Thursday, November 29, 2012

Pro vs. college sports: "Wherever fans are, give them a choice — they'll gravitate toward the best."

Louisville is located in Kentucky, and Kentucky recently rejected Barack Obama by one of the largest margins of any state. With this knowledge firmly in hand, let's consider pro and conservative views of college football.

College Football: Pro and Con(servative) Views, by Frank Deford (NPR)

... But a caveat. The sectional adoration for college sports may have no relationship whatsoever with either political or Chick-fil-A preference.

It may simply be that wherever honest grown-up professional sports abound, attention to second-rate, NCAA shamateur sports gets diminished. The Southeastern Conference, in particular, may be so popular primarily because Dixie possesses so many fewer pro teams compared with the East, West and Midwest ...

... Basically, sports is primarily a class thing, and the pros are simply a higher class than the colleges. It's a better product. Yes, yes, I know college games can be entertaining, and there's loyalty and tailgating. But wherever fans are, give them a choice — they'll gravitate toward the best.
To repeat Deford's central hook: "Basically, sports is primarily a class thing, and the pros are simply a higher class than the colleges. It's a better product."

Rather like Obama in the election.

Now, let's turn to the group of concerned parties currently engaged in lobbying against the very thought of the NBA in Louisville.

Media executives revealed as chairs of anti-NBA group, by Joe Arnold (WHAS-11)

The co-chairs of Home Court Advantage, a group aimed at discouraging Louisville from pursuing an NBA team to share the KFC Yum! Center with the University of Louisville, have revealed their involvement in a letter to business leaders.

Keith Hall, a former Insight Communications executive, and George Demaree, the General Sales Manager of Main Line Broadcasting, tout their media experience in the letter, saying, "our own personal pocketbooks have often been dependent on good investment decisions regarding athletics of all kinds on all levels."

Attached to the letter is a study commissioned by the group, revealed by WHAS11 earlier this month, which concludes that the costs associated with attracting and retaining a National Basketball Association franchise for Louisville outweigh the benefits.

Hall is a former member of the University of Louisville Board of Overseers. A U of L spokesman has said that the university was not involved in the study and, to his knowledge, had not requested it.
The argument here is that the interests of Louisville's public university (U of L) outweigh numerous other inter-related civic and business decisions aimed at bringing the NBA to Louisville. Okay, that's fine, except these university "interests" pertain solely to basketball (and a sliver of volleyball) tenancy in Yum's still under-utilized arena.

Now, if these media execs were interested in U of L as a SCHOOL, they might be credible witnesses. As it stands, the tail still wags the dog.

To paraphrase Rodney Dangerfield: "Who made U of L basketball pope of this dump?"

(discussion thread at Facebook)


Iamhoosier said...

Accordingly, Kentucky would not support a pro team. (using your example)

The New Albanian said...

It must be forced down their throats, just like real beer.

Or not.

I know you understand that I richly enjoy antagonizing college sports enthusiasts. The funny thing is, I'm rarely watching sports at all any longer, pro or otherwise. Too much time, too many distractions.

Jeff Gillenwater said...

Bring back the Metro Conference.

Iamhoosier said...

Time and the expense of the "classiest", whether pro or college.

The New Albanian said...

That's true, too. These days we save up for one, maybe two MLB splurges a year, and call it a day.