Verizon Center trying out Big Ten signage. Hoops tourney comes here in 2017. pic.twitter.com/wUqKVgnKue— Tom Dienhart (@BTNTomDienhart) May 6, 2014
No that's not a joke. TV markets and TV money win again, as the B1G will now add Washington D.C. to the list of places that the Big Ten Tournament is played. If you want rational breakdown of every pro and con, this might not be the best post for you.
Go Home Jim Delany, You're Drunk.
I'm getting really tired of this "TV MARKETS DRIVE THE BUS" nonsense. When given the chance to put together a night game schedule for football that showcases the best games and best rivalries, the B1G opted to dilute the options with multiple night games for Maryland and Rutgers. Why? TV MONIES THAT'S WHY. Why Rutgers and Maryland in the first place? I mean, no one cares about them in the B1G footprint (or arguably in their own TV markets). TV MONIES THAT'S WHY.
If I was being rational I'd probably take the time to talk about and respond to some of the reasonable arguments put forth by Testudo Times. But frankly, I'm not in the mood today. Today I'm Abe Simpson, shaking his fist at a cloud.
The author, via www.misfitopia.com
And it looks like I'm not the only one in the SBN B1G Bloggersphere with some misgivings:
I understand what Jim Delaney is trying to accomplish, but it just seems so dumb and unnecessary. If you want the conference basketball tournament to be bigger and in front of more faces, put it in the third biggest city in the country. You know, that city that happens to be home to the conference offices. That city that is within four hours driving distance of eight of your institutions. Start. Making. Sense.
Who it is not a great opportunity for -- the tens of thousands of Big Ten alumni and students who live fairly close to what used to be the geographic center of the conference. While some concessions have to made to Rutgers and Maryland (and even Penn State for that matter), it's a shame to see what would normally be a 3-4 hour trip for Michigan State students turn into about a 9 hour one.
Hopefully it's the Midwest more often than not. Otherwise I fear a status quo where New York and D.C. get the tournament as often as Chicago and Indy.
Again, from a financial perspective, playing in D.C., or even in NYC, makes sense. As a move to help integrate Maryland and Rutgers, it makes sense. But it is important to remember that while most Big Ten athletics fans are savvy enough to understand the reasonings behind the league's eastward expansion, they remain deeply skeptical of the moves. That feeling isn't likely to dissipate if Maryland and Rutgers struggle to compete right out of the gate, since a typical fan doesn't directly see the benefits of new markets, brands, or revenue streams. Moving the flagship postseason event farther away, thus potentially pricing out more fans and potentially diminishing the live experience, won't help that cause at all.
If the league does indeed decide to move the tournament to D.C. or NYC, let's hope that the stay is a short one.
I may not have been the sharpest in geography, but the nation's capital isn't in the vicinity of Big Ten schools, save Maryland and Rutgers. This is simply a ploy to extend the conference's money tree and brand, but it's an awful inconvenience for fans. Go figure, eh?
Look, it's pretty clear to me that Jim Delany thinks about moves like these and sees this:
Meanwhile most B1G fans from original B1G schools feel like this:
I know there are totally valid reasons for the move. I don't care.
I know in the end it's really not a big deal. I don't care.
I know that the BTT is really just a made for TV event anyhow and that most B1G fans can't remember whether it's going to be in Chicago or Indy during any given year. I don't care.
I know that ultimately I'm probably more annoyed about this because it got announced on the same day that Rutgers proved again that they are a walking PR nightmare (thanks again Jim, seriously). I do care, because WHAT THE HELL RUTGERS?
Many of you know that I didn't go to the U. I chose to go the D-III liberals arts route because I hated intro psych classes of 700 people and my goofy and not always coordinated basketball skills were better suited to the Division III level. My school's president retired the same year I graduated. He'd been at the university for 25 years. In his final years as president he made multiple controversial decisions that split the campus and alumni communities. His administration was also known for being tone deaf to parents and students. Do you know what I learned from that man? When an individual has power as the head of an institution for that long their priorities often turn towards solidifying their legacy. Sometimes that results in good things. Other times it results in the core constituencies and traditions of institution being ignored or cast aside for a final "statement move" or two.
Jim Delany has been the Big Ten commissioner for 25 years. Just saying.