Your morning roundup for Sept. 19, the day we learned binge drinking can negatively affect your ability to dance. Photo via Mocksession. Got any stories or photos for us? Tip your editors.
What we watched: Is anyone really that surprised that Pitt and Syracuse bolted the Big East for the ACC? Despite protestations to the contrary about tradition, loyalty and hypocrisy, this really is the state of college athletics today, all across the country. Had it not been Pitt and Syracuse, sooner or later it was bound to be somebody else.
The Big East is a wonderful basketball league, and one that had been founded as such. But back in its 1980s heyday, it was also among the first to marry itself with television, thus triggering the mad-dash toward conference alignment that has begun to accelerate only recently. Yes, Pitt was among the Big East schools outraged when Boston College up and left the league several years ago. But all that's happened since is merely a recognition of the reality the Big East had a hand in creating once upon a time.
God save the futbol: "For one thing, there is no such thing as a British soccer team. Instead, in a country where devotion to sports is fueled by ferocious regional and political rivalries, there are instead individual teams representing Britain's fractious, proud and fiercely competitive constituent nations - namely England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Nor are the hypersensitive soccer federations in the non-English nations exactly clamoring to have their players compete side by side with players from their bitter rival, England. Although they have promised not to stop their players from participating, they have refused to officially sanction the idea of a national team and are actively discouraging anyone from joining it." [New York Times]
Meet Todd Marinovich's younger half-brother, a Syracuse defensive end: "A columnist once ranked his father, Marv, a gruff former lineman for USC and the Oakland Raiders, among the worst sports parents in history. Marv earned that distinction for the way he raised Mikhail's older brother, Todd, starting him on a training regimen in the crib, giving him frozen chunks of kidney to teethe on for nutrition. Todd grew up to be a mercurial star for the Trojans and Raiders; his career evaporated in a haze of drug use. To a lot of people, it seemed that a young Mikhail was merely upholding the family tradition. ‘Back in grammar school, I had kids whose parents told them not to hang around with me because my dad was this and that and my brother was a drug addict,' he said. ‘They knew I'd mess up.'" [Los Angeles Times]
Your Boat Balls Interlude:
Today in overdone moral outrage over Serena Williams: "We are also left with considerable hypocrisy: a woman who professes to be deeply moved by the honor of playing on the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, then degrades the occasion with her bullying and belligerence; a person who will solemnly thank Jehovah one minute and show up shaking her ample booty in a soft-porn video the next." [New York Daily News]
So let it be done: "I knew Tim Tebow was versatile and willing to do anything to help his team win, but I can't recall the last time a primary quarterback ended up legitimately lining up at receiver - and not for just a trick play. It was a bizarre spectacle, and it was the result of injury, but it also makes it pretty clear that this is probably the closest Tebow will come to seeing meaningful snaps." [Larry Brown Sports]
Merch: Managing editor Tom Scocca and contributing editor Drew Magary have both written books. You can buy Scocca's Beijing Welcomes You: Unveiling the Capital City of the Future here, and Magary's The Postmortal here. Now do it.
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