Brian Dixon, Tom Hall Want To Attend Every Bowl Game

Since 1984, Brian Dixon and Tom Hall have been on a mission to attend every college bowl game in the country. But their quest has been extended as more bowl games have been added through the years. Every year they go to one or two bowl games.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, as Frank pointed out, a lot of illegal sports betting is spurred by college basketball. But college football also keeps plenty of bookies in business, especially these past few weeks with all these bowl games.

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UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Ohio, Louisiana-Monroe Advocare V-100 Independence Bowl, Rutgers-Virginia Technology, Russell Athletics Bowl, Minnesota-Texas Tech, Mineke Car Bowl of Texas...

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

That's an ESPN announcer naming some of the 35 bowl games that have mostly, but not all, have been played by now.

The growing number of games gives many smaller colleges the rare chance to play in a big stadium and get on national TV.

GREENE: But the more college football adds bowl games to their list, the more complicated things become for two men, Brian Dixon and Tom Hall. As the Washington Post first reported, these guys have been trying, since 1984, to attend every Bowl Game in America. They go to one or two a year and hope at some point to fulfill their quest.

We caught up with Brian and Tom just before they added one more notch to their belt. It was the Military Bowl at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., San Jose State versus Bowling Green. The guys were in the parking lot getting pumped up, along with the marching bands.

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GREENE: Our first question was how they get away with these annual junkets? Tom said it takes some very understanding wives.

TOM HALL: Pre-nuptials, pre-nuptials - they knew what they were getting into before we got married. But they actually support us quite well. And it's one that's really kind of taken off, 'cause when we did it we really didn't think much about it. But now, to think that we've been able to keep this tradition and keep our friendship, and just keep everything going for 30 years is a story in itself.

GREENE: Of course, the story doesn't always go according to plan. There have been some close calls.

BRIAN DIXON: A few years ago the Denver Airport got shuttered in with a snow storm, right around the time the game was going to take place in Texas. So I had called Tom and I said Tom, I'm out of luck, man. My flights have been cancelled. The airport is closed. It's coming to an end. And he said 'get in your car.

I said but you don't know how terrible the roads are here. I mean people are telling you to stay off the roads in Colorado. He said, I don't care. So I drove, late into the night, went to the game. I think I was in Fort Worth a total of nine hours.

GREENE: It's a lot of driving and flying around the country, which can get pretty expensive. One thing that helps: People award their commitment with free tickets.

DIXON: We have a fun story that people seem to grab on to. And so, we've been really fortunate. I don't think we've paid for tickets since the 1990 Rose Bowl.

GREENE: Of the 35 college Bowl Games this year, there are six they have never attended. And Brian says when they get to the end of this quest, they will finally allow their wives to come. The destination: The Hawaii Bowl.

DIXON: Knowing when that will be, exactly, is hard to say, because the games keep changing. They add a few and they drop a few, so that could be five or six years away. It could be 10 years away. We're not sure. But that's kind of the thought, now, to make that the last.

GREENE: That's Brian Dixon and Tom Hall, on a never-ending quest to attend every single college Bowl Game. The list keeps growing so who knows? Before this is all over, they could end up at the NPR MORNING EDITION BOWL.

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GREENE: This is the NPR MORNING EDITION BOWL from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

INSKEEP: And I'm Steve Inskeep.

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