Two years ago, Wall Street Journal entertainment writer John Jurgensen wrote a retrospective on Tom Petty. The musician certainly wasn’t finished, but the then-upcoming release of a career-spanning anthology provided the occasion to look back and consider his legacy. The thesis of the piece was that, in terms of legacy, Petty was too good for his own good. Somehow, because he has been so popular and successful for so long, people almost lose track of him and forget to list him when discussing the great rock and rollers of the period.
There are plenty of reasons why people may not bat an eye at James and his numbers– he plays on the West Coast, in Oregon’s offensive system, and has been doing so for a long time in relative terms (and he’s only a junior, which, along with the existence of a strong field of contenders, may help to explain his omission from the Heisman list this year)– but one can strum up plenty of reasons for Petty’s treatment in the popular realm too– he isn’t a flashy guitar shredder, his voice isn’t inherently iconic, he didn’t have a mega-hit of temporal cultural relevance, he’s kinda goofy-looking. Yet Jurgensen’s too-good-for-his-own-good thesis applies equally to both men. Indeed, these listed reasons really aren’t exceptions to the overarching notion; the fact that they are good or at least debatable factors tends to support it.
I don’t think that familiarity always breeds contempt. In the case of Petty and James, the combination of familiarity and success appear to breed forgettableness.
USA Today does its best to disentangle the World Wide Leader’s role in the current conference realignment mess:
For all that ESPN has lent to the growth of major-college athletics — through on-air exposure and with rights-fees payouts that schools have fed into stadium improvements, luxurious locker rooms and huge contracts for top coaches — there’s an undercurrent of concern about the influence of the self-proclaimed Worldwide Leader in Sports.
It’s not just that its tentacles are everywhere: They’re everywhere at once.
As a TV rights holder, ESPN is a business partner to a wide array of conferences and schools (its total college outlay will average more than $700 million annually by next year).
And as a leading broadcast, print and online news outlet, ESPN also reports the news it’s often a party to making.
Although I wish it delved more deeply into the ethical/journalistic issues involved in ESPN reporting on events that it has a substantial financial and controlling interest in, the article is still a great read.
The Colts have not contacted free agent QB David Garrard. With the inept Kerry Collins being evaluated for a concussion and Peyton Manning (neck) likely out for the season, Colts fans are clamoring for an addition. But the team might be best off going with Collins and Curtis Painter, thus entering themselves in the Suck for Luck sweepstakes. The Colts have not shown any interest in Kurt Warner or Marc Bulger either, although they are both retired anyway.
I was thinking last night that Indy should make a move for Garrard, whom Jacksonville almost certainly shouldn’t have let go. They probably will have to lose every game– something of which they’re undoubtedly capable– to get Andrew Luck, but it still is amazing to think that a team like the Colts would even be in a position where flushing a season looked like the team’s best (and possibly only) option. Keep reading…
Before this year, the Pacific Twelve was the Pac 10. The conference added consistent football juggernauts Colorado and Utah to make a non-baker’s dozen. In reality, the Buffs and Utes are anything but (no matter what Senator Hatch says), which is what makes yesterday’s statement confusing. The flailing Big XII’s national powerhouses, Texas (to my surprise) and Oklahoma, were making comparatively overt, public ovations to the Pacific Twelve, and it was the acts and statements of these schools that triggered the no-expansion announcement. Why they would not want these two programs, though, is beyond me.
I haven’t engaged in the rumor-mongering that’s been flooding the webwaves these past weeks and months, but it’s hard to disagree with the view that we’re going to end up with four sixteen-school superconferences. Once the SEC, Big Ten, and whatever survives out of the ACC and Big East each amass sixteen members, the Pacific Twelve will wish really bad that they’d become the Pacific 14 in 2011 by adding Texas and Oklahoma. In fact, they could have led the way by also taking Texas Tech and Oklahoma State, schools thought to be politically tied to their in-state counterparts, to become the first sixteen-school major conference. Their non-expansionist foreign-conference policy might make Ron Paul happy on some micro level, but in the next round of major conference realignment, the Pacific Twelve will 1) join in the expansion; 2) wish they already had as members these two major programs because there aren’t any better options and those are two excellent options anyway; and 3) solicit their membership if Texas and Oklahoma aren’t already gone to another conference.