November 20, 2012

Big 10 expands into NYC, DC media markets: Excellent ...

I've long been pointing out that Republicans devote too much attention and money to college football. College football trails only golf in the civic-mindedness / Republicanism of its fans. Since the chances of getting them to cut back are nil, I am a booster of luring Democrats into this time and money pit. 

This week, the famous old Big Ten conference centered around the Upper Midwest abruptly added Rutgers (which is more or less the U. of New Jersey and is only 38 miles from Times Square) and Maryland (which is just a few miles northeast of Washington D.C. in Prince George's County). Nate Silver writes:
But the main rationale for adding the schools seems to be economic: the prospect that they would give the Big Ten, and its cable network, access to the New York and Washington, D.C., media markets. 
On that account, the decision may be questionable. Although Rutgers and Maryland are in densely populated areas, they also compete against a number of other Division I football programs for fans and attention. 
Moreover, affinity for college football is considerably lower on the East Coast than it is in the Midwest or the South. Thus, the schools have fewer fans than most other current Big Ten members.

I guess it's not the Big 10 anymore, but more like the Fair-to-Middling 14.

The relative lack of big time college football in the power corridor from Boston to DC leaves Northeastern men with more time on their hands to get up to no good, with both liberalism and, especially, neoconservatism as major outlets for male aggression and tribalism.

In contrast, I'm reminded of Robert Novak, the late Washington D.C. political reporter, who never succumbed to the neoconservative urge, much to the rage of other Republican Jews such as David Frum, who labeled Novak "unpatriotic" for his lack of enthusiasm about the Iraq Attaq. Novak, a working class Jew who loved the rough and tumble of domestic politics, simply inherited his foreign policy views from his better educated old WASP partner Rowland Evans, and channeled his personal aggressiveness not into rooting for war in the Middle East, but into fanatical support for the U. of Maryland basketball team. 

Novak strikes me as an example of a healthy way for men to sublimate militaristic urges that remain crucial for the preservation of civilization in crises, but cause needless trouble during non-crises.

25 comments:

anony-mouse said...

Er, 'working class' Robert Novak's dad was a chemical engineer, ( and Jewish Novak himself became a Roman Catholic).

Its also hard to put 'sublimated' and a reference to Robert Novak in the same sentence.

Peter said...

Rutgers already is the de facto "home" team for the New York area, being the closest* school playing major-league football. Being affiliated with the Big 10 should make it even more popular. Another benefit of the affiliation is that it will help insulate Rutgers from competition should Fordham or St. John's upgrade their football programs.

* = Army is closer to some parts of the metro area, but doesn't seem to have anywhere near Rutgers' fan base.

Brendan said...

College football is great -- that's why we like it.

I honestly don't think this is a great move for the B1G. These are not going to create marquee matchups for the existing B1G schools who are good in football, and I doubt that it will generate much additional interest for these sports in the DC and NYC areas. College sports are school-related -- schools have their own traditional followings, and in the East it's mostly basketball that does well, not football. You won't turn Maryland and Rutgers into Ohio State in terms of football by this move, and it won't generate that much football enthusiasm. Basketball is different, but everyone thinks this is football-oriented.

Carol said...

College football is big in the flyover because there just isn't that much else going on. I mean, Nebraska...I rest my case.

Even in Socal, plenty of people can take it or leave it.

Hunsdon said...

I miss Bob Novak, the Prince of Darkness.

Anonymous said...

The relative lack of big time college football in the power corridor from Boston to DC leaves Northeastern men with more time on their hands to get up to no good, with both liberalism and, especially, neoconservatism as major outlets for male aggression and tribalism.

Get them hooked on video games, then.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

""The relative lack of big time college football in the power corridor from Boston to DC leaves Northeastern men with more time on their hands to get up to no good, with both liberalism and, especially, neoconservatism as major outlets for male aggression and tribalism.""

Get them hooked on video games, then."

Good idea. That's what we need: "Splinter Cell Mossad" and "Call of Duty - IDF"

Anonymous said...

The Big 10 does not seem to be a very Republican conference. Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and Ohio all went for Obama in 2012. Only Indiana and Nebraska went for Romney.

Anonymous said...

I've long been pointing out that Republicans devote too much attention and money to college football.

...

Novak strikes me as an example of a healthy way for men to sublimate militaristic urges that remain crucial for the preservation of civilization in crises, but cause needless trouble during non-crises.



Wait, I'm confused. College football is good or bad? You say it's bad, but then say Republicans can focus on it instead of pursuing their goal of invading the next Middle Eastern country, which sounds good to me.

Anonymous said...

I always thought Novak was a Lebanese Catholic but I was wrong.

Rajin' Cajun said...

I hate when you play Republican party strategist, Steve. To hell with the Republican party. Don't waste anymore thought on how to revive that dinosaur.

The end game of conference realignment is the cultural consolidation of the SEC and Big 12 states. Romney won all those states with the exception of Florida and Iowa. Last year, Missouri joined the SEC and West Virginia joined the Big 12.

