Three years into this shindig and we're still not producing football-shaped macaroni for the occasion? I'm sorry; I thought this was AMERICA.
The 2012 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl is just hours away. We’re sure you have so many questions. We’re here to help. You might also be hungry, which unfortunately we cannot help you with. Maybe try Kraft. (For an X's and O's breakdown, click through to Matt Dollinger's game preview.)
• What's all this, then? The 11th edition of That Bowl That's Played in San Francisco, which began life in 2002 as the San Francisco Bowl and then spent a few years as the Emerald Bowl before acquiring its Kraft sponsorship (and hunger-fightin' powers) in 2010.
• Where will this game be played? AT&T Park in San Francisco, Calif., home of your reigning World Series champion San Francisco Giants. That's not a football team. No, it is not. So this game is held in a baseball stadium? Yup, with the south end zone along the first base line and both teams gathered on the same sideline. There's a barrier separating them at the 50, presumably to prevent any signal-stealing, intersquad "I'm not touching you" battles or other unsportsmanlike conduct. Why are both these baseball-based football games occupying a single midday timeslot? So even when ESPN is on commercial break, you can see linebackers churning up basepaths on ESPN2? Seriously, we got nothing.
• When is it on television? Coverage begins at 4 p.m. ET. Dave Pasch and Brian Griese will be in the booth, with Jenn Brown on the sideline, presumably the one occupied by people.
• Whom does it feature? The KFHB pairs a Pac-12 team against a rotation of choices including everyone from service academies to BYU to the MAC.
• What about this year? This year's Pac-12 representative is 7-5 Arizona State, which finished third in the league's South Division, squaring off against 8-4 Navy.
• Does the bowl have a social media presence? A relentlessly earnest and enthusiastic one:
• What wacky activities will be on offer during bowl week? Among other entertainments, teams enjoy a trip to scenic Alcatraz Island:
• What shiny baubles will be showered on the players? No snacks in the gift bags, ironically enough. Not even a few helpings of blue-box mac 'n' cheese, Kraft?
• What's the pick? In predicting a 35-17 ASU victory, Stewart Mandel doubts the Midshipmen's triple-option attack will faze the Sun Devils: "Given extra time to prepare, a more athletic foe like Arizona State can usually handle the Midshipmen's flexbone offense, which ranked 58th nationally in yards per play (5.8) this year."
• Please impart any miscellaneous knowledge you might have concerning the 2012 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.
It seems only fair, before we go, to point out how the bowl actually works on that hunger-fighting front