Posted by SOTT on June 01, 2009 at 11:25:12:
Lucas at Large: Badger media guides, R.I.P.
Mike Lucas writes about all things sports
The Capital Times
Where else will we learn ...
Bret Bielema's favorite meal ("Tuscany ribeye and garlic braised sprouts cooked in my kitchen'') ...
Or, what his pet peeves are ("Lazy people and unrepaired ball marks'') ...
Or, what his favorite movie is ("Wedding Crashers'') ...
Where else will we learn ...
What posters Jordan Taylor has on his bedroom wall ("LeBron James and Kevin Garnett'') ...
Or, what song he can't help but sing along to ("Back at One'' by Brian McKnight) ...
Or, what living person he'd like to meet ("President Barack Obama'') ...
Or, what he listens to before every UW basketball game ("Lil' Wayne'') ...
Where else will we be exposed to such insider information now that the death knell has been sounded?
Badger media guides, R.I.P.
It was inevitable and maybe long overdue, especiallly after standard or more conventional college football and basketball media guides began to morph almost completely into garish college football and basketball RECRUITING guides.
Credit the UW for striking a reasonable balance between legit info and infomercials.
In this arena, the Badgers could never be excused of excess, a very good thing. Particularly in comparison to many other Big Ten media guides, which personified the notion that bigger is forever better.
In this context, the usual suspects have been atop the Pages Per Football Media Guide Leader Board: Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State. In 2000, for example, the Wolverines guide stretched 432 pages. Wisconsin's was 278.
Keep in mind, too, that in 2000 the Badgers were coming off back-to-back conference titles and Rose Bowls. And, yet, they still exhibited laudable common sense and self-restraint by not joining the "Guides'' race.
Everybody else was out of control; so much so that it even got the attention of the NCAA. In 2005, a limit was placed on media guides -- 208 pages -- as a cost-saving measure.
A reference point: the 2004 University of Missouri football media guide weighed 2.2 pounds (614 pages).
Such was the excess.
"I understand why people look at our book and think, 'C'mon, that's out of hand,''' Missouri's director of media relations Chad Moller told USA Today. "But it doesn't impact anyone's budget but ours.''
Added Michigan State's John Lewandowski, an assistant athletics director, "I found it very comical when a spokesperson for the NCAA said, 'It's all about leveling the playing field for recruiting.' You want to level the playing field, limit stadium capacity to 50,000. You can't do that, just like you can't legislate tradition.''
The most tradition-rich programs in the Big Ten -- Michigan and Ohio State -- issued a joint statement earlier this spring that they would be eliminating media guides at a savings of more than $250,000 per year.
Wisconsin is expected to save about $200,000 at the expense of not being able to enlighten Badger fans on what J. P. Gavinski watches before every UW basketball game.
He watches Seinfeld.
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