And, damn it, I'm proud of it.
And we are Big Ten. Damn proud of that, too!
I'm going to go back a few months to some comments written by my new best friend who is a Wisconsin fan, ChiBadger. He made me rethink what I write, what I say, how I think about what I do around here.
Now, first off, our colleague Jim Hoffman had a really cool post on UConn's desperation to get into a Power 5 conference. And I have to give the Huskies credit for being creative, regardless of how desperate it comes off. UConn, the sixth borough? Really?
But back to my point here.
This is a Rutgers blog. Not a "Look at how crappy Syracuse and BC are" blog. I really don't care about them. But we do spend an inordinate amount of time pointing fingers at them, or others like them. Why? Because we used to play them on a regular basis? Well, we don't any more. We play Penn State, and Maryland, and Ohio State. They are our peers, not the nordic numbskulls in upstate New York. Not the bean-loving, lying "We'll never leave the Big East" haughty eaglets in Massachusetts.
To paraphrase our good friend, Sen. Lesniak, We are in the Big Ten. Act like it!
In essence, we need to stop whining about other schools....and look at where we are. And I'm guilty of it. I love using the idea of schadenfreude in posts, and I did it a lot. It was fun....okay, it is fun. Dump on Syracuse, dump on BC, dump on UConn, dump on....all of 'em. Well, I'm done. I'm stopping.
Back to ChiBadger. He wrote a comment that struck me and here's part of it:
Lurker's View (rambling and incoherent as it may be)
I periodically stop over to see what the new big ten members are up to, so hello. I don't have answers, but here's a couple observations and some background....
[about how to grow as a program] ....a funny thing happened there too; as the ‘brand' was rejuvenated and grew so did admissions. That stuff about not being a public ivy if you have good sports is just stupid. Also, stop bitching about Syracuse or Connecticut. I know it's regional, but who cares about either one? Build your own brand.
Sorry there's no easy answer, but push the school (the profs, or at least most of them, didn't care about sports, but they liked interest and opportunities that exposure and money bring....they definitely get that, Get PR as the other guy suggested. The more the name is out there the better.....Understand it will take time, but you have a massive advantage joining the big ten and the profit machine it's become. GOOD LUCK! [emphasis added]by ChiBadger on Feb 24, 2016
"Get PR as the other guy suggested." Well, that's what UConn did, as inane as it might have been. We saw it, we took note, we reacted. Good for them. "....stop bitching about Syracuse or Connecticut." Agreed. No more!
Why are we concerned with them? Really, why? Well, maybe we are, maybe we aren't really interested in what they do. Jim's post was on point because it dealt with marketing, conference realignment, and a broader topic than just UConn. But we look at them and concern ourselves with them maybe just a little too much. So as for me, I'm not giving "them" the time of day. I'm concerned about Rutgers and its conference. The Big Ten.
Well, okay, unless it's really funny and embarrassing for them. Then I jump all over it.
Like how Ash and Urban and Rhule are holding a satellite camp in New Jersey the same day that UM Coach Nutcase is holding his at Paramus Catholic. Okay, that's funny.
Nice job, Coach Ash. We're a Big Ten school.