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San Diego State

Huge Win for San Diego State!

This is our families first year as season ticket holders for men’s basketball. Yesterday was, by far, the highlight of that experience so far.

We made it to Viejas about 12:05 PM for a 1:00 PM tipoff. And there were already lines to get in, the student section was 90% full, and about 50% of the stands were full 45 minutes before the game. Where else does that happen? 

The student section "The Show" unveils their new massive banner

There were 6,000 plus people booing UNLV during a pre-game shoot around. That’s when you know it’s going to be a wild game.

The game lived up to the hype. 

Megan and I have our game face on to face the UNLV Runnin' Rebels

It was loud and crazy from 45 minutes before the game until the last second when Jamaal Franklin’s lay-up sent the stadium into a frenzy. The stadium roared for about 90 seconds after the game winner. Deservedly so. It was so loud that you couldn’t hear that the announcer was trying to tell the fans that the game wasn’t actually over.

What I loved about this win is that it was a team effort. Leading scorer Chase Tapley struggled to get open and never really got to go off like he normally does. But the added attention on Chase gave James Rahon and Jamaal Franklin opportunities to make significant buckets, which they did with more than 20 points each.

A lot has been said about this being a rebuilding year for SDSU. They lost Billy White, D.J. Gay, Kawhi Leonard, and Malcom Thomas after last years epic season. (2 of them to the NBA) And, truth be told, they don’t have the standout talent they had last season. But they are consistently outplaying and out coaching their opponents. That’s the power of great coaching and recruiting. (Next  year’s team, based on recruits and transfers, will be one for the ages.)

The Aztecs beat the #12 team in the country because they had a better strategy than UNLV, were slightly more disciplined, and had a huge home court advantage.

I’m loving bringing my kids to these games. The Show continues to live up to the hype. Yesterday, they unveiled a massive “The Show” logo right before tip-off that covered nearly the entire student section. Teams are completely intimidated to come into Viejas and our players are completely empowered.

With our throats and hands tired from screaming and clapping, Megan invented the High 1. It'll take over the nation. Notice the grumpy (silent) UNLV fans behind us. They all look like that, like they were just released from a cheap casino holding cell for the game.

If you’re ever in town when there’s an SDSU game . Let me know, I’ll score you a ticket to The Show. 

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Social Action Sports

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I’ve been a college sports fan my whole life. It’s safe to say there has never been a time like this.

Never. Ever. Ever.

One by one the most trusted names in college sports are having the skeletons removed from their closet and broadcast on national news.

  • Jim Tressel, the squeaky clean football coach in the sweater vest at Ohio State, was revealed to be the type of guy who rigs kids raffle contest so the best players prep players get free Ohio State gear. [Source]
  • Joe Paterno was absolutely kicked to the curb by Penn State when it was revealed that he knew about allegations of sexual assault in his football building but did nothing about it.
  • It looks like Syracuse’s longtime basketball coach Jim Boeheim is next. Yesterday his assistant Bernie Fine was fired when ESPN revealed tapes of Fine’s wife corroborating an accusers story. Boeheim issued a statement yesterday that he knew nothing of the allegations. All it’ll take is one email or voice mail with him talking about it before last week and he’s out.

The Witch Hunt is On

Once the witch hunt begins, in this latest case trying to determine who knew what and when about Bernie Fine’s sexual abuse of ball boys– it’s nearly impossible to know who is the hunter and who is the hunted.

I’m not saying these guys are innocent. I’m just wondering if there is more to this witch hunt than what is being presented. Maybe the hunter isn’t as innocent as they appear to be?

ESPN is the Common Denominator

As I listened to the news about Bernie Fine yesterday I couldn’t help but pick up on this detail… they’ve had this tape since 2003. Eight years! When you are talking about a man who uses his position to molest children eight years is exactly eight years too long to hold a story. Eight years where someone, probably a lot of people, chose to protect Syracuse basketball instead of protecting young boys.

That’s not acceptable. We simply cannot let them hide behind this little statement of journalistic “integrity:”

Davis first gave the tape to ESPN in 2003. At the time, ESPN did not report Davis’ accusations, or report the contents of the tape, because no one else would corroborate his story. [source]

Wait… did you catch that? Someone at ESPN decided not to air the tapes because THEY couldn’t corroborate the story. They aren’t the police… they are a sports news agency!

A man comes to them with proof that he was molested by a coach at Syracuse University, seeking help since local police wouldn’t do anything about it, and they sat on the story for eight years.

