Allstate Sugar Bowl Founders to be Honored with FBA’s Legacy Award
NEW ORLEANS (March 26, 2018) – Fred Digby and Warren Miller, the founders of the Sugar Bowl, are being recognized with the Football Bowl Association’s Legacy Award for 2018. Along with Digby and Miller, Field Scovell and Earnie Seiler, legends of the Cotton Bowl and Orange Bowl, respectively, will be honored.
Both Miller and Digby were longtime proponents of a college football bowl game in New Orleans. After multiple efforts to get the game established, their efforts finally came to fruition with the formation of the Midwinter Sports Association, chaired by Miller, in 1934. Digby, who was the sports editor for the New Orleans Item, first presented the idea of a bowl in 1927; he is credited with giving the “Sugar Bowl” its name. Miller, a local attorney, drew up the organization’s charter and by-laws, which are still used to this day. Miller served in the Midwinter Sports Association, which became the Sugar Bowl Committee, until his death in 1947. Digby was a member of the Committee until his passing in 1958. The organizer’s founders are also memorialized with the Sugar Bowl’s Most Outstanding Player award, which is named the Miller-Digby Award. For seven decades, the game has flourished as few others have. The association, to this day, remains a “voluntary, non-profit civic organization whose members serve without remuneration.”
“All of us at the Sugar Bowl take great pride in the Bowl’s distinguished history, and we thank the Football Bowl Association for recognizing the vision that Mr. Miller, Mr. Digby and many others had in establishing this organization,” said Paul Hoolahan, CEO of the Allstate Sugar Bowl. “Time has shown their efforts certainly benefitted New Orleans as well as college football. It’s a true honor for our founders to be recognized alongside the greats of the Cotton Bowl and Orange Bowl.”
In making the announcement, FBA Executive Director Wright Waters noted that “each of these individuals represent a legacy that is re-recognized each year by the success of the Orange Bowl, Sugar Bowl and Cotton Bowl.
“All of these games are iconic in its own right, and an institution in Miami, New Orleans and Dallas. Each owes its success to the early achievements of these four pioneers.”
A public relations executive by trade, Field Scovell’s affiliation with the Cotton Bowl began in 1948. He served as co-chairman of team selection from 1963-74, then as chairman from 1975-92. Scovell’s year-round influence on the game led to his becoming known simply as “Mr. Cotton Bowl.” The Field Scovell Trophy is presented each year to the Cotton Bowl champion.
Earnie Seiler spent much of his life and career to helping Miami grow. He led the Orange Bowl Festival for 42 years. His career spanned from the Depression-era into the 1970s. Seiler became known nationwide for over-the-top Orange Bowl halftime shows, mostly conducted in the night skies of South Florida.
The Allstate Sugar Bowl has established itself as one of the premier college football bowl games, having hosted 28 national champions, 93 Hall of Fame players, 49 Hall of Fame coaches and 18 Heisman Trophy winners in its 84-year history. The 85th Allstate Sugar Bowl Football Classic, featuring top teams from the Big 12 and the SEC, will be played on January 1, 2019. In addition to football, the Sugar Bowl Committee annually invests over $1.6 million into the community through the hosting and sponsorship of sporting events, awards and clinics. Through these efforts, the organization supports and honors nearly 100,000 student-athletes each year, while injecting over $2.5 billion into the local economy in the last decade.