We love college football down here, in large part, because yankees and jews aren't involved in it. Lord knows "Northeastern men" have ruined every professional sport. For god sakes, let us have college football.

Carol said...

College football is big in the flyover because there just isn't that much else going on. I mean, Nebraska...I rest my case.


Just a reminder why I loath blue state whites. When this all falls apart -- and we all know the center cannot hold -- don't expect us bumpkins to come to your rescue.

Anonymous said...

I always thought Novak was a Lebanese Catholic but I was wrong.

The name "Novak" wasn't a clue?

Anonymous said...

As long as we're on the subject of the Big 10...

The University of Nebraska is completely unlike the way that I had always pictured it. (My wife and I saw the campus for the first time last summer.)

It's a concrete jungle of crowded space, which feels doubly crowded because of its surprisingly urban setting. The academic buildings are large, uninspired, imposing, cold, and unfriendly. It feels utterly disconnected from the Nebraska landscape.

The stadium stands in the center of Lincoln like the Colosseum stands in Rome. It's the centerpiece of the city.

Seeing the campus was a disenchanting experience. I've always cheered for the Cornhuskers as representatives of a small state, but that horribly impersonal place drained me of my Husker enthusiasm.

just the good ol' boys said...

Novak also loved sports cars... I would have liked to have seen a version of Top Gear w/ Novak and Anthony Hopkins

Kabbalah entrepreneur said...

I always thought Novak was a Lebanese Catholic but I was wrong

I suppose he may have ancestors from Lebanon, N.H. but he didn't turn Catholic till right at the end--his evil buddies converted him to that Da Vinci Code thing

Bob Arctor said...

"The name "Novak" wasn't a clue?"

Novak is a very common Czech and Polish surname; it's not automatically Jewish.

DJF said...

The Big Ten are also connecting themselves to two places which have benefited most from Government spending, Washington directly and New York indirectly via the bailouts and too big to fail policy. That is where the money is, not in the Midwest rust belt.

Anonymous said...

It was a few short years ago Rutgers would have had a hard time beating Bergen Catholic HS and Don Bosco Prep,now Michigan Ohio St should be fun to watch the beating they will take especially when most of the Division one talent in NJ are playing for the other teams.

Dutch Boy said...

Novak was a convert to the Catholic Church, which is an instant de-Judaizer.

Peter said...

The University of Nebraska is completely unlike the way that I had always pictured it. (My wife and I saw the campus for the first time last summer.)
It's a concrete jungle of crowded space, which feels doubly crowded because of its surprisingly urban setting. The academic buildings are large, uninspired, imposing, cold, and unfriendly. It feels utterly disconnected from the Nebraska landscape.


It's not so much that the campus was plunked down in the middle of the city, it's more that the city grew up around the campus.

ben tillman said...

Novak is a very common Czech and Polish surname; it's not automatically Jewish.

But it's obviously not Lebanese.

alonzo portfolio said...

This trope (apparently unironic) about sports-rooting as a diluting factor for neocon military adventuring is really silly. Not only is it obvious that the two can and do co-exist, but there's no evidence that Novak wouldn't have opposed the Iraq War even if he'd been entirely uninterested in college basketball. Remember, back in '02 the necons were fairly explicit that democracy promotion was a way to give narcissistic or anomie-addled young Americans something to improve themselves with. He just saw how silly the idea was.

SFG said...

I'm with the Anon: video games. WoW basically allows young men (and chunky young women) to play skirmish participant.

I mean, college football improves physical fitness, but not for the fans...

Anonymous said...

The Big 10 does not seem to be a very Republican conference. Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and Ohio all went for Obama in 2012. Only Indiana and Nebraska went for Romney.

Being from Big 10 country, I can answer that. Romney because he had to spend so much money fending off crazy Rick Santorum in the primaries, was pretty much devoid of campaign media money most of the summer. During this time Obama and associated PAC's pretty much carpet bombed Radio and TV in the Midwest from June to August. Romney had virtually no ads until the beginning of August and was still being outspent by at least 3 or 4-1, even then. Every Obama ad I saw during the summer was negative, without exception. According to a Bloomberg piece right after the election, when Romney went to Europe, Obama bought over 1,800 ads in Ohio alone. The first debate merely got Romney back to where he was prior to the summer, instead vaulting him into the lead. I began to wonder in the middle of July if Romney had written off Ohio, like NY and California, I probably saw 50 Obama ads before I saw the first Romney one, that's how lopsided the ad spending was.

Reg C├Žsar said...

College football is big in the flyover because there just isn't that much else going on. I mean, Nebraska...I rest my case. -- parochial Carol

Omaha has an opera house. How many coastal cities of similar size can say the same? Nebraska's arts scene compares well on a per capita basis with anywhere else. The Plains are full of small colleges, many founded by homesick Europeans, and one is never too far from "kulchur".

There is a shortage of  Jonathan Yegge-style performance art in the Midwest, if that's what you're referring to.