Good Morning Generation

Two quick thoughts to start the morning:

-The University of Texas, ESPN, and the Big 12 are teaming up to prove exactly what is wrong with college football this season.  In case you didn’t know yet, ESPN agreed to a mega-deal with UT to create a “Longhorn Network” that will exclusively show Texas sports teams.  The idea is completely ridiculous and this week at the Big 12 media days, other schools in the conference were not afraid to voice their reluctance.  Many coaches chose to snub the Longhorn Network reporters while some, like Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel, actually were brave enough to speak out against it. 

No word on whether Big 12 commissioner Dan Bebe has suspended him yet. 

The notion of a school getting its own network is equal parts laughable and absurd.  Texas is going to spend a lot of time and money over the next couple of months trying to prove that this somehow doesn’t give them an edge over their fellow NCAA schools and that this isn’t about money and exposure, and the sad thing is that they’re going to win that battle.  It’s all about the student athlete!  No way is UT interested in being able to brag to recruits that they’ll have their own nationally-broadcasted TV station!  Why would they want to do that?! 

The most hilarious aspect in all of this is that UT is single-handedly holding the Big 12 conference hostage and abusing its status as the best school in the conference.  They realize that the conference crumbles without their participation and they’re going to milk that status for all its worth in the coming years.  It’s sickening for the other schools involved and it’s exactly why Nebraska and Colorado bailed this past offseason while Oklahoma and A&M are likely to leave for the SEC as soon as next year.  But conference commissioner Dan Bebe could care less!  Suck it up and take the money you lesser schools who dare challenge the almighty UT!  This is better for all of us! We promise! 

That a conference commissioner could get paid millions of dollars to represent ten member schools while clearly favoring only the interests of one school is exactly what’s wrong with the NCAA model.  This was never about the athletes, or the schools, or the fans.  This system exists to make millionaires out of idiots like Bebe.

-MLB again finds itself in a controversy this morning, completely erasing any goodwill it had hoped to build up during the NFL lockout this summer.  If you hadn’t heard yet, last night the home plate umpire in an epic 19-inning Pirates/Braves game made a historic “I want this game to end right now, I am in charge, I could care less about honesty and fairness” call that cost the Pirates the game and will be the talk of baseball in the coming weeks.  At a time when we should be debating trades and penant races, the discussion in baseball again shifts to calls for instant replay and whether we actually need umpires (hint: we don’t).

I wrote on this very site last week that I’m actually going to start rooting for more screw ups from the Bud Selig’s of the sports world, so I’m not all that worked up about this.  It’s high comedy if you ask me.  Most especially when later today Bud inevitably comes out and issues a statement that says something to the effect of, “durr MLB takes this very seriously, durrr, but there’s nothing we can do about it durrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.” 

It sucks though if your a Pirates fan because the loss dropped them from first to third in the ultra-tight NL Central race and by the end of the year could prove to be the difference between making the playoffs and going home.  I relate to that frustration as a fan.

You don’t want to sit here and make this an issue about the umpires union and baseball not having enough influence, but at some point you’d hope the umpires could see that their extreme defiance and complete abuse of power could ultimately lead to the loss of their existence in the sport.  Jim Joyce’s call on the perfect game last year immediately comes to mind this morning, but at least he was willing to publicly admit he blew it right after the game.  This turd from last night went so far as to say he still thought he made the right call and was only willing to concede that he “may” have made the wrong call.  Just maybe.

I love me some baseball, but this is the kind of petty crap that drives away the casual fan.  The NFL may be a soulless, money-making juggernaut, but another reason it is the king of American sports is that it doesn’t let the little things like stubborn pride and the human element get in the way of the game.

At some point, you’d hope Selig would realize the error in his ways.

Generation Y, where the NFL should pay-per-view the upcoming meeting between Plaxico Burress and Tom Coughlin.