The New York Yankees, our proud hosts of the Pinstripe Bowl, may not be organizing pep rallies for either the Scarlet Knights or the Iowa State Cyclones. Mind you, I'm a diehard Yankees fan - but, this is unacceptable.
Perhaps, we have accepted that the Pinstripe Bowl is a second tier bowl. For us "positoids", this bowl game is baby steps towards something bigger despite last year's disaster of a season. We (and Cyclone fans) will nonetheless show up for a bowl in our backyard.
The failure for the bowl hosts to organize pep rallies for the participating teams is simply a reflection of a lack of commitment by the Big East, Northeast football culture and the mostly the Yankees. The Yankees promote the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium as some sort of revival of classic college football in NYC - a return to tradition. They've touted that except for the potentially cold weather (because football should be played in the cold), the Pinstripe Bowl is as marquee as any other bowl - big payouts, big city, big name stadium. But, in the proud New York tradition, the Pinstripe Bowl is lacking the most intangible and traditional aspects of bowl destinations - hospitality and celebration.
I get it, there's too much going on in the City anyways. The Pinstripe Bowl is not news in the city, visitors would be too busy sightseeing, right? Tourists can go see random hipsters #occupying. It's also New Years so, I'm sure Iowans are excited to rock the Affliction tee shirts at some bridge and tunnel club. And, it'll probably be too cold to have fans gather in Times Square to rock football when most people are curious to see Marry friggin Poppins on Broadway.
The Yankees probably don't understand that this game doesn't sell itself, and (I can't believe I'm saying this) the Yankee brand does not sell a football game itself. It needs to promote both on a major media level, as well as a grassroots level, to enable college football to thrive in New York. Rutgers has a built in demographic and population to capitalize on an immediate impact. Last year, they had (gasp) Syracuse.
It's not just the Yankees. The Big East is sitting back very passively (nothing new). They committed themselves to the Pinstripe Bowl. Yet, they are too afraid to take any leadership to educate the Yankees on the values of college football's traditions. Once again, they let other dictate their image. This partnership is just another example.