It's always nice to have bad guys in sports, and there aren't many more reliable bad guys than those shady, mysterious characters who run the lower-tier bowl games. And you don't want to know how much money they're making.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that some of these bowl guys are raking in nearly $500 grand.

In 2002, Gary Cavalli earned $90,000 as executive of a new postseason game in San Francisco. In 2006, his compensation package was $362,018 for the game now called the Emerald Bowl. "Frankly, my compensation package is none of your business," Cavalli said.

Cavalli is not alone. From 2001-05, compensation packages for bowl game executives have increased about 70%, with many of them more than doubling, according to an examination of the bowls' Internal Revenue Service records. The Outback Bowl's Jim McVay earns about $490,000, more than double the salary for the CEO of the oldest bowl, the Rose Bowl ($239,807).

Mama always told us to ditch this writing game and become a representative of the Emerald Bowl. We just didn't listen.

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Bowling For Dollars [The Wizard Of Odds]