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The last sporting event to be played at Miami’s famed Orange Bowl, the All-American bowl on January 4th, 2008, will be blessed with an oddly eclectic group of celebrities to celebrate the facility’s closing. And by “oddly eclectic,” I mean freaking strange.

The All-American bowl is similar to basketball’s McDonald’s All-American game and features the best high school football players across the US.

Leading the way for this fine group of talent is ex-NFL talents Cris Carter, Rod Woodson and Jake Reed. After that, it’s gets downright weird. Also joining these three is the infamous Nate Newton. I guess Nate will be supplying the party favors, although I hope he doesn’t feel the need to bring 213 pounds worth.

The inclusion of Newton is kind of eye-raising, but perhaps the Orange Bowl is trying to reconnect with the image of Miami Hurricane football during the tenures of Jimmie Johnson and Dennis Erickson… or maybe everyone just wants to get high after the celebration.

Not to be outdone by the NFL celebs, those organizing the event also thought it would be prudent to include a couple of hotties, because we all know the benefit of attractive women, especially for sports blogs. Joining the NFL players are country artist Candy Coburn (definitely cute), Miss Florida winner Kylie Williams (not so much anymore), and Miss America winner Lauren Nelson. If he isn’t busy rolling–OK, no more low blows–the attendance of these three lovelies should keep Newton preoccupied. I mean, it works for me, especially with Miss Nelson.

Anyway, based on Newton’s presence alone, this sounds like an event that everyone would enjoy. When you add theĀ  lovely ladies, it almost becomes a given… provided you can get past the sound of pop country. Besides, if the celebration turns out to be a dud, you always have an all-star football game you can watch.

Oh, who am I kidding? You all just want to see pics of Miss America. OK, OK, here goes:

Lauren Nelson