Back to business: A Big East-Gator split?

Vacation is over. I’m back to writing tomorrow, but first, a little blog catch-up.

The Big East and Gator Bowl may be heading for a split, according to the Tampa Tribune. Brett McMurphy reports that Big East commissioner John Marinatto says that unless Gator officials abandon the current Big East-Big 12 hybrid lineup (vs. the ACC), it’s likely that the Gator won’t be part of the Big East bowl lineup starting next season. Call me crazy, but is the Big East in any position to make demands like this? Seems to me that the Gator Bowl sometimes is better than the Gator Bowl never. Take away the Gator from this year’s Big East lineup, and after the BCS bowl you’d have the Meineke Car Care Bowl, Brut Sun Bowl, International Bowl or the PapaJohns.com Bowl. [Tampa Tribune story]

Best piece of journalism I read while on vacation? Check out Lee Jenkins’ recap of the Mark Buherle perfect game in Sports Illustrated. Go ahead and forward this one to “Best Sports Writing, 2009.” Jenkins illustrates why the print game story is not dead, when done right. A story like this takes you places you can’t go, and illuminates the game even for those who saw it up close. Great piece of reporting and writing. [Jenkins SI story]

Oh, and that’s not to gloss over my colleague Rick Bozich’s outstanding commentary of the de-Brohmification of University of Louisville football. [Dr. Bo]

My predecessor and friend, former C-J columnist Jerry Brewer, is the subject of this week’s interview on The Big Lead. Worth reading. Note — Jerry has a book due out this fall, Gloria’s Miracle. Watch a video preview of the book here (well worth the 2 1/2 minutes). [Jerry’s Big Lead interview]

New York Times sports columnist Harvey Araton, one of the best thinking man’s (and woman’s) sports columnists, has been plucked from the sports section at the Times and moved to a new team of feature columnists for the paper. In leaving, he gave The New York Observer this take on the future of (gulp) newspaper sports columnists:

I don’t know what the future is for the general sports columnist in the newspaper business. Everything seems to be moving to specialists. The notion of the erudite columnist sitting down and taking the time to think of something unique and different and provocative . . . well, the news cycles are moving too quickly. You can do it if you’re a Web site. But if you’re a paper, you have to reinvent it.

The move wasn’t his idea, according to the Observer. But I bet he does an outstanding job with it, and am looking forward to see his work outside of sports. [New York Observer]

Checklist reminder. If you’re a U of L fan and haven’t come up with your checklist for what will make a successful season, the due date is approaching. Now that I’m back to work I’m going to start putting all those together in a more comprehensive way for a story that will run sometime in the near future. [See what it’s about, here.]

On tap for this week? I’m looking at taking another look at U of L football ticket sales. How often is the U of L ticket office calling you? And I examine the question of whether Rachel Alexandra should run in the Breeders’ Cup. We already know she’s not — because it’s being run on Santa Anita’s synthetic surface. But is that any excuse for what may be the nation’s best horse missing its biggest day at the races? [E-mail me]

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25 thoughts on “Back to business: A Big East-Gator split?

  1. I read the Buehrle article while listening to the Rudy soundtrack (just a weird coinscidence.) Eventhough I wasn't able to watch the game, the article and the music made me visualize it like a movie. Priceless.

  2. Brewer was one of the worst writers the CJ ever hired. Maybe his writing improved? But he had no business being a columnist at the CJ. Too often his columns reflected the writing style of an 8th grader. Just painful to read and unfortunately over a few weeks, it became pretty obvious why he was hired…nothing which has to do with writing but more to do with race.Added to his poor writing skills was his lack of local sports knowledge. So even if you could get past the poor writing, you were stuck with weak, uniformed, infantile content and a lack of any attempt at humor. Eric, are you really trying to say you didn't think you got screwed over when he was hired? You were definitely more qualified than some kid who could barely put two words together.

  3. I love all these armchair writing critiques. If I remember correctly, isn't Brewer writing for the Seattle paper now?

  4. If the Gator Bowl is smart, they'll abandon ship. The Big East is only a major conference because of basketball. Without that, it's still the Conference USA.

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