What we watched: The postponement of the World Series would ordinarily be an opportunity for college football on a night like last night. At least, that had to be the thinking of officials from both the Big East and ESPN back when they reached an agreement to broadcast that UConn-Pitt game. But a crappy combination of forces—the league's competitive fall from grace, the Panthers' and Huskies' respective slouch toward mediocrity, the ongoing doubts about the league's future—left the impression that what we were watching was less a game than it was a wake.
My Twitter feed last night mostly had three themes relating to the game:
1. How disappointing it was that this was the evening's primary sports viewing option.
2. Did any West Virginia fans make the trip for "Occupy Heinz Field" to protest Pitt's decision to leave its rival behind by bolting for the ACC? (Not too many did.)
3. Would the official attendance be the lowest for a Pitt game since the Panthers began playing at Heinz Field 10 years ago? (It wasn't.)
The networks and the conferences like to boast of their partnerships in terms of fans' expanded viewing options. But what's getting lost, especially amidst the musical chairs of realignment, might just be the idea that those options have reached the point of saturation. Then again, if there's nothing else to watch on a Wednesday, all the networks and the conferences are counting on is having something to give us, no matter what it is.
Won't someone think of the children's ACLs? "But when the researchers examined the pediatric hospital records, from 1999 through early this year, they found only 155 tibial spine fractures, while there were 914 confirmed A.C.L. tears and 996 meniscus tears. More important, while the incidence of tibial spine fractures increased at a rate of about 1 percent per year during that period, the incidence of A.C.L. tears increased by more than 11 percent per year. The difference almost certainly was not a result of better equipment leading to better diagnoses of A.C.L. tears, Dr. Lawrence says. 'Even in 1999, M.R.I. technology was quite good,' so it was possible for physicians to differentiate between the injuries. Which means that increasingly large numbers of young athletes, both boys and girls, are now suffering an injury to which doctors once thought they were almost immune." [New York Times]
Asante Samuel fires some shots; retreats immediately: "‘By Andy,' Samuel said when asked if he feels wanted. ‘Some people upstairs might not want me, but who cares? They probably never played football. They run it like a business, so they're going to do what they need to do. Upstairs, they're playing with a lot of money, playing fantasy football. They're doing their thing.' The comments sounded like a veiled shot at team president Joe Banner and general manager Howie Roseman. Asked if those were whom he was referring to by the people upstairs, Samuel did not back away. ‘Do they fit the comment I made? Are they upstairs playing fantasy football with all this money? OK,' Samuel said." [Philadelphia Daily News]
Your Jose Canseco Twitteroids Interlude:
One year later, and no lawsuit from Declan Sullivan's family: "In his first extensive interview since his son's death a year ago, Barry Sullivan told the Tribune that his family was never interested in suing the university and has not received a financial settlement from the school. He does not blame the storied college football program for the accident, either. Rather than allow their grief to manifest itself as anger or legal vengeance, he and his wife, Alison, have devoted the last 12 months to making sure something beneficial comes from their very public tragedy.'It was not our first impulse to go out and hire a lawyer. That's not the way we're wired,' Barry Sullivan said. ‘We never really felt a reason to pursue any kind of legal action. Why would you do that? ... We didn't want to take resources and energy away from other positive things that might happen by tying up people with lawsuits and other actions.'" [Chicago Tribune]
Meet Terry Bross: "Terry Bross of Gaylord Sports Management is the guy porn star Bibi Jones was talking about when she said she an agent used her to land potential clients, a source with direct knowledge of the situation told us. Bross declined to comment on the allegations through GSM's lawyer last night." [Business Insider]
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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