Death Becomes The Big East

With all the crazy movement and conference re-alignment going on in college athletics over the past few years, it appears that a major casualty of all of this will be the Big East Conference.

Over the past few months, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame have bolted for the ACC, Rutgers to the Big 10 (or 14 but who’s counting), West Virginia to the Big 12 and on and on. Then this past week, the “Catholic Seven” of the league (those schools that are primarily basketball only) – Georgetown, St. John’s, Providence, DePaul, Marquette, Villanova, and Seton Hall – announced their departure from the conference, which has pretty much put the last nail in the coffin of the Big East.

Say what you want about the Big “East” adding teams to the league like Boise State, San Diego State, SMU, University of Houston, and that it will sustain itself for the near future until things settle down. But let’s be real…the heart and soul of the Big East Conference is gone and what is left is a vapid conglomeration of schools from all over the country. Rumor has it they will break the Big East into two divisions – the West and the East division…so you will have the Big East West and Big East East divisions. If they could only add Southwestern Oklahoma State University and Northeastern University to the conference, all corners of the compass would be accounted for. Schools from San Diego, CA, Texas, and Boise, ID in the Big East Conference makes as much sense as Chris Brown making a movie about relationships.

The history of the Big East was driven by basketball yet it’s demise was driven by football. For those, like me, who grew up watching Big East basketball in the years of Chris Mullen, Pearl Washington, Sherman Douglas, Derrick Coleman, and others, this is a sad sad time. The irony is that about 10 former Big East teams will now be part of the ACC when you also count Miami, Boston College and Virginia Tech. Where is the sense in that?

So to commemorate this sad occasion, the fine folks over at Bleacher Report have put together a top 20 best moments from Big East history and I’m proud to say Syracuse had quite a number of spots in the top 20, including the following:

#2 – Six Overtime win vs UConn – 2009 Big East Tournament
#5 – SU’s Crazy Unexpected Run to 2006 Big East Tournament As #9 Seed

#8 – Georgetown vs SU in Manley Field House, where the Hoyas snapped SU’s 57 game winning streak and thus started one of the great rivalries in College Hoops.

#9 – The 1981 Big East Tournament in the Carrier Dome, where Leo Rautins led the Orangemen to their first Big East crown.

#16 – Jim Boeheim’s 900th win (last week)

So yes, this is a sad time for long time Big East fans. The long rivalry of Georgetown – Syracuse or Pitt – West Virginia will be replaced by Florida State and Clemson. At least the “Duke Sucks” chant won’t need to change.

Fast Times at JC Penney High

JC Penny ad on ESPN

OK, this is just wrong on so many levels.

I was on ESPN today watching news about the latest NCAA scandal, this one about Jim Tressel resigning as Ohio State’s football coach because of something involving his players selling OSU memorabilia for money (just for context…this is really irrelevant here). Ahead of the ESPN video clip was a video ad with ESPN’s own Kenny Mayne as the pitchman for JC Penney and some deal on Van Heusen shirts (screen shot above is from the actual ad).

Somehow, someway, with some creative editing, they tied in the beyond leg-en-dary Phoebe Cates getting-out-of-the-pool-scene (link is very very NSFW) from Fast Times at Ridgemont High within the ad.

How dare they!! Heretics!! This is the Phoebe Cates scene from Fast Times!!

But beyond using an epic scene from one of the greatest cult hits in movie history, which is tattooed in the minds of most males who grew up at some point the 1980’s (seriously, ask any 10 guys who grew up at that time their top 5 sexiest movie scenes from that era, and I guarantee you 9 of them will say Phoebe Cates getting out of the pool in the red bikini in Fast Times.), do they not recall the broader context for the scene (Judge Reinhold taking care of, er, “business” in the bathroom)? Anyone who recalls this scene will also know the broader context. That’s what made it such an epic scene. So as a brand manager, not only would I have to seriously question the immense lack of creativity in this ad (oh, I have an idea…lets edit in the Phoebe Cates bikini scene from Fast Times into a video ad for dress shirts), I’d have to ask if this is the type of association I would want in the mind’s, er, eye of my customer? Really? The worst part? The tie in makes absolutely no sense within the context of the ad!!

Oh, wait wait wait…I get it. That was the whole point! To start a conversation online about the ad. You got me. You’re good. #not

One Step Closer to Being A Mall


Another big part of New York’s long music legacy was lost to the history books this past weekend when CBGB OMFUG (Country BlueGrass Blues and Other Music For Uplifting Gormandizers is the long version of the name) unceremoniously closed its doors. And now, NYC is one big step closer to being a homogeneous plastic concrete Mall of America. I’m not going to claim to be anything close to a punk rocker, and I sadly never even set foot in the place. But I am aware of its place in music history, the legends it helped create, and the legend the venue itself became. In recent years, CBGB fell into some level of disrepair and the level of music innovation never did rival that time in the mid-to-late 1970’s when acts like the Talking Heads, The Ramones, Blondie, and others established themselves there. But you always knew that it was there as a living, breathing piece of NY and American music history. And now, it’s not there. Rumors are that they will try to take it apart and rebuild it in (gasp) Las Vegas, but obviously it will never be the same. What are they going to do next, close McSorley’s?

Via NY Times