Category Archives: Sports

Conference Realignment? How About a Southern Ivy League?

College athletics realignment is under way. Superconferences! TV deals! Megadollars! Academics, traditions, and any pretense at ethics be damned.

But I’ll leave the preaching for another day.

The question facing lots of schools – those without rich fanbases and lucrative media markets – is what now? Among those almost certain to be left behind is my alma mater, Wake Forest University, a small private school that’s one of the nation’s elite academic institutions. It’s also a founding member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, which in recent days has moved from “endangered” to “on life support.” If the SEC and Big 10 do what I expect them to, five, six or more of the valuable properties will be gone and the league, as we have known it, will be history.

And it’s hard to imagine a scenario where schools like Wake are invited to the party. (Vanderbilt may hang on in the SEC and Northwestern in the B1G because they’re already members.)

wake forest pro humanitate

I don’t care if Wake isn’t part of a crime cartel top-tier athletic conference. What I care about is what I said above: elite academic institution. I’ve said for years I’d be fine if the Deacons dropped to Div 3, but as I think about the coming landscape an idea emerges: what if a “Southern Ivy League” were established? There are schools to build around.

Wake Forest is obvious. If they decided The Show wasn’t for them, Vandy (the Wake Forest of Tennessee) would be a natural. Also Rice, which was pitched to the side when the Southwest Conference folded. Tulane is a top-50 national U with a solid mid-major profile.

William & Mary is a fantastic school that’s established at the FCS level. Who else might you think about? Davidson? Emory is D3 but certainly has the academic profile. And you’re not playing by big-time NCAA rules anymore.

Yeah, “Ivy” is a bit much for any kind of public talk or branding, but it’s a fine idea as an aspiration and organizing principle. I’d be honored to be part of an organization like this. I’m certain not all my fellow Deacs will agree, but being part of the NFL’s minor league system … there’s not much appeal in it.

Hey Look – More Goodell Bullshit!

Goodell

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sat down with Emmanuel Acho for one of his Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man. Acho asked Goodell what he would say to Colin Kaepernick by way of apology.

At which point … well, Commish gonna do what Commish do. Deflect. Dissemble. Misdirect. Distract.

This morning Mike Florio took Goodell apart like a hungover Gordon Ramsey breaking down a chicken with weak joints.

And I honestly don’t have a thing to add. I’m just linking it for the record.

All I’ll do is repeat the question I asked back in June: Mr. Commissioner, what team will Kaepernick be playing for this fall?

Cincinnati Play-By-Play Announcer and Known Man of Faith Victimized By Probability

Reds play-by-play guy Thom Brennaman really stepped on his dick yesterday, didn’t he?

Toward the end of the broadcast of the first game of the doubleheader, Brennaman was heard using a gay slur. He did not seem to know he was on the air yet before the end of a commercial break. Quickly, shares of the mic catching him on the air saying a slur spread across social media. Brennaman began broadcasting the second game of the doubleheader, but during the game, he issued an apology and left the booth.

He was predictably apologetic. Read more

Astros Unveil New Logo

New-Astros-Logo

Houston Astros Executive VP of Brand Dewey Cheatham explained that the updated design leverages the club’s historical identity while updating the iconic star to better reflect their more recent World Series legacy.

Cheatham expects the new brand identity to accompany the team from 2020 through the end of time.

Wait. Michael Jordan Did WHAT?!

Ramona Shelburne’s story on how the much-hyped documentary series on the Chicago Bulls’ final championship season got made (after so many years) is fascinating stuff. But one thing really jumped off the page at me.

Apparently a lot of people wanted to make a doc through the years. Andy Thompson had somehow gotten permission to shoot hundreds of hours of all-access footage at the time, and that archive was seen by anybody who knew of its existence as something akin to the holy grail. The final year of the consensus GOAT? Duh.

Every few years, it seems, some producer or another (including some pretty big names) would make a run at it, but until now none of them even got a face-to-face meeting with Jordan, who controlled the rights, until Mike Tollin came along in 2016.

One of those pretty big names who never got an audience? Spike Lee. SPIKE LEE!

Mars-Blackmon

Oscar winner Spike Lee. The biggest hoops fan on Earth Spike Lee. The guy who did the most famous sports apparel ads in history – for Air Jordan – Spike Lee.

Mars Fucking Blackman himself couldn’t even get in the room with Jordan.

I know Mike keeps things close to the vest. I know he’s intensely conscious of his legacy. But just damn. Folks, when Spike Lee wants to talk…

you-say-yes

Mike’s gonna be Mike, I guess.

Nobody is ever going to want to do a documentary about my life. But you have my word, if Spike Lee ever calls, I’m at least going to let him buy me lunch…

 

White privilege and the NFL: take a knee, Aaron Rodgers

I’m looking at you Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, Drew Brees, Carson Wentz, Rob Gronkowski, Luke Kuechly and Matt Ryan.

If you wanna kiss the sky
better learn how to kneel. – U2

I’m going to show you some pictures. Tell me if you notice anything about them (other than “they’re football players and they’re kneeling”).

NFL players kneeling

NFL players kneeling

NFL players kneeling

Okay, now a couple more. Notice anything different? Read more

ESPN: All Tiger, all the time

Oh, look. It’s US Open week. Let the fluffing begin.

ESPN.com - the all-Tiger-all-the-time network

And away we go.

Today the top story is that Tiger won the tournament a long time ago.

If Tiger wins this week, that will be the top story. If he finishes 30th, the story will be that he’s the reason the winner won. If we nuke Canada, the story will be how he played in Canada once.

If Jesus returns, the story will be that he came back to watch Tiger.

And now, the daily wagering proposition: if Tiger isn’t in first after the third round, how many paragraphs into the ESPN recap will you have to read to find out who’s leading?

Official S&R over/under: 3½.

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