With the jackpot growing, we decided we should buy some tickets for a little "The Drive" pool, and see if we could win the cash. Because let's face it, even though we do make part-time radio money, everyone can use a little extra dough. The drawing was on Wednesday night but we didn't have tickets yet so Sammy and Matt decided the middle of the show was a great time to go get some. Let's hear how that went...
Much like the reaction from IU fans when Kentucky cancelled their yearly series after it lookedl like the Hoosiers would no longer be pushovers, the folks up in Michigan are a little upset with Notre Damn for discontinueing one of the oldest rivalries in football now that the Irish are in a "relationship" with the ACC.
Coach Brady Hoke of the Wolverines went so far as to say the Irish were "chickening out" of the series, because even though they'll keep on playing Michigan State and Purdue, the Irish have chosen not to continue playing Michigan after their current contract runs out in 2014.
So what do you think, is this a chicken move? You bet it is. Even though I don't like either team, I respect Michigan for wanting to continue to play a team that's a threat to beat them each and every season. While ND bolted for a conference that makes going undefeated a yearly possibility, Michigan plays in the brutal B1G and still welcomes a challenge from the Irish, which would make National Title hopes a little tougher to realize. So go on, Notre Dame, play your little UK game of run and hide. Fans will see you for what you are, and what you're doing... and I'm glad Hoke had the balls to say it.
And they say Miami Heat fans aren't passionate. THe woman now famous for flipping off the Bulls after their loss to the Miami Heat either really hates the Bulls, or was upset that Noah stole her hair style. Oh, and on a fun side note, according to Deadspin, this woman in the photo was once accused of killing her husband. Fun!
The Pacers are almost back. They’ve got quality, likeable guys on the team, three of which have been to the All-Star game. They’ve got a talented young coach who twice should have been a heavy favorite for Coach of the Year. They play the right way, meaning they aren’t a bunch of spotlight driven primadonas that whine, pout and crave the attention but instead get down and dirty to win games. They’ve got everything they had back in the 90’s when they were a team on the rise except for one thing… the fans. And people keep asking, What is it going to take to get the fans to come back to Bankers Life Fieldhouse? This series could be the start of it.
The biggest issue the Pacers have going for them is that they’ve got no national profile. Outside of people that are already hardcore Pacers fans, nobody gets to see the games. Unless you know to go to FOX Sports Indiana, you didn’t see many of their games on television. And unless they happened to be mentioned after beating the Heat or Knicks, you didn’t see them talked about on any of ESPN’s talking head shows. For the casual fan, that’s the kind of exposure the Pacers need to get back into their hearts… and their wallets.
In the 90s, you could turn on the TV on a spring Saturday or Sunday and catch the Pacers in a high profile game against the Bulls, Knicks, Celtics or Heat. That kind of exposure helped teach the casual fans that the Pacers were relevant, and were among the elite teams in the league. And though the Pacers have established their worth on the court, they haven’t done it in the minds of the national media, which in turns means the casual fans aren’t buying in. And unfortunately this past playoffs series against the Hawks didn’t help.
The Pacers Hawks series was a joke to most of the National Sports Media, with many commentators going as far as to laugh about having not seen a single second of the series. So while the Pacers showed their toughness to those watching, there’re weren’t many eyeballs tuned to NBA TV to see it. (BTW, 2 of the Pacers games were featured on NBA TV, and one was on ESPN 2. Only three were seen on a major network. No other series got that treatment.)
Meanwhile, other low-profile teams like the Clippers, Rockets, Nets and Nuggets were getting major exposure and gaining a national audience and identity while losing. People learned who Brook Lopez, Steph Curry, Ty Lawson and David Lee were and what they could do… but still nobody got to see Hibbert, George or West while winning.
But this will be different against the Knicks. The National media is watching… they have to, it’s New York! If the Pacers the spotlight is on the Pacers now, and this is their chance to be seen on the big stage. This is the chance to get the casual fans back. If they can look good on national TV, to the point where people are talking about the Pacers winning and not the Knicks losing, the fans will be back in the seats, buying the merch, and supporting the team. And then if they can win the series and face the Heat in the Conference Finals… it might be the glorious 90s all over again!
Mr. Wizard was famous for teaching kids science lessons with fun, everyday household items. Oh, and he was also kind of a prick. But at least he always told the kids they were "wrong" with a a smarmy smile. Alex Trebek could learn a thing or two from him... we all could.