Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Maybe we can have a telethon for the Big Ten

Tampa Bay's been quiet in free agency, but I like yesterday's trade for Philadelphia wide receiver Reggie Brown. Brown's never lived up to his potential. He was supposed to be Superman when Georgia signed him as the top WR recruit in the country. Despite not having a spectacular college career his physical tools still got him drafted high. For the Eagles he's had good moments but never been dominant. Despite that, he's an experienced NFL performer with good ability and they got him for a sixth round pick a year from now. That's a reasonable price to pay for a guy who might turn out to be a nice surprise this fall.

It may not seem like a big deal for Georgia's redshirt freshman quarterback Zach Mettenberger to be arrested on five counts related to underage drinking and having a fake ID, but it is. This episode will almost certainly result in him being suspended for at least one game under Georgia's alcohol policies, and it wouldn't surprise me if it was two. That means Mark Richt's game one QB options will consist of redshirt freshman Aaron Murray and junior Logan Gray, who is expected to be moved to wide receiver. Murray had better be good and stay healthy, because week two has Georgia on the road in Columbia. That could be a real adventure.

Sports Business Journal reports the ACC's goal is to increase their broadcast revenue from its current 70 million per year to 120 million. Sounds like a great idea, except for one little detail. What incentive does anyone have to spend big money to secure the rights to NC State-Wake Forest in football? Apparently the conference has tried to get the NFL Network interested in showing some games. They might be willing to do that for some Saturday programming, but they're certainly not going to pay much for it. Beyond UNC-Duke in hoops twice a year, what featured "must see" event does this conference have to sell anyone right now? FSU and/or Miami might be good again eventually and some other basketball games are good, but very little feels special. Good luck getting that extra fifty million.

As noted yesterday, I enjoy conference basketball tournaments. They give every team, no matter how crappy their season's been, a reason not to just give up. There's always a chance of getting in a groove for a few days and still making the NCAAs. Beyond that, they're a great revenue stream for conferences. That's why I couldn't believe how pathetically chintzy it was of the Pac-10 and Big Ten to cut the player gifts out of this year's budgets. Football kids get gifts of 500 bucks or less from their bowl trip, basketball kids get theirs at the tournament. The conferences get the items at a discount for a bulk purchase, and the combined cost of the whole thing could be paid for by the money from a few of the luxury suites at the event the kids are playing in. Think Jim Delany or the Big Ten staff are going to stay in cheap hotels to save money, or grab their dinner at the concession stands? Not a chance in hell - just take the budget cut out of the athletes experience. The Atlantic 10 can afford to take care of their kids and the Big Ten can't? Really classy, guys.

If the Big Ten is looking to save on food costs, I've got just the thing. How about a seven pound hot dog? They say it's good for fifty servings, and it's marked down to just 29.99. I'm sure there are some things that would concern me more if I was eating them than a marked down seven pound hot dog, but other than that poisonous fish Japanese folks enjoy as sushi I'm not sure what those would be.

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