Word went out in December of 2009 that the Big Ten was looking to expand, possibly taking one, two, three or even four Big East teams in the process.
The Big East publicly responded to the threat...in April 2010.
After four months of the silent "I don't wanna talk about it" treatment, the Big East finally grew a pair and decided to start defending itself from what is now an inevitable attack on its stability and possibly its existence. Paul Tagliabue was introduced as a special adviser on Tuesday and by Friday he fired his first Midwest-targeted missile via the NY Times' Pete Thamel.
"It’s very disruptive to everyone outside of the Big Ten," Tagliabue said in a phone interview on Thursday. "Everything outside the Big Ten is held in artificial suspension. The Big Ten looks at a bunch of choices and everyone else has to deal with the depreciating value and a ton of negativity. I hope there’s a better way. Otherwise it’s going to have a terrible negative effect on everyone other than the schools in the Big Ten."
To drive his point home, Tags took the argument to the people who matter most in this battle. The salt of the Earth. The cradle of Western civilization. Long Island.
"Is Minnesota and Rutgers going to get a big rating on Long Island? Give me a break."
HELL. YEAH. TAGS. You tell'm! I mean, let's not discuss whether or not that's any less attractive than Rutgers-Cincinnati or Rutgers-South Florida, but....SCREW YOU MINNESOTA!!!
But Tags wasn't done yet. He was adamant about driving home the needs, wants and desires of the average Long Islander.
"Am I going to rush home from a tennis game on Saturday to watch Minnesota and Rutgers if I live on Long Island?"
CORRECT! Paul Tagliabue has captured the demo PERFECTLY. Because as we all know, 99% of college football fans play tennis on Saturdays while football is on. That's what we do. I can't even imagine a college football Saturday where I'm not out on the clay, serving up some hot fuzz and smashing home a volley from some jerk Big Ten grad. IN YOUR FACE, PURDUE!
Case closed, Big Ten. Long Island doesn't want your kind.