State blew out Navy last year: 62-28
Utah beat Georgia Tech in 2005: 38-10
Florida State beat UCLA there in 2006: 44 - 27
Fight Hunger Bowl's purpose
The Fight Hunger Bowl started as the San Francisco Bowl back in 2002, when Virginia Tech (9-4) and Air Force (8-4) went head to head. In 2004 the bowl became the Emerald Bowl, which it stayed until 2010 when the first Kraft Hunger Bowl was introduced.
It was named so as part of a larger hunger relief program that Kraft was to kick off in September, in collaboration with Feeding America, an organization dedicated to providing the fuel low-income families need to thrive in this world.
In the original press release, Stephen Chriss, Senior Director of Marketing Partnerships in Kraft Foods North America said, "We're thrilled to be the new sponsors of the San Francisco Bowl Game. It's a great opportunity to build awareness of this important issue and inspire more Americans to join the fight against hunger."
This was nothing new for Kraft as the same press release reports that they had given over $1 billion to organizations like Feeding America over the past 20 years. With the new name of the bowl, Kraft hoped to inspire others to take part in this fight against hunger as well.
So what do they do?
The Fight Hunger Bowl has historically given 1 meal to each of three San Francisco food organizations for every ticket purchased. Over the past three years, that has equated to over 300,000 meals. They also help raise money for these efforts through special, limited time benefit donations that give a little back to the buyers while supporting a good cause.
But that's not all
In the days leading up to the game, teams get involved in the process. Donating time to serving those in the Bay Area Community. (Check out ____'s improptu piano jam with a local man back in 2011 below).
It looks like fans also get the opportunity to donate to the San Francisco Food Bank when they purchase their tickets online.
At the end of the day, the Kraft Hunger Bowl still has a large sum of money to pay out. According to Wikipedia (the source of all questionable knowledge, though I'd trust it in things like this), if BYU wins, they have to pay out a sum of $850,000. However, if a member of the PAC-12 wins, they pay out a nice, round $1 million. That's quite the incentive to get a PAC-12er to play their best. It will also increase the likelihood that ESPN will forgive them for last year's disappointing turnout (that may have lost Kraft's sponsorship for this year).
Kraft no longer sponsoring the Fight Hunger Bowl
Previously sponsored by Kraft, it looks like the Fight Hunger Bowl is hunting for a new major sponsor. ESPN wasn't too happy with the bowl's turnout last year (only 2.5 million viewers: lowest since at least 2006) and that might have led Kraft to ditch the bowl for this year -- not wanting to make a similar "bad investment." (Though if you ask me, 2.5 million viewers ain't bad).
Now this event was only called the Fight Hunger Bowl because Kraft made it that way. Without Kraft behind the wheel, will they continue with the tradition of helping people, or will they return to their Emerald ways?
Interesting side note
Tom Holmoe graciously accepted the invitation on behalf of BYU. He was ecstatic to be doing so it seemed. KSL commented on the fact that Tom Holmoe would be excited about this, as he hails from San Francisco. This will be the first time BYU has been invited to the bowl and you can bet that Tom will have hands on his tickets tonight (if it means going home for the holidays).
As stated earlier, the game will be played on December 27, 2013 @ 6:30 PST. ESPN will broadcast it, so they must have forgiven the good folks at Fight Hunger.