this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
Unverified Voracity Fears Zoltan's Terrible Wrath
Patch impresses. Our highest-drafted incoming hockey recruit at the WJC camp:
Max Pacioretty (MON) was impressive at the camp. He used his body and played with a lot of energy before missing the last game due to a minor injury to the stomach. "He was one of the best players in the games I have seen," commented Timmins.
Palushaj called out as someone who "might have to step it up a bit more"; other attendees not mentioned.
Orson Swindle, blogger for www.everydayshouldbesaturday.com, identifies this fan-made "Zoltan for Heisman" tee-shirt as proof of the recent online Heisman fever boom. When asked what the most outside-the-box thing in terms of pre-season Heisman hype he's seen, Swindle says, "Does this shirt count? Because it should, damn it. Zoltan Mesko is Michigan's very good -- but far from Heisman-worthy -- punter."
Yep, a punter.
Ironic or not, there's Heisman buzz out there.
I created the shirt, and there is no irony in it whatsoever. Perhaps he did not deserve it a year ago, but trust me, when he averages 58 yards a kick this year and coffin-corners every one inside the five he will be in NYC. And then he will be our space emperor, and perhaps then you shall feel the wrath you incurred by questioning his worth. Yea, Zoltan the Inconceivable will make you pay for your lack of faith.
Na ga da. Rumored Ohio freeview of BTN on opening weekend -- relevant as a possible thaw in cable-BTN relations somewhere -- is a no go:
"I'm sure Time Warner would love to offer the games for free," Big Ten Network spokeperson Elizabeht Conlisk said today, "but I don't think our other partners would be very happy about that."
This isn't a change in thinking. Conlisk basically said the previous report did not accurately reflect the conference's position on the issue. Conlisk was right though - a Time Warner spokesperson said the company would be happy to show the games without a deal.
Why wouldn't they?
Like... duh. "We're perfectly willing to show the games for free! Why does the Big Ten hate America?" Etc. More of the same from the Chicago News-Tribune's Teddy Greenstein:
What will I find on Comcast Ch. 255 this weekend?
A Big Ten logo. Although Comcast doesn't want to meet the BTN's asking price, it wants its customers to believe that it's striving to make a deal and carry the network.
However, it does sound like things are moving along on all fronts except one particularly relevant one:
"We remain in discussions with five major distributors," Delany said. "Some negotiations are pretty mature. Some are pretty immature, in particular those with Comcast. We're in the fourth quarter for our launch, but we're in the first quarter (in negotiations) with Comcast.
"We're totally committed to a broad-based distribution. They are insisting on a narrow sports tier distribution. That's not something we can concede to."
I fail to see how Comcast can possibly justify throwing the BTN on a sports tier (or, rather, not having it at all) if the network gets deals done with other providers. Comcast's only leg to stand on is the BTN having unreasonable demands; deals with other providers will establish a pricing benchmark and undercut the idea that the BTN doesn't deserve expanded basic placement.
I'm with Mark Tupper, author of the above piece (and "oracular Illini observer" in the words of the dear departed Big Ten Wonk). I'm willing to wait a couple weeks into football season to see if an agreement can be reached, largely because I'm going to be at all three games that have been mentioned as potential BTN games, but once basketball/hockey season rolls around I am gone if I can't get the BTN. I imagine droves of Michigan State fans will follow the same pattern.
No fumbles. Mike Hart talking about his lack of fumbles:
Etc.: somebody named Kyle Busch really likes Michigan. I do not know why this is significant. Jason Forcier is staying out of the Harbaugh thing. The Hawkeye Compulsion tracks down the whereabouts of Mike Hart.