The Independence Bowl’s 9 ‘Names’ – How Many Can You Remember?
Shreveport Louisiana welcomed a new college football post-season bowl game to the NCAA schedule back in 1976. Since that was the year that Louisiana and the rest of America celebrated our nation's bicentennial the name "Independence Bowl" was chosen.
Through the years the Shreveport bowl game has attracted teams from all over the country. On December 23rd Louisiana's Ragin Cajuns based in Lafayette will take on the Houston Cougars of the University of Houston from right down the road in Texas.
The sports betting site DraftKings currently has the Cougars as a five-point favorite to defeat the Cajuns. Houston finished the regular season with a record of seven wins against five losses while the Cajuns finished their regular season with a record of six wins against just as many losses.
Houston comes into the game hoping to make it back-to-back bowl victories. Last bowl season they downed Auburn in the Birmingham Bowl. While the Cajuns have won seven of their last nine postseason games. Their most recent victory was a 36 to 21 win over Marshall in the New Orleans Bowl.
But enough about the teams, let's talk about the game and its history. The Independence Bowl has had nine different 'names' if you will. By "names" we are actually talking about title sponsors. How many can you name?
While you think about it watch these highlights from the most memorable Independence Bowl I can recall, the Snow Bowl of the year 2000 between Mississippi State and Texas A&M.
Ha ha, the Aggies lost again.
Let's see how many of the 'names' and sponsors you remembered for the Independence Bowl in Shreveport Louisiana. Prior to 1990 before people realized there was money to be made in naming rights the game was known simply as The Independence Bowl. And with the exception of 2013, the game has carried that moniker.
The first name is the name most of us "elder statesmen" recall not because of the actual name but because of the product the title sponsor sold. Yes, I am speaking of the Weed Eater lawn and garden tool and its parent company Poulan. The Poulan Independence Bowl was a thing from 1990 to 1997 when the string, pun intended, ran out.
In 1998 the title sponsor belong to Sanford, a company that makes writing products paid for the naming rights. But I guess the ink ran dry pretty quickly or maybe it turned red because the company ended its sponsorship in 2000.
From 2001 to 2003 the post-season college football contest hosted in Independence Stadium was the MainStay Independence Bowl. MainStay is an investment company and when they ended their investment in the bowl game the event went without a title sponsor for the years 2004 and 2005.
In 2006 a sponsorship deal was made between the bowl game and PetroSun Inc. PetroSun provides services to suppliers of oil and gas which was a natural tie into one of Louisiana's largest employers, the oil and gas industry. PetroSun held the title sponsorship until 2008.
AdvoCare V100 slid into the title sponsors seat in 2008. The game was called the AdvoCare V 100 Independence Bowl until 2012. Then in 2013 the game dropped the Independence part of the name and was called the AdvoCare V100 Bowl. AdvoCare, by the way, makes nutritional supplements and energy drinks and which they distributed by means of multi-level marketing. Hmm, I wonder why that didn't last?
2014 was the year of the duck in Shreveport thanks to the Robertson family from just down the road in Monroe Louisiana. The game was called the Duck Commander Independence Bowl. If you don't know the relationship between Duck Commander and the Duck Dynasty guys, you probably "ain't from around here". Which is okay. That sponsorship only lasted one year anyway.
In 2015 Camping World took the lead at the bowl game. The nationwide dealer for RVs and campers was a part of the game for two years hosting the game from 2015 to 2016. Then it was Walk-Ons turn to take the helm. The Louisiana-born sports bar franchisee came off the bench in 2017 and was a part of the game until 2019.
Then in 2020, just in time for COVID and a really hinky college football season the game's current sponsor Radiance Technologies took the helm. They are the game's current title sponsor and you can bet they will be well-represented when the Cajuns and Cougars get together on the Friday before Christmas.
So, how many of the different names did you recall? I remember "WeedWhacker" which wasn't even a name but a hell of a good nickname. In fact, I often refer to the bowl game in Shreveport as the "weedwhacker bowl" out of habit. I didn't say it was a good habit.
Now let's test your knowledge on another sports-related issue. How many can you name?
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