As I was writing this blog, I recevied another email from the Tennessee people pushing their Eric Berry for Heisman campaign. Good to know they're focused on the big things up there right now. If Berry wants to be a Heisman candidate he has a pretty simple way to make that happen: beat Florida. Make a huge play or two, shock the Gators and Tim Tebow in the Swamp, and you're on the cover of Sports Illustrated next week. "Wacky" GEICO ad parody videos, on the other hand, won't get it done. Neither will 13 tackes and no interceptions with a 1-1 record in two games.
College football isn't a huge sport in New York City. Despite tons of alums who gather to watch their teams in bars across the city, there's no "home team" for the NYC market. Rutgers hasn't been good enough to hold interest consistently, plus it's in Jersey. Notre Dame, Army, Syracuse and Penn State have followings to some extent, but they aren't getting on the back page of the New York Daily News or the Post. Despite all that, there's an effort to create "the Yankee Bowl". Big East versus Big 12 in the Bronx. Even more bizarre, a Yankee Stadium official claims a number of top 25 teams are in talks to play regular season games at the stadium. Say what? I get why schools want to play "neutral" games in Dallas, Atlanta or Chicago. Those are recruiting hotbeds. Even if you throw in Connecticut and north Jersey, NYC high school talent doesn't stack up. Also, don't the regular tenants in the Bronx tend to need the stadium available until deep in October? NYC's a great place, but this talk makes zero sense to me.
Lots of people on ESPN's payroll do football play by play on a regular basis - let's say around 20 to 30? Mike Patrick was the voice of their Sunday Night NFL package for years. So why did Monday night's second game feature an incomptent performance by Mike Greenberg along with poor analysis from Mike Golic and Steve Young? The answer, as always with ESPN, is about self promotion. Putting Mike and Mike on Arena League play by play, the spelling bee, anchoring Sportscenter, hosting a game show - these are all annoying but relatively inobtrusive ways to shove them down people's throats. It's not like we're comparing them to other spelling bee legends. To put them on immediately after a solid NFL crew only emphasized how bad their performance was. Seriously, ESPN, stop doing this every year. It made me less likely to want to watch/listen to their show, which is the exact opposite of what you're trying to accomplish.
I was going through some emails that had piled up at my gator.net account (I don't typically use that for anything, it was just the one I had for show emails down in Gainesville) and got one from Gene letting me know the Mike London article link from my post last week was going to the wrong story. I've corrected the link in the old post, but here's that Washington Post story about the Richmond head coach again. If you didn't find it on your own, it's still worth your time to read.