Saturday, December 18, 2010

Legends and Leaders and Buckeyes, oh my!

The Big Ten came up with names for the newly-minted, 12-team, two-division football league that will begin play next season. No big deal you say? Ordinarily I'd agree. Except for the choice of names: "Legends" and "Leaders". Really.

So some team next season will be the "Big 10 Leaders leader"? We already know that there aren't any highly-ranked officials in the Big 10 that can count, so why should their grasp of language be any better? Predictably, it didn't take long for public outcry to begin building against these ill-advised names. Suprisingly, though, is how quickly the Big 10 brass, specifically Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany, has reacted to the bad reviews:

"I think we have enough experience with names, and expansion and development of divisions, to know that you never, rarely, get 90 percent approval rating. But to get a 90 percent non-approval rating was, you know, really surprising."

If Michigan had a guy who could backpedal that fast, they wouldn't have the nation's 111th-ranked pass defense. The most remarkable result of the backlash is that Delany is already talking about changing the names. That's just short of convening a committee.

I agree that by randomly shuffling the teams to create the divisions it makes it difficult to use geographical designations. I also don't think Delany is wrong in thinking that Wisconsin wouldn't want to compete in the "Hayes" or "Paterno" division.

That said, the men who run the Big 10 are all highly-paid executives at major institutions. Someone go grab some English Lit majors, put them in a room and check back in a few hours. You'll have some new division names in no time.

No comments: