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Political Efforts, Football Join Forces

By Charles Parachute
Sports Editor

The Friends of Coal Bowl, which for seven years now has featured West Virginia University and Marshall University meeting on the gridiron, comes to an end Saturday as the schools have not agreed on continuing the series.

Other schools across the country, though, are embracing the idea of having political – or, as some say, “educational” – organizations sponsor early-season games.

USC and UCLA have announced the Friends of Choice Bowl will begin in 2013.

“There is a general agreement about reproductive rights, so the National Organization for Women … I mean, Friends of Choice … is excited to paste its logo all over this game,” said Cindy Remnick, the group’s communications director.

Organizers plan to have a birth control tent onsite and hope players will touch a morning-after pill as they enter the stadium.

The University of Florida and Florida State, meanwhile, plan to launch the Friends of Guns Bowl in 2015. Fans will be permitted to have guns at the game, and players will shoot at targets near the end zone for extra points.

“Pretty much everyone supports the NRA … er, Friends of Guns … so we feel comfortable supporting this game with the presumption that guns benefit society,” said Bill Gervin, a Friends of Guns spokesperson. “Everyone agrees guns are good. This is more of an informational thing.”

The Friends of Love Bowl also is in the works. Ohio State University and the University of Michigan will play the annual contest, which could start in 2017.

Organizers envision “A Broadway Extravaganza!” during halftime and a bear exhibit in the parking lot.

“This will be the event of the year!” said Ben Killburn, the Friends of Love president. “Anyone who supports gay marriage and other things like football will fall in love with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force … or Friends of … whatever. Point is, everyone is on the same page regarding gay rights, and we think this is a fantastic opportunity for fans to show their support.”

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