There are three reasons to watch the Outback Bowl between the Florida Gators and Iowa Hawkeyes at 1 p.m. this afternoon:
- You attended one of the schools and university pride is important to you
- You hate yourself
- You crave a free appetizer from Outback Steakhouse and you’re pulling for it to be coconut shrimp or a bloomin’ onion
In the interest of marketing, branding and bowl season, Outback is again giving away a bloomin’ onion if the SEC team (Florida) wins and an order of coconut shrimp if the B1G team (Iowa) wins. This practice has been in place since 2013 and the bloomin’ onion has won three of four games. It must be a real conflict if you’re an Iowa supporter but can’t get enough fried onions in your system.
There are some rules, though, which seems to go against Outback’s brand. You can only get one free item, you have to say “Outback Bowl” to your server, which seems demeaning, and the offer is only good the day after the game. This much like when Ross was offered a free crab cake appetizer when he was “stood up” on a blind date on an episode of Friends.
What would this practice of a bowl sponsor giving away its product look like if other bowls did this?
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Au Gratin vs. Baked
Camping World Independence Bowl: Bug Spray vs. A Tent
Motel 6 Cactus Bowl: Stained Sheets vs. Dr. Pib From The Vending Machine
Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl: Gross Hot Wings vs. Gross Mild Wings
The over/under on Florida-Iowa is 41, so if you’re sitting through this potentially boring game from start to finish, you should get both Outback appetizers for free. Heck, they should throw in an order of Aussie Fries for the trouble.
And remember —if you want to be an actor, you have to pay your dues, and sometimes those dues are EXPENSIVE.