Here is BYU's Cody Hoffman high-fiving a beluga whale, in the face. We love the Poinsettia Bowl. (AP)
The 2012 Poinsettia Bowl is just hours away. We’re sure you have so many questions. We’re here to help. (For an X's and O's breakdown, click through to Bill Trocchi's game preview.)
• What’s all this, then? The San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl is played in San Diego and gets its participants and fans back home in plenty of time for Christmas, making it one of our favorite postseason destinations. (We have a weakness for sea lions. What?)
• Is this the longest bowl name? Not since the Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman came to town, but this is still the only postseason contest named for a poisonous houseplant.
• Where will this game be played? Qualcomm Stadium, home of the San Diego Chargers, San Diego State Aztecs and the Holiday Bowl.
• When is it on television? Coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 20, with Carter Blackburn, Rod Gilmore and Jemele Hill. The game will be televised on ESPN (in 3D where available!) and streamed on WatchESPN.
• Whom does it feature? This year's tie-ins are the Mountain West and BYU.
• What about this year? Home game! The Cougars (7-5) will face off with 9-3 SDSU.
• Has this ever happened before? Once, in 2010. The Aztecs beat Navy 35-14.
• Does the bowl have a social media presence? Keep up with all Poinsettia Bowl-related pageantry on Twitter and Facebook.
• What wacky activities will be on offer during bowl week? Participating teams get trips to the San Diego Zoo and Sea World, which is how things like this happen:
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• Did the players get to see the baby pandas? We're not entirely sure those things exist outside the magical world of PANDACAM.
• What's the pick? Stewart Mandel predicts a 20-17 BYU win.
• Please impart any miscellaneous knowledge you might have concerning the 2012 Poinsettia Bowl.
This isn't football-related, nor is it a paid endorsement, but the last time we were in San Diego, we went here
and ate house-made french fries topped with bacon, cheese, avocado and a fried egg. The arteries of our traveling party have never fully recovered. We cannot recommend this experience enough.