Ovies: Ol' Roy was right about ol' media
Posted March 14
Syracuse will host UNC Greensboro at the Carrier Dome in opening round play of the NIT on Tuesday night. While the tournament claims the matchup had nothing to do with Orange head coach Jim Boeheim's comments regarding the value of hosting future ACC Tournaments in the Gate City, it's hard to move past the delicious storyline. Heck, you can even buy a T-shirt to commemorate the occasion.
Boeheim has tried to clear up his thoughts on there being "no value in playing in Greensboro," telling ESPN's Mike & Mike that he "loves Greensboro" and enjoyed coaching there after joining the ACC.
"I was answering a question about our league, and I think our tournament is better in a big city," Boeheim said. "You can disagree with that, and Greensboro disagrees with that. People were great to us there. I just think from a marketing and recruiting standpoint as a head coach, we’re better when we play in New York or Washington or Atlanta for the league, not for me."
It's too bad Boeheim continued to use an arguement about cities weaker than Syracuse's performance away from their home court this season. If anything, his comments are chock full of irony considering Syracuse was in a conference that enjoyed all the theoretical benefits of a big city conference tournament. And yet, half of Boeheim's old league ended up fleeing for the one that established their college basketball dominance in a city which lacked such things.
Ultimately Boeheim sounds old and out of touch while he continues to harp about media centers and marketing. It's cool to have some sweet-looking New York City video to run during basketball broadcasts and amusing to see ACC mascots being tourists in the city, but clearly you don't need these things to become the best conference in the country.
Even North Carolina head coach Roy Williams, who brags about still using VCRs, understands how the world is different today.
"Now everybody's has got social media, and we don't need 'The New York Times' to find out what in the dickens is going on in the country," Williams said. "You know, our president tweets out more bullshit than anybody I've ever seen. We've got social media. In the old days, there's no question it was the media capital of the world, but I'm not sure it is right now. Media capital of the world is sitting right there, right there, right there."
While everyone was focused on what Williams said about the guy tweeting from the White House, I was flabbergasted by the fact he completely nailed how media works today. Williams is the same guy who fumbles the names of Twitter, Facebook and every other social media app. Yet, there he was, pointing to media members with their laptops and phones out, explaining how media disruption has unmoored the traditional media centers in this country.
And to help prove Williams' point, I went and collected the sports pages of New York's major newspapers to see how they were covering the ACC Tournament.
Here is what the New York Post, New York Daily News and New York Times had on their sports pages Friday morning. You'll notice the lack of an actual sports page in the Times, which rolls sports news into their Business section.
Buried in the Post was a column from Mike Vaccaro highlighting Friday night's Tobacco Road showdown in Brooklyn between the Devils and the Heels. The Daily News had a write up about Jayson Tatum potentially getting drafted by the New York Knicks. The Times had a capsule recapping the quarterfinals. Not exactly wall-to-wall coverage.
How about Saturday? Surely the New York Times would include something about the ACC Tournament in their weekend sports section. Turns out they did, but still not front page worthy.
On Sunday morning following Duke's ACC Tournament win, the same three papers didn't think it was a big enough deal compared to Carmelo Anthony running the triangle offense or Geno Smith possibly going from the Jets to the Giants.
Vaccaro had another column in the Post, highlighting Duke's continued dominance of college basketball, while the Daily News simply recapped the game and gave slightly bigger play to the Big East Tournament. Don't bother looking inside the New York Times. Their "Sports Sunday" didn't even mention the ACC Championship.
Look, Brooklyn did a fine job hosting the ACC Tournament. The crowds were great and should be better next season now that everyone knows what to expect. However, the ACC would have received the same level of media exposure whether it was played in New York, Greensboro or inside a community center. Ultimately it's the product on the court that brings the eyeballs, and the conference will continue to attract attention wherever it plays.