Just when you thought college football's bowl situation couldn't get any wackier or more unwieldy, news comes Wednesday that the St. Petersburg Bowl -- formerly sponsored by magicJack and then Beef 'O' Brady's, in case you were worried about its past prestige -- will now be called the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl.
It was first reported by ESPN's Brett McMurphy. Even the web site of the game shows a new logo (right).
What is Bitcoin, in case you need a refresher course?
Well, Bitcoin's web site will tell you it's an "innovative payment network and a new kind of money." It was developed five years ago.
Most of us think of Bitcoin as a type of virtual currency. And how does the U.S. Treasury define that type of "money?" Well, let's take a look: "In contrast to real currency, 'virtual' currency is a medium of exchange that operates like a currency in some environments, but does not have all the attributes of real currency. In particular, virtual currency does not have legal tender status in any jurisdiction."
In other words, unless you are deep into it, Bitcoin is not real money -- which as Spencer Hall points out, is actually kind of appropriate in this case.
Most folks who heard about this early Wednesday reacted with the requisite snark and amazement. Even the Wikipedia page for the St. Petersburg Bowl read like this: "On June 18, it was announced that the game will be sponsored by Bitcoin. I'm serious. That's the funniest [redacted] thing ever."
So, to summarize, we have a type of "virtual" money sponsoring a bowl game. The jokes, the possibilities, the money itself ... everything at this point is limitless.