TELEVISION IS THE greatest thing that's ever happened to sports fans. And, what with the advent of the Internet, there's more sports to be seen than ever before.

If it weren't for TV and the Internet, it would be difficult to believe that what happened last week at the end of the Trinity University-Millsaps College game actually happened. And yet, thanks to video from the single-camera, online coverage of the Division III game between teams from San Antonio, Texas, and Jackson, Miss., we all got to see the last play of the game — repeated over and over again on various news and sports-highlights shows.

And how will we ever forget the forward pass and 15 laterals that resulted in Trinity's come-from-behind, 28-24 victory?

This is the kind of thing you have to see to believe. Some of my favorite people in the world are sportswriters, but there isn't a sportswriter on Earth who could have watched that play live, kept track of everything and relayed it to readers.

We're lucky we live in the 21st century.

JUST TO REITERATE, that Trinity-Millsaps coverage came from a single camera in the lowest of low-budget operations. And yet we could see everything that happened.

Sometimes the games with dozens of cameras and computer gadgetry and fantastic graphics are so over-produced that it's hard to see what's going on.

ADDING FUEL to the fire for those who are infuriated by the Mountain West Conference's TV deal are comments like these.

Back on Sept. 22, when Air Force was riding high — 3-0 and getting some mention in the national polls — ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit was asked whether he would "buy" or "sell" the Falcons.

"I'm selling them because I can't ever find them on television," he said. "I haven't seen them play all year. Do they televise their games?"

Granted, Herbstreit works for ESPN, which one could argue isn't impartial about either the MWC or its television rivals. (Although calling The mtn. a rival of ESPN is sort of like calling SUU a rival of Ohio State.)

But, again, this is just more ammunition for those who believe that Mountain West teams are hurt in everything from recruiting to the polls by their lack of television exposure.

MWC COMMISSIONER Craig Thompson joined David Locke on 1320 KFAN again this week, and what with his backtracking and denying and obfuscating about the league's TV deal, I'm left nearly speechless. Which is not my normal state.

For more than a year, I've distanced myself from the fire-Thompson movement. Again last week, I pointed out that he's executing policy set by university presidents, not setting policy himself. And, for the second time, I compared his role to that of a bus driver — if you don't like the route a bus takes, you can't blame the bus driver. You blame his bosses.

I'd like to add an addendum, however. If you don't have confidence that your driver can get you to your stop without crashing the bus, you won't get on board. And you'll call for a replacement.

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