Eight years.

What kind of person doesn’t call the police when he knows a child has been molested? Do we really value sports above children in this country?

So why now? 

In the three cases I mentioned  above ESPN had knowledge of these stories long before they broke. Lots of people around Penn State knew of a grand jury investigation of Jerry Sandusky. And no one said a thing while they knew Sandusky continued to have access to the football facilities.

Lots of people knew the Sports Illustrated article was going to expose Jim Tressel’s knowledge of player indiscretions. And they sat on hard evidence about Bernie Fine was molesting boys for eight years.

So why now? Why is ESPN holding stories and then subsequently releasing them? What makes 2011 special?

It’s always about the money…

I’m not presenting a conspiracy theory. I’m just starting to connect the dots. (And asking you, my fair reader, for your input.)

ESPN does what they do to make money, right? They tell the story that will make them the most money. And they cover the games and leagues that will make them the most money.

That’s fair. (While not always moral) It’s a free market system and we live in a country with freedom of the press.

But I wonder if this has anything to do with conference realignment and TV deals? On November 1st USA Today ran a story entitled, “Is ESPN the Force Behind Realignment?” It was almost a rhetorical question. Of course ESPN is the force behind realignment. As the article mentioned, every team or league will ask ESPN if added or removing a member school will increase or decrease their over all television worth. That automatically makes ESPN the linchpin in all of the realignment conversations as leagues will do whatever it takes to get a better TV deal from ESPN.

And ESPN would love to see teams play in conferences that worked better for their markets and allowed them to make more money. (Even decreasing travel or shipping by 10% would make them millions more!) Why else would the Big East want San Diego State if it weren’t for their location in the 9th largest TV viewing market in the country… and the only major market without a team covered by ESPN?

Conference realignment has everything to do with making more TV money for member institutions. Pure & simple.

Don’t even get me started about the college football bowls. Did you know ESPN owns more than half of the bowls? That’s why we can’t have a playoff, duh! It’s about them protecting their assets.

So here’s what I’m wondering. Could it be that they held and released these stories to devalue Big 10 football (Ohio State & Penn State) and Big East (Syracuse) basketball?

You could say… “These are ESPN products, why would they devalue them?” And I’d hypothesize… “Because they have a monopoly and if they can devalue the product they can negotiate cheaper deals with member institutions.

What do you think? Did ESPN have the responsibility to involve law enforcement when the Bernie Fine tapes were given to them in 2003? Do you think ESPN would have any reason to hold this (and other stories like it) until “the right time?

Or am I just a silly fan who had too much time in the car yesterday to think about all of this?

Sound off.

 

Categories
Notre Dame San Diego State

4-0 Sports Day

I’m in full-on sports heaven lately. And yesterday was a prime example… my teams went 4-0 on a single Saturday.

Football

  • Notre Dame vs. Maryland – When the best thing the media can say about your team is the ugly uniforms… you know your season is bad. And that’s the case fro Maryland. This was the closest they’ll get to a bowl game this year and they laid an egg. Notre Dame dominated this game from beginning to end. A lot of schools talk about how great their program is and how their fans are special. Take a moment to understand the Shamrock Series and you’ll see why Notre Dame is a cut above the most elite programs from a money perspective. No one else could pull off something like that.
  • San Diego State vs. Colorado State – I was actually worried about this game. Last year we struggled with their quarterback… but that became a non-issue when he was knocked out early with a sprained knee. Abel Perez has been a great kicker the past two years. But this year something is wrong. I can’t believe we haven’t added a replacement. He went 1-3 yesterday. Had he missed the 3rd yesterday it would have been the second game he’d cost them this year.

If there’s a miracle and SDSU beats Boise State, UNLV, and Fresno State there is a chance they could face Notre Dame in the Independence Bowl… just tossing that out there.

Basketball

  • Notre Dame vs. Mississippi Valley State – I didn’t even know this game was yesterday. I just saw it on their ESPN page. The Irish will struggle this year in conference play as they rebuild. But I think they will still get to 20+ wins.
  • San Diego State vs. Southern Utah – At one point the score was 24-3. I don’t know how bad Souther Utah is because they actually looked like they could play in warm-ups. But the team defense of SDSU put on a clinic. That lead to many, many fast break opportunities and some of the most ridiculous dunks I’ve ever seen in a live game. The final score was 70-37. It was actually more lopsided than the final score indicates.
It’s pretty rare when all 4 teams are in action on the same day. And it was so cool that all 4 teams got victories!