I love the military and everything they do for us in this great country. As a matter of fact, when it is feasible, I walk up to men and women and thank them for their service to our country. The smile I get back is worth it.
I also love ESPN, to me no one else does college basketball like they do, while all networks do a superb job of covering college basketball, ESPN to myself is just a little bit better, both with their production and studio shows.
I also have great respect for November 11th, when we honor our military with Veteran's Day. How cool is it this year, 11-11-11.
In honor of Veteran's Day this year, ESPN will broadcast a game live from the deck of the USS Carl Vinson, from San Diego harbor. It will be quite a spectacle, the seating will be for 7,000 people, it will be outdoors and who knows even Phil Mickelson in his hometown, might be the guest announcer, to be an expert on wind conditions. This has all the makings of a very special broadcast, on a very important day. (For the record as of this writing it is 99 percent chance this game will be on the deck of the USS Carl Vinson, of course if you have been following the news, the USS Carl Vinson was the carrier that dumped Osama Bin Laden's body into the ocean for burial. Kind of eerie, but by military scheduling, it makes this the ship, the available ship that can handle this type of game.)
Oh, can't forget the participants, Michigan St. versus North Carolina, a rematch of the 2009 national championship game. Fine teams always, probably a competitive game.
But if for just a second can I take the patriotism out and key match-up element out?
WHY IS THERE NOT A WEST COAST TEAM IN THIS MATCH-UP OR EVEN BETTER WHY NOT A DOUBLEHEADER FEATURING WEST COAST TEAMS, WHICH IS BEING PLAYED IN A KEY WEST COAST CITY THAT TAKES PRIDE IN ITS MILITARY CITIZENS AND RESIDENTS.
It is not a complaint, it just a fact, west coast basketball once again gets left in the dust at time when there is no good reason to do so.
1. San Diego State, won 34 games last year and could have even a better team this year. Why were they not invited. Let alone this game is being played in the town of San Diego, with its awesome military history where our men and women are honored and revered every day.
2. Why was Arizona not invited. As documented in previous blogs, perhaps the best recruiting class in the country coming in and a potential super star coach, the Wildcats can compete with most anybody and could even win the national title this year or next.
3. Why not the second half of the doubleheader, Air Force versus Navy? Better yet, why with such a great venue, not a doubleheader?
4. How about the Washington Huskies? Always exciting, great brand of ball and he is not only an outstanding coach, but Lorenzo Romar just happens to be African-American coach. So many great African-Americans who have made the ultimate sacrifice in our military, it would be even more of a special tribute.
5. Or one more, how about another west coast team like the Oregon Ducks playing in this event? Can you imagine the uniforms for this special day that Uncle Phil and his Nike staff could have come up with for this special day and special game.
North Carolina and Michigan State are TV ratings teams, but considering the importance of this day and the setting on a military ship outdoors, this game will draw a huge rating even if the Washington Generals were playing Cal Tech (the two biggest losing teams in all of basketball), plus you can be assured we will see plenty of the Spartans and Tar Heels during the year and finally, unless I am missing something these two chosen schools have no greater of a significant military history, than other college and universities in this great country. (I do realize this has been reported the idea for this came from Michigan State, great idea, but it does take two teams to play a game and in this case it should have been four teams.)
As I always try to bring fairness, scheduling always is an issue, but I do know college basketball and I think I have given the promoters of this event, Morale Entertainment Company, some pretty good choices above, which easily could have been made.
The day and meaning of the day, far outweigh the teams playing, but it would be remiss on my part not to at least bring to the attention, that once again west coast college basketball gets a slap in the face and left in the dust. Morale Entertainment Company and Michigan State, hats off for bringing this idea forward, but hats stepped on for your choice of teams, you BLEW THIS ONE.
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