It has been a roller coaster few months for the Big East conference, to say the least. New reports this week, however, indicate that the Big East may finally be adding teams rather than subtracting them, sending invitations to Houston, Southern Methodist, and Central Florida, as well as football-only invitations to Navy, Air Force, and Boise State. While these programs may not be the sexy solution Big East fans were hoping for, they still have good reason to cheer up.
As the Georgetown football team traded handshakes with the Colgate players and coaches following a 40-17 homecoming victory, the packed grandstands of Multi-Sport Field filled the air with resounding applause. Sadly, this was one of the only times the crowd seemed invested in the contest at all. Much of game was observed in relative silence, so much so that it is unclear which was quieter in the second half: the crowd or the Colgate offense.
America has its sporting priorities all mixed up. News of quarterback Carson Palmer’s trade to the Oakland Raiders dominated headlines and SportsCenter all day Tuesday. The debate raged around whether the Raiders gave up too much and how the Bengals, his former team, were reacting to his departure. All of this on the day before the start of the 107th World Series. Baseball has never been so belittled in American sporting culture.
There has hardly been a more draining succession of offseasons in my time as sports fan than in 2011. First, the NFL couldn’t figure out what to do with its fortune, and nearly risked canceling the season after owners and players spent months debating how to fatten each others’ pockets. Yes, the season survived, but it came at a price of months of speculation and doubt, which weighed on any devoted fan.
If a manager or coach can win a championship during his tenure with a team, he is almost always considered a success. If he wins two titles—the first breaking an 86-year championship drought and the second coming just three years later—then he surely must be considered a messiah. Such is the story of Terry Francona, former Red Sox manager and franchise legend. Winner of two World Series, in 2004 and 2007, Francona guided the Sox to eight straight winning seasons and five playoff appearances.
In an action-packed week of football, no story was more surprising (and exciting to fans in economically anemic post-industrial Great Lakes towns) than the unexpected and oddly simultaneous emergence of the Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions as winning teams. Along with the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers, the two long-hapless franchises are the only undefeated teams in the NFL.
NBA commissioner David Stern has officially completed his transformation from global visionary to dictator. Almost a month after harmlessly discussing revenue sharing and mentioning the name of the Milwaukee Bucks Australian center Andrew Bogut in an interview with Australian daily The Herald Sun, the NBA fined Michael Jordan the ludicrous sum of $100,000.