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Scott D. Pierce: Glenn's gesture gave MWC attention

Published: Friday, Nov. 16 2007 12:06 a.m. MST

Well, at least the Mountain West Conference has discovered a way to make it on a network other than The mtn.

All it needs to do is have one of its football coaches make an obscene gesture toward another of its football coaches.

As has been well documented, since the MWC ended its deal with ESPN/ABC and started its ill-fated TV pact with The mtn./CSTV/Versus, getting highlights of any of its teams on a major broadcast or cable network has been nearly impossible.

Enter Joe Glenn and the Fickle Finger of Fate. Suddenly, the Mountain West Conference is getting attention on everything from CNN to ESPN, from ABC to CBS.

And it was more than just 15 minutes of fame. The blurred image of Glenn's upturned middle finger was still showing up on the national networks on Tuesday — three days after the Wyoming-Utah game and the day after the league issued Glenn a reprimand.

A reprimand? Maybe Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson should have given Glenn a certificate of achievement. After all, the Wyoming coach was able to get the league some attention on channels people actually watch — something Thompson himself has been unable to accomplish.

(That wasn't really fair. But it was somehow therapeutic.)

EARTH TO JOE: It's not just that Coach Glenn made an obscene gesture in Coach Whittingham's direction, it's that he did it when there were cameras rolling.

It's continually amazing that players and coaches do stuff they don't want to be seen doing when they know they're on TV.

EARTH TO JOE, PART 2: If you do something embarrassing on camera, don't turn around a claim you don't remember doing it.

That excuse, which Glenn made through the Wyoming sports information director right after the game, was dumber than making the obscene gesture with the cameras rolling.

AS FOR THAT national attention that Glenn brought the league, well, they say that there's no such thing as bad publicity. In which case, this was good publicity.

The consensus on the national networks was that Glenn acted badly. But that was generally followed by condemnations of Utah coach Kyle Whittingham for attempting an onside kick when his team was up 43-0 in the third quarter.

Whittingham wasn't always mentioned by name, however.

WHAT ABOUT THAT blurry middle finger — which was blurrier on some channels than on others?

The various degrees of electronic cloaking was sort of interesting. Although if you're going to show Glenn in a way that makes it obvious what he's doing; if you're going to tell viewers what he's doing; why bother to blur at all?


E-mail: pierce@desnews.com

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