A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from September 29, 2014
“Cereal belongs in a bowl” (football joke)

College football has a bowl playoff system; professional football’s playoffs end in the Super Bowl. “What’s the difference between (insert football team name) and a breakfast cereal?” a classic joke goes. “Cereal belongs in a bowl,” is the answer.

Notre Dame had a 9-3 record when it was selected to play Florida in the January 1992 Sugar Bowl. “What’s the difference between Notre Dame and Cheerios?” was a joke published in many newspapers on December 31, 1991. “Cheerios belong in a bowl.” Notre Dame Coach Lou Holtz didn’t like the remark, and the joke motivated his team to win the Sugar Bowl over Florida.

The joke has continued to be told about many football teams, both college and professional. “How do you make (insert football team name) cookies? Put them in a big bowl and beat for three hours” is another football bowl joke.


Google News Archive
31 December 1991, Gainesville (FL) Sun, “UF players impressed by ‘Dome” by Pete Aldrich and Bill King, pg. 2C, col. 2:
WAKE UP CALL. Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz showed up at practice in an especially feisty mood shortly after the Irish arrived in New Orleans. It appears that, on the team’s first day in town, Holtz heard an interesting riddle during breakfast.

“How is Notre Dame different from a box of Cheerios?” a passerby asked Holtz.

The answer: Cheerios belong in a bowl.

“Coach heard that and he must have thought about it all the way to practice,” said Irish defensive tackle Troy Ridgley. “He wasn’t happy.”

Google News Archive
31 December 1991, Sarasota (FL) Herald-Tribune, “Sugar Bowl Notes,” pg. 3C, col. 4:
The best joke heard around the Sugar Bowl was the one Notre Dame defensive tackle Troy Ridgley told at Monday’s media session.

“Did you hear the one about the difference between Notre Dame and Cheerios?” he explained. “Cheerios belong in a bowl. Someone told Coach (Lou) Holtz that at breakfast the other day. I think we deserve to be in a bowl.”

31 December 1991, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), “Matthews, Florida are seeking respect vs. Mirer, Notre Dame” by Bob Logan, sec. 3, pg. 3, col. 2:
NEW ORLEANS—Florida quarterback Shane Matthews, along with just about everybody else in New Orleans, has heard this question and answer often in the last few days.

Q. What’s the difference between Notre Dame and a breakfast cereal?
A. Only one of them belongs in a bowl.

2 January 1992, Lima (OH) News, “Irish no joke in Sugar Bowl” by Michael Vega (Knight News Service), pg. B2, col. 1:
NEW ORLEANS—Lou Holtz almost gagged on his breakfast when he first heard the joke. You know, the one going around about the difference between Notre Dame and Cheerlos. The punchline?

Cheerios belong in a bowl.

Google Groups: rec.humor
bowls
gsbs...@utsph.sph.uth.tmc.edu
1/6/92
what’s the difference between Notre Dame and Cheerios?
Cheerios BELONG in a bowl!
-a wistful wolverine

Google News Archive
13 January 1992, Sarasota (FL) Herald-Tribune, pg. 3C, col. 2:
Cheerios Happy To Share Bowl With ND
The makers of Cheerios capitalized on a free publicity tie-in with Notre Dame by sending Coach Lou Holtz five cartons of the breakfast cereal.

Holtz said the cereal would be given to the city’s Center for the Homeless.
(...)
The Irish had been taking criticism for playing in a major bowl with a 9-3 record. The belittling gag provided Notre Dame with an extra boost toward their 39-28 victory over Florida.

Google Groups: k12.chat.senior
Bills?? NOT! 
Jason Wong
2/5/93
(...)
I heard a few jokes about the Bills today...you might find them amusing.
“What’s the difference between the Bills and Cereal?”
- One of them belongs in a “Bowl”.

31 December 1993, Paris (TX) News, “Iowa, Cal meet in first Alamo Bowl,” pg. 11A, col. 1:
SAN ANTONIO (AP)— Question: What’s the difference between the Iowa football team and chili? Answer: Chili belongs in a bowl.

That joke made the rounds in Iowa after the Hawkeyes were invited to the Alamo Bowl despite tying for eighth in the Big Ten and going 6-5 overall.

Google Groups: rec.humor
Buffalo Bashing
Jeffrey C. Isherwood
1/29/94
BUFFALO BASHING!!!!
Q: What’s the difference between the Buffalo Bills and Fruit Loops? 
A: Fruit Loops belong in A BOWL!!

Google Groups: alt.sports.football.college.fla-gators
What’s the difference between the Gators and Cheerios? 
nor...@googlegroups.com
1/3/96
Cheerios BELONG in a bowl!!!!!!!!

Google Groups: alt.sports.football.pro.gb-packers
From a spy in Minnesota
S. Smith
12/5/98
On Sat, 05 Dec 1998 21:35:02 GMT, (Skull the Harley Boy)
wrote:
>...and how is breakfast cereal different from the Minnesota Vikings?
>>
>>
>...the cereal GETS to the bowl!

Q: What’s the difference between the Packers and Cheerios?
A: Cheerios belong in a bowl. 

Twitter
Alec Dino
ā€@alecdino What’s the difference between Georgia Tech football and Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes? Frosted Flakes belong in a bowl. #UGAvsGT #WreckTech
10:10 AM - 25 Nov 2013

Twitter
Austin Kerr āš”
ā€@RedFlashKerr Whats the difference between the Tennessee Volunteers and cheerios?
One belongs in a bowl. The other doesn’t!
12:06 PM - 26 Sep 2014

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Monday, September 29, 2014 • Permalink