Bowling for Bacardi in La Habaña

Sports attorney Jason Belzer’s dug up this gem about some long-lost bowl games that might give present-day corporate naming-rights mockers pause.

Before there was an International Bowl, and long before an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to stage a Haka Bowl in New Zealand, a very famous rum manufacturer was able to persuade American college lads to head to Cuba for a scrap against local sides.

Picture 1The Bacardi Bowl, staged seven times between 1907 and 1946, was also known as the Rhumba Bowl, for fairly self-evident reasons.

It’s not as obscure a tale as it might seem, as Deadspin’s Jack Dickey blogged around this time last year, interviewing NPR’s Mike Pesca, who had done a segment.

There’s a blog lovingly dedicated to keeping the story of the Bacardi Bowl fresh and alive, along with a companion Twitter account.

But the throwback T-shirt for the 1937 Auburn-Villanova Bacardi Bowl (above), the only one of the games that was an All-American affair, no longer appears to be for sale.

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