Remember the Seinfeld episode where George and Jerry were developing a TV show about nothing? Why would anyone watch, asked an NBC executive.
“Because it's on television,” George said.
Sometimes I think George Costanza is behind the marriage of ESPN and the University of Texas.
The Longhorn Network, which debuts Aug. 26, is not necessarily about nothing. But it is about nothing much.
One football game a year, the least attractive matchup on the schedule. A few basketball games, again, against the rumdums. Then all the minor sports you can stuff into a candy bag.
Oh, the network will help Texas recruiting, in sports other than football. All of UT's gridiron games are televised anyway. But a third baseman from Amarillo or a sprinter from Copperas Cove? That's a selling point, that most of your competition can be seen on Bevo TV.
And it pads Texas' pocketbook, but since when did the Longhorns hurt for money? They've always had more money than everybody else. Always had a lot more.
So I really haven't seen what the big deal is, about the excitement on Texas' side or the resentment on its opponents' side.
The shows that have been announced for the Longhorn Network aren't exactly must-see TV. Longhorn Extra, a daily look at news from UT's varsity teams. Rewind with Mack Brown, a look back at the Longhorns' previous game. Game Plan with Mack Brown, a look ahead to the next UT tilt. Texas All Access, inside look at Longhorn teams, focused primarily on football. And Texas GameDay, a two-hour pregame show for football
Unless the 'Horns have signed Chuck Barkley and Kenny Smith, I think you're safe to pass.
Playback shows are worthless in this day of all games on television. Coaches shows have been dead for two decades, lost to the quicksand of paranoid and personality-challenged coaches, though Mack actually has more charm than most.
I haven't watched a Bob Stoops or Mike Gundy show in years. Back in 2003, I watched 11 coaches shows in a three-day span. C-SPAN was more exciting. Houston Nutt's show was decent; the others were torture.
And do you expect much meat from Longhorn Extra or Texas All Access? This is the second decade of the 21st century. Fans are accustomed to flipping on the television and watching Mike Golic and Trent Dilfer argue over who should quarterback the Miami Dolphins.
Think you're going to get any good discussion on Garrett Gilbert vs. Case McCoy? Think you're going to find anyone asking Mack how much dissension there was on his 2010 coaching staff?
Such omissions would work in 1965, when information was not so handy for the general nutso fan. When any morsel of news about your beloved alma mater was a precious jewel. When hearing your coach speak — actually hearing his voice — was a rare and mighty gift.
But the age of innocence is gone. Coverage of college football is so much more exhaustive today, from beefed-up newspapers to the Internet to talk radio. Fans are much more educated about their ballteam than fans of previous generations. And they know when they're being snowed.
This is not a slam on Texas. Same goes for OU or OSU or any major program.
The Longhorn Network is an exciting enterprise because it's never been done. All Longhorns, all the time. UT's massive alumni base will respond. It will get onto cable systems on both sides of the Pecos.
Many will buy. Few will watch.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.