Kissin’ your sister: 28th Gonzo Bowl ends in a 34-34 tie, but there was no tie-breaking overtime!

The Notodds and the Unevens slugged it out under improvised game conditions — uniforms, rosters, and the game site were all changed at the last minute — ending an afternoon of good football but an anticlimatic 24-24 tie.

Suffice it to say that the maroon-jerseyed Unevens completely dominated the game for three quarters, leading the opposing Notodds at one point by 20 points.  The Beer Judge handicapped the game to a large extent after halftime, giving the Notodds enough advantage in the waining minutes to come back to tie the game. For the better part of  one quarter, the Notodds were allowed to play nine players while their stonger opponents had only seven. They brought the score even at 34-apiece in the final seconds.

The change of venue, necessitated by flooding of Crown Valley Regional Park, pinched the game between two soccer games and made it impossible to go into a tie-breaking overtime period that would have decided which team was actually better.

Seb Gonzales was named the game’s Very Most Player, nosing out David Munoz and Colby Clendenin, who both had stellar games. Munoz was the clear favorite but left early to attend to family obligations, and that undoubtedly affected the balloting.

A more detailed game account and action photos will be posted here in the next few days.

There will be a post-game party during Super Bowl Weekend (Friday or Saturday) to swap stories, pass out additional awards, and watch the game film and photography. Check back here for details.



Due to flooding, the game has been moved to Chaprossa Park, about a mile away from the original location in Laguna Niguel. Click on the links above for an updated map. This minor “inconvenience” will not keep us from having a blast today.

Getting set for Gonzo Bowl XXVIII.

Flag football with a few twists — good clean competition with built-in rules that maintain a sense of humor — will once again take the field in the 28th celebration of The Gonzo Bowl, a highly-organized but slightly nonsensical annual event. The eight-man flag football game will be held on the NFL’s annual “Hype Sunday” (this weekend) at picturesque Crown Valley Regional Park in Laguna Niguel. The site will be the park’s upper soccer field.

A Southern California Tradition.

The game was initiated in the 1970’s, when a group of Southern California fanatics, frustrated by the lack of football during the lull between the final playoff and the Super Bowl, created their own game. That game has been described as a shirts-versus-skins “polite tackle” game,  It quickly developed into a tradition and gained a following among onlookers, played mostly by young men in their twenties. The rules evolved into what is now known as “impolite flag” with a specific set of unique rules featured unorthodox plays, colorful personalities, and ample beverages.

 The "Screaming Meanies" graphic, taken from a 1930's Book Of The World, has become symbolic of the game.

This "Screaming Meanies" graphic, taken from a 1930's encyclopedia, has become symbolic of the Gonzo Bowl and its cast of characters

Needless to say, the Gonzo Bowl has become a Southern California institution. The game was played for 26 years continuously beginning in ’74, but when the last of the original group finally retired the game was suspended. After a hiatus of several years, second-generation players have brought the popular event back.

All players are eligible to catch passes, substitution is often manipulated by a special Beer Judge, and players are required to wear non-traditional headgear. While there is a humorous element to the proceedings, the two teams are expected to have a wide-open, rough-and-tumble competitive game. Running plays between the guards (something not allowed in many flag leagues) and
This is the style of the 2009 game jersey. It will feature a custom game logo.

This is the style of the 2009 game jersey. It will feature a custom game logo. One team will be forest green and the other will wear maroon.

quarterback sneaks and draw plays are commonplace. Most of the successful teams in the past have employed an organized offensive system. Defenses, because they only have a limited pass rush, need to be efficient, too, and usually use a zone pass coverage. To facilitate a higher quality play, the two teams will be named at the Draft Ceremonies a week prior to the game, allowing a day’s practice. However, all members of each team will be given ample playing time — mandated by special substitution rules — and attendance at practices and the Draft is optional. Typically, teams stage a light practice a day or two after the draft to review offensive and defensive strategies.

A neutral Veterans Committee will be available to review the rules, outline simple offensive and defensive schemes and suggest play calling systems. This is done to improve play and to explain the full extent of the game format. Teams who come to the game with a system (especially on the offensive side of the ball) do better.

Families and Spectators Welcome.

Players will be provided with an “official” game jersey. Families are invited to come watch, take pictures, and barbecue along the sidelines. Spectator seating will be picnic-style, and it is suggested that drinks and food be brought to the site. Crown Valley Regional Park is located along Crown Valley Avenue, and the game field is elevated on a hilltop with a view of the valley.

Applications are being accepted through Friday, January 23rd, when teams will be selected through a random draft held at a the Round Table Pizza Parlor in Fountain Valley. The process is designed to keep the teams evenly balanced, and veteran (returning) players have priority over rookie participants. Candidates for team rosters must:
  • Be of 18 years of age; Players must bring a photo ID to the game
  • Not have played on any high school, college, pro or semi-pro football teams for a period of at least one year.
  • Sign a release of liability releasing the organizers and sponsors from any consequences of injury.
  • Pay a modest game fee of $20 to cover expenses, including officiating, chalk/paint, park fees, eating incidentals, broadcast expenses and jerseys. See the note about fees and jersey type in the righthand column of this page.

For regular updates and additional details, check this website. A printable Player Application form and maps to the game can be found at the top of the home page. 



Draft Held at FV Round Table Pizza.

Team selection ceremonies will be held Friday, January 23rd at Round Table Pizza in Fountain Valley. The draft itself will begin at 7:00 at which time announcements about rules, eligibility, and other gameday activities will take place. The Beer Judge will preside over the player draft, with veterans being selected first and rookies last. Player applications and fees will be accepted at that time IF roster positions are still available.

Round Table Pizza is located at 11095 Warner Avenue in Fountain Valley, at the corner of Euclid and Warner Avenues.


GBXXVIII will be Filmed!

Dave Broughton, a long time Gonzo Bowl veteran, has confirmed that a film crew will record the January 25th game. They will use professional-grade equipment from atop scaffolding, and edit in sideline and draft night interviews. If everything goes as planned, there will be a post-game viewing party Super Bowl weekend, and CD copies will probably be available for a modest fee.

The tongue-in-cheek faus-broadcast of the Gonzo Bowl festivities has always provided some of the greatest entertainment value.


Gonzo Wallpaper!

Adding the “Gonzo!” insignia to your PC desktop will keep the inevitable nonsense at the forefront of your mind and help you focus. To place it on your desktop background, do the following:

  1. Click on the image below to enlarge it; save it to your computer by right clicking it and following the SAVE AS or SAVE PICTURE AS procedure.
  2. Go to the image where you have saved it and open it.
  3. Right click it, and click the SAVE AS DESKTOP BACKGROUND tab.
  4. Close the file.

The special “Gonzo!” image should appear on your computer home page, a constant reminder of your dedication to the cause.

Note: some operating systems will offer the SAVE AS DESKTOP BACKGROUND feature immediately when you click and open the graphic, below.

Click to enlarge, then save to your PC

Click to enlarge, then save to your PC