Christmas Day Bowl Memories: The Sun And The Aloha Bowls

A personal opinion: Christmas Day should shelve the sports. No day during the year should be more reserved for quiet time and a respite from frantic commercial activity than Christmas Day.

* end of personal opinion*

With that having been said, football fans who are at least 35 years old almost certainly recall the days when Christmas Day featured at least one bowl game. The Blue-Gray All-Star Classic would air from the (now-remodeled) Cramton Bowl stadium in Montgomery, Alabama, in the early afternoon. Then, in the late afternoon, CBS would come on the air with the Sun Bowl — not every year, but in three separate years.

In 1987, both the Sun Bowl (CBS) and the Aloha Bowl occupied Christmas Day. In 1988, the Aloha Bowl became the college football Christmas centerpiece, continuing until the bowl ceased to exist at the end of the year 2000. ABC took over the Blue-Gray game and then went to Honolulu for a bowl showcase in the late-afternoon time window.

Feeling nostalgic as Christmas 2014 approaches?

Recall these Christmas Day bowl events, the first of them being a truly white Christmas in El Paso for the 1987 Sun Bowl between Oklahoma State and West Virginia:

Next, the 1986 Sun Bowl between Washington and Alabama:

Now, to Honolulu, for the 1995 Aloha Bowl between Kansas (a successful Aloha Bowl team) and UCLA:

The 1996 Aloha Bowl between Navy and California:

The following clips come from the 1998 Aloha Bowl shootout between Colorado and Oregon.


Enjoy these Christmas Day bowl trips down memory lane.

About Matt Zemek

Editor, @TrojansWire | CFB writer since 2001 |