Fiesta Bowl Countdown: A story about Tostitos chips at the Tostitos bowl game

Tickets in the lower sections of University of Phoenix Stadium should come with a warning at the Fiesta Bowl: Look out for falling chips.

That’s the main thought I took away from the first Fiesta Bowl I attended, the 2000 classic between Nebraska and Tennessee.

That night in Tempe, I watched the Cornhuskers thoroughly outplay the Volunteers. The Associated Press summed up the game like so: “Too much speed, too much strength. Just too much Nebraska.”

But before Nebraska put the finishing touches on a 31-21 victory, its fans became bored. Rather than focus on the game, some of them pulled a prank. Thanks to the bowl’s sponsor, Tostitos, everyone who attended the game was given a free bag of chips upon entry. Some fans ate them immediately. Others discarded them or gave them away. All while a group of Nebraska fans stockpiled them.

At the beginning of the fourth quarter, that group took their chips to the first row of a sparse section in the second level and made it rain chips on the Tennessee fans below.

Most in the stadium had a good laugh about the prank. Heck, I remember it vividly 12 years later. But I can’t imagine the Vols fans that got hit by falling corn chips enjoyed it.

I haven’t been back to a Fiesta Bowl since. I have no idea if Tostitos still gives away free chips. But if they do, and you have a seat in the lower level, beware. Or bring an umbrella. You never know when it might start raining chips.


Next up on the countdown: The best K-State football pictures of year.

Last time on the countdown: Tickets are cheaper, easier to come by this season.

Editor’s Note: On Jan. 3, the Kansas State football team will face Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl. With that in mind, I am counting down to the big game at University of Phoenix Stadium by attempting to write 21 blog posts in 21 days. I use the word “attempting” because I can only think of so many blog ideas. I’m confident that I can go 21 for 21, but your help is appreciated. Feel free to send a blog idea (or two) my way at or via twitter @KellisRobinett.