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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Big Ten Network Panders to Shut Ins

The Big Ten Network is attempting to fill its gigantic summer programming void by dedicating one entire day in June to each of the 11 conference schools. Wisconsin Day will be June 19.

But the interesting tidbit for Badger basketball fans is that three different men's basketball games will air. Not too shabby for a "football" school. Included are Wisconsin knocking off #2 Minnesota on two Ty Calderwood free throws in '97, this past season's Big Ten Tournament Championship game versus Illinois, and the Brian Butch bank job against Indiana from four months ago.

My suggestion to the network is MORE PANDERING. How about three days of classic games each? That equates to about a month of programming, locked and loaded. If a whole day is devoted to Wisconsin and there is not one Rose Bowl* or one Devin-to-'Do alley-oop involved, someone needs to speak out. (*Note: The network has since clarified its schedule and will air the 1999 Rose Bowl in the wee hours of June 20th.)

As it is, one day apiece for eleven teams does not even provide two weeks of content, so they spread it out. I mean, do they want to fill this month or not? I would argue that you could snag more hardcore fans by extending the dedicated block for each school than the number of normal viewers you might lose for a couple days by temporarily ignoring the other 10 schools. Those people are tuned out anyway--it's summer.

And another thing: A lot of people might have DVRs now, but I don't (I don't even have the Big Ten Network). What if I am busy on June 19? No glorious Badger revelry for me. I guess more manpower in the BTN editing bays is the only answer.

The 24 hours of coverage begins at 6 AM Central Time and will include two hours of "campus programming" (Zzzzzz ...). The day reaches its apex I suppose with the Big Ten Tonight's half-hour Year In Review (in HD!!!) show for each university. For Wisconsin, spring football, women's soccer, track & field championships and the 2003 Ohio State football game round out the programming items.

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NBA Pre-Draft Camp Measurements
We did not have the pleasure of digesting Alando Tucker's measureables last season because he skipped the Orlando workouts. This year, Brian Butch is the team's lone draftable commodity, though even that is debatable in many communities.

As for his workout, Butch measured out with few surprises. He is not remarkably fit (10.8% body fat) or strong, but is very slow (3.52 secs in a 3/4-court sprint). Actually, Butch did fare surprisingly well in the lane agility. The Polar Bear was one of only five players 6'10" or taller to run a sub-12 sec drill. Sadly though, Butch also posted one of the worst maximum vertical jumps (26.5") ever recorded in the last 18 years. Butch may already be positioning himself for a European contract by his choice of agent, Chris Luchey.

DraftExpress does a great job, as usual, of presenting the winners and losers of this circus event. Luckily, The Bratwurst's sleeper pick that I have blindly adopted (Richard Hendrix) fared well, as did Kevin Love, O.J. Mayo and Joe Alexander. The site also takes a fun trip down memory lane with a history of draft measurements. There does not appear to be a overall ranking of the players this year according to their measurables, which is probably for the best.

1 comment:

  1. "the 2003 Ohio State football game"

    aka the most devastating sport-watching experience of my life...


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