Do the right thing, Jim, and scrap your plans to name the two divisions of the new Big Ten conference the Legends and Leaders divisions starting next year.
What do Legends and Leaders that mean, anyway? They sound like something out of Little League.
Jim Delany, the commissioner of the Big 10, sounds as if he’s going to get rid of the names after his office has been deluged with calls from people who think the names of the conferences are ridiculous. Or something worse.
According to an ESPN.com story, Delany said during an interview with WGN AM-720 in Chicago on Thursday that the names Legends and Leaders were picked to highlight the conference’s rich history, and that “to a great extent it’s fallen on deaf ears.”
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The league, with newcomer Nebraska, will be split into two divisions next year.
“We want to breathe a little,” Delany said during his radio interview. “I don’t think you make a judgment in 48 hours or 72 hours. Eventually, we’re going to have to address the issue of whether or not it’s sustainable, but I don’t think that’s an issue for today.”
Jim, it is an issue for today. These conference nicknames are nonsensical. They have no meaning. At least East, West, North, South have meanings. They’re not exciting, but they have meanings.
“I think we have enough experience with names, and expansion and development of divisions to know what you never, rarely, get 90 percent approval rating,” Delany said. “But to get a 90 percent non-approval rating was, you know, really surprising.”
Ben Smith I Men’s basketball I Jr.SmithThe 6-foot-5 Smith, from Oklahoma City, averaged 21.4 points and 11.4 rebounds during his sophomore season at Northern Oklahoma Community College in Enid before transferring to Wichita State. He has started slowly, but has the look of a player whose contribution should grow. I think Smith is a wild-card for the Shockers.
So far, he’s averaging only 5.1 points and 1.9 rebounds while playing about 15 minutes per game. But he has a legitimate shooting stroke. Here’s part of the conversation I had with Smith today:
So, I understand you like movies. What kind do you like the most?
Oh, I go to movies a lot. I just went to see the new Harry Potter movie (”Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”). I’ve seen all the Harry Potters, but I didn’t read the books. Everybody always tell me the books are better than the movies, but I don’t want to see the movies and be disappointed, so I don’t read the books. I’ve seen so many movies, different types. I usually go to the movies at the theater with my girlfriend. She likes the chick flicks and I like my kind of movies.
You’ve only been in Wichita short time. What do you like best about the city?
Well, everywhere I go it seems like people know me. Normally, that’s not the case. It’s a fun town and there seems like there’s a lot of stuff to do. I haven’t gotten all out there yet to see everything. It does surprise me how popular Shocker basketball is here. My teammates told me about it, they were like ‘Everybody loves you.’ I’m from Oklahoma City and I didn’t get that kind of recognition there except from my friends and other people who played basketball.
So, you’re on Facebook. How many friends?
Oh, I don’t even know. Probably like 800 (836, actually). I probably get on there every day, but for only about 10 minutes. Not a long time. And I’m not on Twitter. I just haven’t gotten to that.
My Facebook Friend
Mike RossRossIt’s a special edition of “My Facebook Friend,” a feature that normally runs on Mondays and Wednesdays. Why the special edition? Because I felt like it. That’s why.
Mike is a dandy. I came to know him, I believe, when he was an intern with the National Baseball Congress in the late 1990s, when he worked the NBC World Series. He thinks differently, that we didn’t meet until he had taken a sports information job at Wichita State. Oh well, whose memory are you gonna trust?
Mike is a tireless worker and all-around good guy. He left the media relations department a year ago and is now a teacher in the Department of Sport Management at WSU. Here is Mike on Mike and our Facebook friendship:
I teach Sport Law, Sport Public Relations and Sport Marketing for the Department of Sport Management at Wichita State. I moved there in January this year after spending almost nine years in the athletic department at WSU in media relations, which is how I know Bob, from sitting on press row down the way from him for all the Shocker games. It was my job to help make Bob look like a genius when it came to Shocker sports. Well, I tried. Just kidding Bob. Now I am helping train the next generation of sport managers.
I met Bob at the 2001 MVC Baseball Championship at Eck Stadium. I was a bright-eyed bushy-tailed 26-year old student working his first major event and Bob introduced himself with the question, “Who the hell are you?” My favorite memory of Bob was the tireless fight to try to convince this community that INTRUST Bank Arena needed to be built. It may not seem like it sometimes, but Bob loves this town and honestly wants what is best for it. In fact, I think I may name my next bulldog “Lutzy” in honor of him.
I grew up in Texas, and went to Texas A&M for two years before moving here and finishing at WSU. I love the Aggies and are thrilled they are in the Cotton Bowl (sorry Mizzou fans, who’s laughing now?). I’m also a Texans fan (yes, I screamed at the television last Monday night). It’s been a weird year, the Ags started slow and have really come on lately. The Texans started well and have gone downhill as of late. So I feel like its been the best, and worst, season ever. I also love the Astros, much to the dismay of all the Cardinals fans (good luck with Berkman next year, I’m sure he will hit .700 against Houston).
I’ve been married for 10 years to my wife Tonya, who I think is the most beautiful woman on the planet. I have one of the coolest 9-year olds in my son Trent, a couple of teenage daughters who both like scary movies in Kelsey and Bailey, and we are foster parents and have had nearly 10 kids in and out of our home since last year. Never a dull moment.
Everyone should leave a comment congratulating Bob on his wedding. We've all had the chance to see the softer side of Mr. Lutz over these last few weeks. Its amazing what the holidays and love will do to your perspective. Enjoy it Bob!