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Question #92127 posted on 03/27/2019 3 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I couldn't sleep the other night, and I somehow started wondering why most sporting competitions call their final trophy a cup, which I guess makes sense, they look kind of like a cup, (world cup, stanley cup, etc), but then we've got the super bowl, and the trophy doesn't really look like a bowl, nor a cup, just kind of a trophy. I'm guessing it's based off the college bowl system, but I don't know of any of those that have bowl shaped trophies either. Where are these bowls coming from? and why are all the trophies named after my glassware?

-My Name Here


Dear Name,

It's true that the Super Bowl trophy (Vince Lombardi Trophy) doesn't look a bowl. Do you know what does have a bowl shaped trophy? The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Not only is the trophy a crystal bowl, but it is also filled with potatoes. Best. Trophy. Ever. Let's take a moment to bask in its glory.

IdahoFamousPotatoBowl.jpg (source)

I digress. I suspected that the reason such games were called bowls was because the shape or name of the stadium. Turns out, the first college football bowl game was played at the Rose Bowl stadium (source). So the term came from a game, played in a stadium, that was shaped like a bowl. Savvy? 

So why are the other trophy's called cups? A lot of them look like--or at least originally were--cups. Fun fact: the oldest continually awarded sports trophy is the America's Cup (source). The trophy goes to the winner of a sailing yacht race. The America's Cup started in 1851, before the Civil War. The inaugural race was between a British team and an American team, with the American team claiming the victory. The prize? This um... cup?

America'sCup.jpg (source)

Wow. What a trophy. It's historic and ornate; I'll give it that. However, as far as trophies go it's not as cool as the Idaho Famous Potato Bowl Trophy. Then again, what could be better than a crystal bowl of beautiful Idaho potatoes?