There's a lot to cover before Trial!
Here's whats ON TAP!
- The Big Ten Network Doesn't Matter (Part II)
- The NHL Draft Has UM Feel, Sports Guy Covers It
- All Hail Dawg Sports
- Back to Back Beavers
- 3! 2! 1! Collapse!
- A Sneak Peak at Minnesota's New Stadium
Nope, The Big Ten Network Still Doesn't Matter - A couple of emails and some commentary on yesterday's post regarding the Big Ten Network made me stop to think whether I'd rethink my position that the Big Ten Network is irrelevant.
Upon careful consideration, No.
While I understand that the BTN will carry 3 Michigan games this year (in an attempt to strong arm the Cable companies into comporting with the all-mighty will of the Big Ten), it doesn't make the channel any more relevant than it was otherwise. The games in question are Appalachian State (for sure), Eastern Michigan (more than likely), and probably one of Northwestern/Illinois/Purdue (TBD). A preliminary list of the BTN schedule is up on their website.
I understand and appreciate the argument that those three games will be exclusively broadcast on the BTN, and unless cable operators give in only Direct TV recipients will be able to watch. Fair enough. However, for those of us not living in Michigan, we're not going to be able to see those games anyway. The only games that exist to non-Michigan/Toledo residents are the ones on ESPN and ABC. That's it. And let's face it, even the most diehard OSU fan isn't going to kill to see the Buckeyes play Youngstown State, just like I'm not going to shed a tear if I can't watch Michigan go all Bloodsport on Appalachian State.
That's Not To Say I Won't Do Everything In My Power To Watch It
I wouldn't be able to watch the game at home anyway because I don't live in Michigan (same with Eastern). Nothing's changed because of the BTN. Games that I wouldn't be able to see normally are only tangentially more inaccessible or accessible depending on your point of view. The same thing for Gopher, Illini, or Cats fans. Stuff you normally couldn't watch, well, you still can't. This is no different than ESPN sticking the Ball State game on ESPNU.
Further, because Direct TV has an agreement with the Big Ten, when those games are on and I'm not there live, a local bar will have the game. It's the same as before the BTN was even contemplated. I still don't have access to every game on TV unless I'm willing to go the extra mile to watch it.
For those living in Michigan, the story is a little different. Now instead of watching every game on local television on their couch, they're forced to go to a pub/bar/friends place to watch the game. Is it a slight annoyance? Yes. Is it really that relevant? Meh... Not really. Odds are someone you know has Direct TV. Odds are a local bar or restaurant will carry the game. Odds are you'll get to watch the game if you want.
What the Big Ten's money grubbing move does is cut off the causal fan. A fan who will watch the game if its on, but won't go out of its way to watch it. It'll cost the Big Ten the young fan, the kid who can be warped and molded into a Big Ten die hard who buys tons of school related crap because he got hooked early.
But to the regular fan. Even the diehard fan. The BTN doesn't matter. Somehow, someway you'll see the game. It may not be in bed, eating pizza, and finishing last night's final beer, but you'll see it if you want. If you're like me and out of state, nothing's changed at all. You still have to get up early. You still have to trek to a bar or a buddy's place. You're still at the mercy of the cable companies.
Really, nothing's different. BTN or not. That's why the network is irrelevant.
Ed. Note - I realize I'm in the minority with this view.
Michigan Players Taken All Over The NHL Draft - Incoming freshman Max Pacioretty was picked 22nd overall at the NHL Draft on Saturday. It was a banner day for Michigan recruits and players as six more players were picked during the second day of the draft. As always, Yost Built and MGoBlog have the details.
One of the best things to come out of the draft, surprisingly, was Bill Simmons' live blog of the first two hours on Saturday. This is the first time in years I've found anything he's written outside of the NBA funny and insightful.
The best part was Simmons' mocking of once top rated Russian Forward Alexi Cherepanov.
--Farhan: "How difficult is it for Alexei right now to still be on the board?"
--Alexei (in Russian): "They're going to kill me! I'm going to be killed!"
--Interpreter: "There's nothing he can do, it's unpredictable."
--Farhan: "Do you think the transfer agreement issue between the Russian Federation and the National Hockey League is playing a part in this?"
--Alexei (in Russian): "Of course! Let me hide in your basement, Farhan! I'm begging you! They're going to kill me!"
--Interpreter: "Some part of it ... yes."
For the record, Cherepanov can play.
Kyle Beats Me To The Punch Line, Again - As usual, the proprietor of Dawg Sports, Mr. T. Kyle King, found humor in a semi-serious subject. Upon outside review of the BTN fiasco, Kyle somehow managed to link the BTN, Maize n Brew, and Animal House in succinct fashion. That is why he's the Mayor!
Congrats To Oregon State on Back to Back Titles - As you may or may not know, Oregon State captured its second straight baseball national championship over the weekend. My congratulations to Jake at Building the Dam. If anyone was going to win it, I wanted it to be the team that bested Michigan. Jake spent one hell of a weekend at Rosenblatt Stadium. Apparently Erin Andrews wants him. Dave at Addicted to Quack says that's not a good thing. Jealousy? You decide.
Personally Melissa Stark was always my favorite.
Ow U Do-in?
What Good Is A Clock If You Can't Tell Time? - I'll give new Michigan State Head Coach Mark Dantonio this, he knows what's important to the Spartan faithful. Beat Michigan. However, he may be going a little overboard. The Spartans have three clocks in their practice facilities counting down the days/hours/minutes until their November 3, 2007 match up with Michigan.
I'm all for motivational techniques, but broadcasting them this early, as a first year coach, can backfire. Still, and I mean this, anything that makes Michigan State more competitive is a good thing. Their success it critical to the legitimacy of the league and frankly to football in the State of Michigan. I wish them every success, except when they line up against the Wolverines.
Finally, Courtesy of Gopher Gal, A Sneak Peak At Da U's New Stadium - Man, this thing is going to be a beauty and an INSANE home field advantage. An open air football stadium. In Minneapolis. Good God its gonna be cold come November. Iowa, enjoy yourselves.
Check it out (HT: Gopher Gal)