Monday, March 17, 2014

Requiem For The Big East-- A dressed up ESPN propaganda piece

I found ESPN's Ezra Edelman directed 30 For 30 documentary Requiem For The Big East to be entertaining, emotionally stirring, and ultimately empty. Not empty because of the loss of the old Big East, or because of the betrayal of Villanova's partner schools, but empty because it was intellectually dishonest and had an obvious conflict of interest, which ultimately made me view it as a transparent piece of propaganda released by ESPN to downplay the Worldwide Leader's complicity in the downfall of the Big East, instead saying that an "invisible hand" (capitalism) was ultimately responsible for the destruction destruction of the conference.

Well, if there was an invisible hand, it was ESPN, which was pretty clearly eager to get its mythical "super conferences" as early as 2003, and once Miami, Virginia Tech, and Boston College left the conference,  Bristol had no investment in the Big East anymore, because the football was not up to their standards. So while the documentary presented football as the force that led to the fissure of the Big East, in reality, there is at least a prima facie case that ESPN itself was leading the charge for further conference realignment behind closed doors. 

Then there was the entire marketing campaign around the documentary, which went out of its way to proclaim that the Big East is dead now, and by the time it was ripped apart, it was already dead to begin with. Nevermind the fact that the level of basketball being played in the Big East in the last decade is arguably higher than it had ever been. Just because the conference added some schools and Patrick Ewing and Chris Mullen weren't suiting up for teams in the conference does not mean that the level of basketball being played was not exceptional, because it was, and the addition of the schools like Louisville, Marquette, and Cincinnati only raised the level of competition in the league. Was it an all Northeastern league? No, but it was still somewhat regional, and it still provided great basketball, and after watching the first season of Big East basketball following the breakup of the old conference, I am pretty convinced that this league can be sustainably excellent as long as the current successful coaches stay in place.

So ultimately, Requiem For The Big East was ultimately like watching a film by Charles Manson praising Sharon Tate's beauty and acting ability.

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