3/29/11

TODAY’S RANT

Americans are a hard sell. We are skeptics. I can’t speak about the rest of the world, you understand, but I figure its about the same.

But once we are sold something we become incredibly loyal. Getting us to change may be more difficult than selling us in the first place. This is true whether we’re talking about a product or a person. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the world of sports and celebrities.

I bring this up because if you continue to follow the NCAA tournament — and many of you will not — you will hear and read a lot about how so few people will watch the Final Four on TV because no one knows or cares about Butler and especially a school named VCU. TV execs have learned people will watch the top brand names — North Carolina, Duke, Kansas, UCLA, Florida, etc. — regardless. It doesn’t seem to matter that Butler and VCU have EARNED their way into the Final Four. It really doesn’t matter even if they’re better teams than, say, Kansas and Florida. We Americans haven’t bought into them.

This theory applies in every sport. A Yankee-Dodger World Series is a hit. A Twins-Diamondbacks Series is not. If Tiger is remotely in contention, TV number go up. A 4-man shootout of birdies and great shots involving Matt Laird, Steve Marino, Mark Wilson and Justin Rose is a dud. You get the point.

This is a shame. The Final Four has the makings of a great one. The fact the Butler-VCU winner plays for the title is what sports competition is all about.

VCU, by the way, stands for Virginia Commonwealth University.

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