OU football: Sleeping with the ESPNemy
I saw Bob Stoops on Thursday morning, a few hours before he took off for Bristol, Conn., along with Landry Jones and Ryan Broyles. They all were headed for a full day at ESPN, doing a variety of interviews.
I saw a few of the stops by Jones and Broyles, and it was mostly great PR for Sooner football. Jones and Broyles talking about the team, but also themselves, everything from faith to their trip to Haiti. It’s great exposure.
It also has to be hard to swallow, knowing this is the same company that just commited $300 million to your arch-rival. College football teams are in the crosshairs. Do they cooperate with ESPN, even though ESPN has become a literal partner with the University of Texas, or do they shun ESPN and risk the fallout of no exposure with the dominant media enterprise in sports?
At the Big 12 Media Days earlier this week, Texas A&M skipped the Longhorn Network, which was part of the rotation for national networks. OU did not; Stoops and his players made time to sit down and be interviewed by Bevo TV.
I asked Stoops on Thursday if he enjoyed his trips to ESPN, or did they become tiresome after awhile, regardless of the ties to the Longhorn Network. I have heard that even athletes making their first trip to Bristol get bored after the first couple of hours.
But Stoops said no. He always enjoys it and it never gets old. Then he smiled and said, “It’s almost like having your own network. For a day.”
That’s the trouble, you see. The Sooners, or the Aggies, or the Cowboys, or the Nittany Lions or Wolverines or Buckeyes or Cornhuskers or Trojans or Gators or Bayou Bengals or whoever, get the royal treatment on occasion. But the impression is Texas will get the royal treatment every day.
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