“‘Banner Day for Big East’ Sez Prez” and Other Jokes (That Double as Sad Realizations About the State of College Athletics) From Last Night

– With what could probably be considered only the third worst day in Big East history — behind the two separate large-scale exoduses: 2004’s abandonment by football powerhouses  Virginia Tech and Miami and last year’s announcement of the departure of conference stalwarts Syracuse and Pittsburgh — it was announced that  famed also-ran Notre Dame would be moving all of the other sports they play that no one actually cares about (read: anything that isn’t football) to the ACC AND that long-time UConn men’s basketball coach and professional curmudgeon Jim Calhoun would be retiring this morning. “I just couldn’t keep it going. I just didn’t have it in me to continue down the path I was going. You can only be an insufferable, self-centered jackass so long. After a while, the questions about your pay relative to other public employees, the questions about recruiting improprieties, the questions about the trouble your “student”-athletes get into off the court, and the complete inability to graduate your players starts to wear on you,” said Calhoun to an unnamed source close to the septuagenarian. In addition to Old Man Calhoun’s decision to leave the once-proud conference, the announcement of Notre Dame’s departure strikes another blow at the very core of the Big East — its women’s basketball programs. When the Fighting Irish will be entering the ACC is still up in the air, as the current 5 million exit fee for the Big East comes with a 27-month no-compete clause and a 3-month recovery period following the brutal beatdown on ND’s athletic director required by the conference’s bylaws, but this process has been circumvented in the past. As always, we’ll have more on this here at PPC HQ as the story develops.

– The New York Yankees staved off 2nd place for another day following their narrow 5-4 victory over the hapless Boston Red Sox, keeping apace with a rolling Baltimore Orioles group that won another walk-off game, with a Nate McClouth double off-the-wall sending the O’s to  3-2 victory over their division-lead and wild-card competition, the Tampa Bay Rays, in the bottom of the 9th. The Bombers find themselves in unfamiliar territory, having never relinquished a divisional lead of more than 7 — they lead by as many as 10 game at one point during the summer — and are hoping be able to work through injuries to Mark Teixiera  and their aging pitching staff to prevent the largest collapse in team history. “We just kind of figured the season was over after the Red Sox hired Bobby Valentine. This is getting ridiculous. The Orioles are the ones breathing down our necks, for f**k’s sake! Is there no sense of decency left in this world? IS THERE NO GOD?!” said a clearly distraught Joe Girardi during an interview in his office before sobbing directly into his “World’s Best Dad” mug.

– Finally, in please-please-please-don’t-do-this-to-us-again news, the NHL and NHLPA have exchanged proposals as part of their on-going negotiations to reach a collective bargaining agreement before this weekend’s lockout deadline. We’d make a joke here, but honestly, we’d really hate to see all 10 NHL fans still left be left without a league again this season.

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