Fox's "BCS Selection Show" began exactly as we might have expected. It was incredibly condescending.
When TCU was sent to the Fiesta Bowl matchup, it wasn't quite as bad as last year, when Utah was sent to the Sugar Bowl. But there's a continuing theme:
You little peons from the Mountain West Conference should be so excited because you get to go to a BCS bowl game! This is the be-all, end-all of your existence! It's such a step up for you!
Never mind that you're being shut out of a shot at the national championship. "Go ahead and celebrate tonight!" fans in Fort Worth were told.
If you watched the Horned Frog players, a lot of them didn't look very happy. No doubt because they were (a) shut out of the title game and (b) matched against Boise State. Thus, no chance for either team to topple one of the privileged few.
At least this year, there was an acknowledgement that TCU might have done better. Jimmy Johnson said that "TCU could be the best team in the country." And Charles Davis said that, while he believed "the country is comfortable" with Alabama-Texas for the BCS championship, there are "a lot of people expressing regret that TCU didn't get their shot."
That's more respect than Utah got a year ago. But this attitude that you little guys should be happy that we've even allowed you into our party has got to go.
IT WILL BE INTERESTING to see how Fox covers the BCS next year, when it doesn't have the rights to the games.
Obviously, the network won't do the BCS selection show. And I'm guessing its coverage will be less fawning.
On the other hand, it's hard not to be concerned that ESPN — where so many fans go for their sports news — will be even more compromised than it already is. This season, ESPN networks (including ABC) will telecast 26 of the 34 bowl games.
Next year, the BCS moves to ESPN. Including ABC's continuing relationship with the Rose Bowl, ESPN will have all the BCS bowls.
Remember, ESPN canceled the critically praised series "Playmakers" six years go because the NFL objected. And ESPN didn't want to tick the NFL off.
So don't look for objective reporting when it comes to the bowls and the BCS.
IF YOU THINK that advertisers don't influence content, you must have missed The mtn.'s BYU-Utah pregame a couple of weeks ago.
With a completely straight face, Marius Payton told viewers that Utahns call the game "the Deseret First Duel."
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"Now, it's been known as the Holy War for years, but the winds of change are blowing through the beehive," he said.
Cut to tape of Deseret First Credit Union CEO Kris Mecham saying, "It became pretty natural fairly quickly that when the Deseret First Duel first came around, that that was easier to grab onto."
I get that it's about advertising. And I'm thrilled both schools are getting some money out of it.
But when was the last time you heard somebody call BYU-Utah "the Deseret First Duel"?