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Here’s our list of the best Grove Bowl format options

Lane Kiffin is undecided about the game’s format, so we offer some suggestions.

Ole Miss v Alabama Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

On Tuesday, Ole Miss football head coach Lane Kiffin told the assembled media masses that he has not chosen a format for Saturday’s Grove Bowl. Citing the team’s overall health and what they’d like to work on, Kiffin made it obvious that the game would not follow any traditional format, and he would make a decision about said format later this week.

The early results from the official Ole Miss football Twitter makes it seem fun will be expected for fans in attendance.

Insert your alcoholic friend telling his timeless joke about “can’t say you drank all day if you don’t start in the morning” here.

Given this is a spring game and the people need maximum entertainment to stay engaged for [checks notes on spring game length] SURELY YOU JEST, we are here to ease the creative burden on Kiffin and staff. We’ve gone into the lab and cooked up our favorite spring game format ideas that entertain, produce value for players needing reps, and keep in mind that we all have things to do and an hour to an hour and a half sounds great.

Let the exhibition and effort to avoid injuries begin.

Score a touchdown, you stop playing

What better reward than to rest your youthful bones after achieving the top accomplishment in the game. How do you spend your Saturday after putting six on the board? Dealer’s choice!

A few options to consider:

  • Relax in a lawn chair under a beach umbrella and play Madden against other scorers of touchdowns
  • Take the place of one of the referees
  • Go to Handy Andy and punish one or more double cheeseburgers
  • Return to the IPF, find the darkest room possible, drop the A/C into the low 60s, and take one of those monster naps where you wake up and you’re unclear where you are, what year it is, and if you’re actually awake or you’ve just woken up in your dream (RedCupRebellion endorsed option)
  • Take over as stadium public address announcer and turn the mic down to a reasonable volume level, unlike the the volume level of Glen Waddle’s mic, which has registered noise complaints in Pontotoc

Battle Royal

A wrestling ring that is 100 yards long and 53 13 yards wide. Every scholarship player, walk-on, manager, trainer, coach, graduate assistant, and anyone else with access to the IPF steps into the squared (rectangular) circle.

A person is eliminated when they’re tossed over the top rope. The eliminations continue until there is only one.

Is there a football involved? No. Or wait, maybe. It’s wrestling and props are part of the game and the rules concerning them are pretty open-ended, especially when there are 200 people in the ring.

The winner gets a crown, a belt, and Ric Flair robe they are required to wear on campus at all times until spring practice 2023.


If you are unfamiliar with Bill Watterson’s game given to the world through Calvin and Hobbes, a brief recap:

Calvinball has no rules; the players make up their own rules as they go along, so that no Calvinball game is like another.

A few rules suggestions:

  • Kickers can’t use their dominant foot
  • Sacking a QB and carrying him to the end zone is worth 15 points
  • Every football is covered in lard
  • Every 7th player is given a facemask visor so dark they can’t see
  • The entire defense is attached to one another by the old school elastic leashes parents once used to keep their kids from escaping
  • All scoring is determined by offensive and defensive coaches’ 40 times


There is only one permanent rule in Calvinball: players cannot play it the same way twice. For example, in one game of Calvinball, the goal was to capture the opponent’s flag, whereas in a different game of Calvinball, the goal was to score points by hitting badminton shuttlecocks against trees using a croquet mallet.

So with Lane Kiffin switching up the format of every Grove Bowl, maybe he’s always been playing Calvinball?

Starship Troopers Football

A delicious blend of Arena Football, the single-wing offense, acrobatics, uniforms from Any Given Sunday, NFL Blitz violence, and touchdowns that are worth five points because sure why not.

The only tweak we’d make is not having everyone rush off to join the Mobile Infantry/Roughnecks (or the fleet) the next day because that’s probably not turning out well for everyone!

American Gladiators - Breakthrough & Conquer

Glorified Oklahoma drill immediately transitioning into an actual Oklahoma drill? PLEASE AND THANK YOU.

How do they keep score you may ask? Use the Gladiator scoring system. Also, who cares. BRING US A RECREATION OF THE FINEST TELEVISION PROGRAM TO EVER AIR.

American Gladiators - Powerball

What if we took elements of Breakthrough & Conquer and added variables to make it the most physically demanding event in all of God’s creation? WE LOVE TO SEE IT.

It’s unclear how this would work, but something along the lines of a 64-team, single-elimination tournament over the course of 90 minutes is what the people want. Great conditioning work, an emphasis on fundamentals, and DRAMA.

If not for the likelihood of 2.1 million injuries, this would be ideal.

American Gladiators - Assault

Lane Kiffin in the sniper’s position shooting people via an air gun filled with tennis balls, while every player on the team makes a run at hitting the bullseye above him.

Incorporate Kiffin sitting in a dunk tank and going for a swim if the bullseye is hit, and we have the only Grove Bowl there should ever be.