Well, well, well…look what the cat dragged in!
After about a month and a half off here I am back again, writing about our beloved Wisconsin Badgers. Luckily not much has happened in the realm of college sports nor the Big Ten specifically in that time, so we can just dive right in to talking about UW’s tight end depth!
For those who don’t know me, my name is Drew Hamm and I’m the new guy around here. I have been writing about the Badgers online for a long time (at SB Nation; Bucky’s 5th Quarter; and my newsletter, Badgers Ball Knower) and been a fan of the teams for even longer than that. I was born in Philadelphia, grew up in the Philly suburbs, and have lived in the Upper Midwest (Madison; Chicago; Twin Cities) since 2003. I’m the son of a Badger, I’m married to a Badger, and have two kids who will hopefully grow up to be Badgers. I like to think I bring my refined East Coast sensibilities, of throwing batteries at opponents and my own team alike, to the Midwest via my writing.
My role here at BadgerNotes will be a bit amorphous to start. I’m quite excited that Dillon invited me to join the team, but we decided that we don’t really want to pigeonhole myself off the bat. I will be offering opinion pieces, potentially mailbags, and probably some women’s basketball coverage, but I also want to be responsive to what the readers here want.
Buckle up … Because Ive Got Some Thoughts on All the Big Ten Conference Realignment Stuff
Now that we’ve gotten the formalities out of the way, allow me to say that I absolutely can’t stand what is happening with realignment in college sports. Oregon and Washington are two great schools with great fan bases that I think are pretty cool and who should also NEVER BE IN THE BIG TEN EVEN IF THERE IS A FIRE!
College football’s slow, agonizing descent into becoming NFL Lite is as painful for fans as it is lucrative for TV executives. College football is an inherently regional sport and while you may not have been a geography major in school, I’m assuming you know that New Jersey and Oregon are not in the same region of the country. The Big Ten, in their endless greed and inability to live up to their “leaders and legends” moniker, has destroyed the college football we know and love.
Jim Delany, Kevin Warren, and the new Big Ten commissioner whose name I don’t remember (and won’t look up!) have done their jobs wonderfully. They have provided Maximum Value for the shareholders (university bigwigs and television executives) and they don’t care what rivalries and traditions they bust up in the process.
The most disappointing part of all of this? I won’t stop watching. I’m a little piggie and I need my B1G slop. Wisconsin vs. Rutgers in football on Saturday at 11 a.m. CT? Wisconsin at Washington in basketball on a Wednesday night at 11 p.m. CT? Big Ten Volleyball media days in Los Angeles? Yeah, I’ll keep watching that shit because I’m weak-willed. I’d love to take a principled stand and tell the Big Ten to take a long walk off a short pier, but I’ve literally spent my whole life (nearly four decades) supporting Wisconsin athletics. That’s not something you just turn off in one offseason.
This is what the decision makers in college athletics are counting on, by the way. They know we, the true perverts, won’t ever stop turning on the Big Ten Network to watch Howard Griffith break down Iowa’s rushing attack. However, while they won’t lose you and me…they will lose casual fans. They’ll also lose the next generation of fans because there will be nothing to connect the kids to their parents.
My dad went to Wisconsin and hated Iowa and Minnesota. Then, 30 years later, I went to Wisconsin…AND ALSO HATED IOWA AND MINNESOTA! Who are my kids going to hate? Maryland? Oregon?? Nebraska?????? Christ, that’s bleak. The Big Ten is going to make a bunch of money here in the short term but then what of the long term if there are no new fans? The people who made these decisions, who will be long gone to their private islands by this point, don’t care about the fans, the league, or the athletes in it yet we’ll be left to pick up the pieces. If there are any left.
Anyways, happy to join the team on a positive and uplifting note! If you’d like more of this, plus plenty of Sports Shouting, you can follow me on Twitter dot com @drewhamm5!
Contact/Follow us @Badger_Notes on Twitter, Subscribe to the BadgerNotes Newsletter here, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Wisconsin Badgers news, notes, opinion, and analysis. You can also follow Drew Hamm on Twitter @DrewHamm5
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